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Thread: eSATA on z68 Extreme3 Gen3

  1. #1
    another builder is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Queensland, Australia

    Default eSATA on z68 Extreme3 Gen3

    I'm sure this has been posted before..somewhere or another.

    In any case, I recently tried my eSATA for the first time. Plugged in the ext HDD; cord into eSATA on rear I/O, et cetera. Power on. Black screen: "Windows failed to boot." Erm, ok. So I go into the UEFI BIOS to discover that my Crucial SSD (my Windows boot drive) doesn't appear in the boot list. At all. Worried that I've somehow physically disconnected the drive, I open the case, see that the Crucial's SATA connector is still firmly plugged in to SATA 3_1, and move right on.

    So I power down, remove the external HDD from eSATA, and power on. As expected, everything is back to normal. Windows boots, and life goes on. Being tired and not in the mood to troubleshoot, I refrained from a re-attempt and fell back on (trusty?) USB3 to connect my external HDD. Life went on; it usually does.

    So the question in the back of my mind of course became: why did connecting eSATA make my internal SSD disappear from the boot list?

    I can now categorically answer that question for anyone else who's experienced similar problems. Referring to page 32 of the mobo's installation guide, I read the following regarding the two internal SATA3 connectors (and please take note):

    If you install the HDD on the eSATA port on the rear I/O, the internal SATA3_1 will not function
    Implication: If you want to run eSATA, you will have to say goodbye to SATA3_1; also, you will have to move anything you still want connected via SATA3 from SATA3_1 to SATA3_0. As we know, the Extreme3 has only two SATA3 connectors, so if they're both occupied you might have to make some sacrifices (at least temporarily) if you want to run eSATA. This might mean, as it did in my case, migrating something to a SATA2 connector. Whatever it takes to free up SATA3_1.

    In my case I moved the SSD to SATA3_0, and my other drive to a SATA2.

    Hope this helps anyone.

    Moral of the story in a nutshell: To run eSATA on z68 Extreme3 Gen3, make sure the motherboard's SATA3_1 is vacant, because anything connected to SATA3_1 will go offline the moment you plug in eSATA. You figure out the rest.

    If anyone has anything to add, be it constructive alternatives or just 5-centers i.e. "buy a new mobo" or "why would you use eSATA?" etc, I welcome your replies/trolls.
    Last edited by another builder; 08-13-2012 at 08:48 AM.

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