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I need setup steps to make SATA HD "hot swap-able"

Posted on 2005-04-21
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Last Modified: 2009-12-16
My MB is ASUS P5AD2 Premium.  It has 8 SATA connections on it.  4 of them just say SATA1,2,3,4.  The other 4 say SATA_RAID1,2,3,4.
I have a 200G SATA system drive connected to SATA1, a 250G SATA drive connected to SATA2.  I also have 2 Granite Digital 'hotswap' removable drive bays with 250G HDs in them and connected to SATA3,4.  The BIOS is set to "configure SATA as Standard IDE" because with other settings I was unable to recognize the other drives.  

My options for configure SATA are:
1) Configure SATA as Stard IDE
2) AHCI
3)RAID.  

I am using this system as a video editing system and need to hot swap out the removable drives from time to time.  I can swap the drives now with the system on, but they are not recognized until I shut system down and reboot.  (total shutdown, not warm reboot).  I am not interested in RAID with this setup because each drive is a separate storage medium unto itself.

Can someone give me some direction on how to set this up so the Granite Digital drive bays are "hot swapable" and I'm still able to boot from my current system drive?

System P4 3.6
Ram 1gig
HD: as listed above
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Question by:BillRo
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 13837659
I came across a post with this software recently: http://www.mobilexperts.com/software.cfm#SwapManager

Maybe it can solve your swap problem without any changes?
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Expert Comment

by:kode99
ID: 13839076
On that board SATA 1-4 are the intel ICH6R on chip and the RAID_RAID 1-4 are the Silicon Image controller.

In order to do hot swap you will need to use the drivers for the controllers - also why you could not see the drives.  Look in the back of the ASUS manual for instructions to make driver disks.  These will need to be installed.

To get hot plug support you need to use the AHCI mode (Advaced Host Controller Interface) which provide the support for hot swap.

The board has an additional setting called 'AHCI Port 3 Interlock Switch' which can be enabled or disabled - this I believe is for the intel ICH6R - which leads me to believe that it only supports hot swap on the one SATA port.  (Don't know if port 3 is the 4th - numbered 0 - 3 in the hardware or really the 3rd port).  see page 4-17 of the manual.

I think you might have better luck hotswapping on the Silicon Image controller as it is supposed to work on all ports.  Make sure the set the Silicon Image Mode to SATA Mode since you do not want to RAID anything.

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Author Comment

by:BillRo
ID: 13839616
Callandor, I'm gonna check that program out, thanks

kode99, I know somewhere in your info is stuff that is applicable to the situation.  My problem is that the setup of this is technically over my head.  The manual has some great information, I just don't understand what it all means and how to use it to my particular application.  It does say that SATA1-4 (and they are numbered that way) are for boot master and slave.  Specifically boot goes to 1-2 and slave to 3-4.  The SATA RAID1-4 are defaulted to RAID setup already, and I'm guessing that you meant for me to use these connections for my hot swap drives. The Silicon Image Bios RAID configuration doesn't show just a straight SATA mode (at least not in the manual).  All the selections from the main menu show RAID options.  Also would I have to reformat the current drives to make this work?  They already have info on them.   Thanks
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Author Comment

by:BillRo
ID: 13847623
Well I downloaded that program 'Swap Manager' and it kept crashing on my computer so I don't think I'll be using that although the idea was pretty good.  Just wish it was stable.  Still could use some help deciphering the user manual settings for the hot swap settings though.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 13851747
Does your RAID setup have a JBOD setting (Just a Bunch Of Disks), which would treat each of your drives as a separate drive?  You might be able to hot swap that way.
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Author Comment

by:BillRo
ID: 13882365
Yeah it does have JBOD or RAID 5 setup in the same sentence but doesn't say much about setting up.  It says to use the Silicon Image Array Management software, but then I'm back to trying to figure out how.
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Accepted Solution

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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 13890720
I would suggest going into the RAID setup and looking for JBOD there.  That's how it is with my MSI K8N Neo2 board.
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