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Thread: eSATA Port Multiplier




  1. #1
    meat juice's Avatar
    meat juice is offline Junior Member
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    Default eSATA Port Multiplier

    Hello,

    I purchased a Mediasonic Probox (HF2-SU2S24) bay enclosure like the one found here:

    Newegg.com - Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 3.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA Pro Box 4 Bay Enclosure

    I hooked it up via eSATA to a Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 blue port on the back labeled eSATA/USB3 Powered. eSATA is enabled in the BIOS. Rebooted a few times however Windows does not detect the single HDD inside. I do feel the disk spin up.

    I was unable to find any references related to the two products but I did read that the eSATA port has to support port multiplying. Does my board support port multiplying?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    rbmorse is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    The drive must have a formatted partition (aka volume in Windows speak) before Windows explorer can "see" the drive (or partition). If the hard disk in the enclosure is a brand new drive, or if the partition has been removed from an existing drive, you have have to create and format at least one partition on the drive.

    From the Windows start menu enter

    diskmgmt.msc

    into the search box. Click on "yes"

    does the physical hard drive show up in the upper and lower panes? If not, ignore the rest of this post.

    If disk manager shows the physical drive, does it report status as "unallocated space" in the lower pane?

    If so, right click anywhere on the area of the disk in the lower pane (unallocated space) and select "create new simple volume". Follow the prompts from there to create then format a partition on the drive.
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  3. #3
    Citizen Crazed is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    MeatJuice, I haven't tried an adapter of the sort you've got, but have found in the past that the Marvell 9128 controller on the Z68X-UD7-B3 doesn't like serial to parallel ATA converters, and seems to dislike some SATA generation 1 disks too, so this may explain your issues too.

    The Intel controller seems to be much more accommodating so, even if only as a troubleshooting measure, can you try connecting the box to one of the Intel ports to see if it's recognised?

    Further, do you see the drive listed on the POST screen during power-up and in the disk drives section of Device Manager, and, finally, what make/model of disk is it?
    Last edited by Citizen Crazed; 02-11-2012 at 03:54 AM.

  4. #4
    meat juice's Avatar
    meat juice is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    Thank for responding. The device is not seen during post on boot nor in device manager/disk management. I'm sorry, I should of mentioned this. The disk attached is a WD Caviar Black (WD2001FASS). I tried the device via a USB port and Windows discovered the disk. It's agony to read that once again a god forsaken Marvell controller could be the root of all evil. Do they design their gear in N.Korea? I'll try via one of the Intel ports and report back.

  5. #5
    flyfisher is offline Member
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    Did you set the eSATA port to AHCI or IDE mode in the BIOS? Have you tried both?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    I did try both AHCI and IDE. Ultimately I had to get off my ass and try one of the Intel ports using a SATA to eSATA cable. Gave me a chance to top up my coolant so it was worth the effort. The device and enclosed drive is detected and works fine via an Intel port. So it looks like you were bang on Citizen Crazed. Chalk another one for Marvell.

    This is supported by the fact I had an old WD MyBook case, cracked it open and put a WD2001FASS inside. It would drop from Windows regularly via eSATA. I thought the cable was faulty as it functions fine via USB. Now I know.

    If two eSATA devices don't work in those ports makes me wonder what they can be used for other than USB. You think this is something that could be addressed via an update?

    Thank you all for your time posting.

  7. #7
    flyfisher is offline Member
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    I use the Marvell eSATA port with a Kingwin EZ Dock. I guess I am lucky it works, lol. Glad you got it working on the Intel.

  8. #8
    Citizen Crazed is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    Quote Originally Posted by meat juice View Post
    I did try both AHCI and IDE. Ultimately I had to get off my ass and try one of the Intel ports using a SATA to eSATA cable. Gave me a chance to top up my coolant so it was worth the effort. The device and enclosed drive is detected and works fine via an Intel port. So it looks like you were bang on Citizen Crazed. Chalk another one for Marvell.
    Not like there's much pleasure on being right on this one, I'd much rather the thing worked better. Y'know it's funny, back when Intel dropped the IDE controller from the Core 2 chipsets, mainboard manufacturers (Gigabyte included) started integrating JMicron JMB363 controllers, and they were rubbish. But then over the course of time the bugs in the drivers and BIOS got ironed out and in my recent experience the 363 is rock solid. Frustrating it is to switch to a newer, otherwise much more powerful platform, only to find that once again we have boards with temperamental add-in hardware - this time from another manufacturer.

    You think this is something that could be addressed via an update?
    Maybe. As above JMicron improved their product by orders of magnitude, but in Marvell's case it all depends whether the issues are in the silicon or the firmware/drivers. It also needs some pressure from the hardware integrators to encourage the supplier to fix their stuff. Suppose one thing to look at would be whether there are any newer firmware revisions floating round than whatever's integrated in the current Gigabyte mainboard BIOSes.

    Oh - incidentally, before you give up entirely on your external box, and if you're yet to try it, stick the Marvell controller transaction mode in Bypass rather than Auto or Firmware, see if that makes any difference.
    Last edited by Citizen Crazed; 02-12-2012 at 02:20 AM.

  9. #9
    meat juice's Avatar
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    Default Re: eSATA Port Multiplier

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Crazed View Post
    Oh - incidentally, before you give up entirely on your external box, and if you're yet to try it, stick the Marvell controller transaction mode in Bypass rather than Auto or Firmware, see if that makes any difference.
    I changed transaction mode to Bypass as you suggested. Windows see the device and detects the drive. How 'bout that for good vibes?! Appreciate the heads up Citizen Crazed. :)

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