e-SATA drive not recognised problem

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drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

I have recently acquired an e-SATA drive. After some problem updating the drivers on my Dell (XPS and Vista) I have reached the point where the drive is listed in the BIOS but does not appear on the desktop or in device manager or storage. The drive also has a usb connection which shows up with no problem - drive letter assigned, drive reformatted to NTFS - but I want access to the faster speed possible with e-SATA.

Before going back to the drive aupplier tomorrow (Buffalo), am I missing some obvious step? If so, what is it?

Tony Carter
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Joined: Oct 15 2000

I did a Google search (buffalo esata drive not recognised vista) and it threw up several similar situations to your problem. It may be of use to do this and see if any of them offer a solution. hth. Tony C.

TonyC

drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

Thanks for responding. I have previously made a search of the Dell support site which also identified an unresolved problem with recognising drives via the e-sata port. Buffalo tech support first referred me to Dell. So far they (Dell) have identified and installed updated Intel drivers which made some improvement - from a BSOD to the drive being recognised in the Bios setup, but not in device manager. This is progress but not a solution.

Tomorrow I will go back to Buffalo tech support to see if they have more up to date software. On my first call I was somewhat disconcerted to learn that he seemed to be working with software that is different to that supplied to me with the drivestation. If I get a solution I will post it here.

drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

After much scratching around it seems that there is no solution. I am unable to connect the Buffalo Drivestation to my Dell XPS420 via e-sata and get it to be recognised on my desktop, let alone work. From checking out various support forums it seems I am not alone. I have to use usb.

I think the issue rests with the Intel sata software. Among other things it seems that RAID and non-RAID drives cannot co-exist in the Intel world (my system C drive is non-RAID), nor can RAID-5 drives be removable.

Hope this is useful to anyone contemplating adding external drives to their system.

muddy
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Joined: Feb 25 2008

I have a RAID eSATA unit (not Buffalo) and have had some problems getting it to work with my new PC. A few thoughts which may or may not help:

- from what you say I'm assuming the Buffalo is RAID - it could be that the Dell eSATA port/motherboard needs to be PM-aware (port multiplier) in order to see the device and isn't - if you haven't done so already, try configuring the storage policy to non-raid so that you just get a single drive letter. This is normally set in hardware/firmware so there's not much you can do about this apart from buy a eSATA host controller PCIe card that is PM-aware - try scan.co.uk they do Lycom cards for around £14 (I will be buying one in due course).
- or it could be that AHCI is enabled on the SATA interface and the eSATA unit doesn't like it (I have this problem with mine). Knowing Dell they probably don't show this or allow you to change the setting in the BIOS, but have a look anyway. Unfortunately disabling AHCI invokes IDE-emulation which may slow things down a little (it may not) as it means NCQ is disabled.
- the SATA ports on my motherboard do not seem to be plug and play. When I power on my eSATA unit I have to go into Device Manager, click on Hard Drives and select Action->Scan for hardware changes in order to have the unit discovered. Try it on yours though you've probably done this already.

Cheers
Steve 'muddy' Waters

drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. For the moment I think I will stick with usb and see what the limitations are when dealing with AVCHD and Canopus HQ files (about 5 x the size). I need to get something done and have already wasted too much time on the phone, plugging and unplugging e-sata cables, rebooting, exploring set up manager - doubtless something you also are all too familiar with.

Re your suggestions:
- I am reluctant to use a scarce PCIe slot for something that should work out of the box. I will need my spare slot for other uses.
- The Buffalo came with four x 500Gb drives configured as RAID-5, something I wanted for the security it offers. It thus appears on my system (via usb) as a single drive.
- The point about the incomapatibility of non-Raid and RAID drives was made to me by someone on the Edius forum. Are all your drives RAID or have you managed to get RAID and non-RAID to coexist?
- I have not tried "scan for hardware changes" with the e-sata cable connected; I will try this but if the advice about the incompatibility of RAID and non-RAID on the same system is correct, then it will not work. Among other things, I did go into the Intel Matrix storage controller which, like Setup Manager, did recognise the Buffalo drive. However it treated it as a non-RAID drive, like my system C drive, and did not permit me to change it to RAID. This is what caused me to think the problem/limitation rests with the Intel storage controller.

muddy
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Joined: Feb 25 2008
drgagx wrote:
I am reluctant to use a scarce PCIe slot for something that should work out of the box

Do you have a spare PCI slot? You can get eSATA controllers in PCI format which should be fast enough for most hardware.

Quote:
It thus appears on my system (via usb) as a single drive.

Ah yes of course, I remember now that I had a combination of raid and non-raid volumes but I could only see the first volume via eSATA, so I had to wipe the non-raid volume.

Quote:
Are all your drives RAID or have you managed to get RAID and non-RAID to coexist?

They co-exist. It's an Asus motherboard which technically doesn't support native eSATA but I have the eSATA unit plugged in to one of the SATA ports via a backplate adapter.

Hope you get it sorted.

Cheers
Steve 'muddy' Waters

drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

Thanks for those clarifications. It looks as though the Dell board is also part of my problem. Their tech support failed to come up with a solution.