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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Question about an eSATA drive

    I finally got the correct eSATA cable to connect my external "dual" HDD enclosure. I'm using a WD 250 SATA drive in this enclosure. I got a rude awakening when I used the power switch on the back of the drive to shut it off as I have a habit of doing with external USB 2.0 drives.... Explorer crashed. <IMG SRC=http://www.smileypad.com/artists/fool/emoticons/158.gif> It would appear that this is not the right thing to do. What I would like to know is if there is a way to manually start and stop this external eSATA drive. The reason is I don't like to leave my backup drive running all the time due to infrequent power outages here.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  2. #2
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    Re: Question about an eSATA drive

    There are some USB drives that do NOT like to be turned off.

    I think you will find that the best way is to power down the system and then turn off the external drive. Some drive are NOT hot swappable, which is what you are trying to do.

    The wifes USB drive will NOT shut down using the ON/OFF switch if the computer is up and running. My USB external does NOT like it if I power down the computer and then restart it with out turning off the USB drive, but works just fine if I leave on doing just a "Restart" no a OFF then back on.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Question about an eSATA drive

    Dave,

    This particular enclosure is "dual" function, i.e., 1) you can install either a PATA or a SATA drive. 2) If you install a SATA drive, you can connect it to the PC with either a USB cable or a eSATA cable (it has a switch on the back for the appropriate connection used). When I am using the USB cable and with the switch set to USB 2.0, the enclosure can be turned on and off using the power switch on the back without any ill effects, i.e., it is "hot swappable". My specific interest is when using the eSATA connection and specifically, is there a way to use this type of connection as "hot swappable". Again, my concern is with the power outages we get here and not wanting to have the drive damaged during one if it is left on 24/7.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Question about an eSATA drive

    Many SATA drives are hot swappable. Do you have a "Safely remove..." icon in your system tray that you could try? The two SATA disks shown here are internal to my PC.

    StuartR
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Question about an eSATA drive

    I think Stuart just made a point here that we're forgetting. Even though you've got this SATA drive in an external box, it's functioning as if it were "inside" the machine, I think, for it's connected to one of your motherboard SATA connections. Do I have that correct? If so, I don't know that you can turn off the power to an "internal drive," SATA or not.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question about an eSATA drive

    My mobo has a port (i.e. back panel I/O) for eSATA and one internal SATA I/II connector running on one controller (Marvell). At the moment I do not use any of them, so the controller isn't enabled in BIOS, but, according to the manual: "... controller allows you to enable the hot-plug function for external device."

    On the other hand; I also have SATA connectors together with IDE connectors on the South Bridge, and for these SATA connectors (on my mobo) the manual says: "Hot plug support for Serial ATA drive and connections is not available on this motherboard."

    Let me first say that I have not tried any eSATA solutions, but it could surely be interesting since one machine has this port. For eSATA they have made some differences to the cable, as you know, the connectors shape and depth, extra shielding on the cable etc.

    But my understanding is that hot-plug/swap depends on the SATA controller on the mobo, not all support it. But if one has a built-in eSATA port, hot-plug probably always would be supported. As Stuart mentioned, if supported then it should use Windows support for removable devices.

    Without a built-in port or support for hot-plug, well, in these cases a dedicated SATA PCI card would be the solution if one want to swap/hot-plug. However, costs a little more than a bracket.

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