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Extra SATA ports

Posted on 2009-04-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I want to add extra SATA ports to my system but the controller cards I've seen all come with RAID.  I don't want RAID.  Any ideas?
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Question by:JoshOdom
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12 Comments
 
LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:CoreDigital
CoreDigital earned 165 total points
ID: 24114188
Although SATA controller cards come with RAID it doesn't mean you MUST use them in RAID configuration.
If you don't create a RAID array then they normally will allow single drive access on each SATA channel.
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LVL 26

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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 225 total points
ID: 24114316
That is true.
Also non-raid versions abound on ebay.
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Author Comment

by:JoshOdom
ID: 24114787
Thank you.  I bought one that didn't mention RAID.  It came with a driver CD that included RAID.  Is the driver necessary in this instance?  The drives are not visible in Windows explorer or administrative tools but visible in device manager.  Windows wants a driver and the one through Windows update includes RAID.  How can I get the drives to be visible in Windows Explorer and Administrative Tools? I can access the RAID utility by hitting F4 in the boot cycle but I don't get an option for no RAID at all.
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 225 total points
ID: 24114825
You haven't told us what the card is.

Have the drives been partitioned and formatted?
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:CoreDigital
CoreDigital earned 165 total points
ID: 24114881
You should install the driver that came with the card (even though it mentions RAID) as this is needed in order for the card to work properly, it doesn't mean that the drives will be in a RAID configuration.
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Author Comment

by:JoshOdom
ID: 24115166
SYBA SATA II NCQ Host Controller Card Support 3.0 Gbps and NCQ 32 bit PCI (ouch - I'm going to migrate to 64 bit)

I only have one drive on this card.  The motherboard has enough ports for the other six.  How will I see the drive in Windows explorer?  The drive has not been partitioned and formatted -- I'm doing that now.
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LVL 4

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by:CoreDigital
CoreDigital earned 165 total points
ID: 24115252
Once the partitioning and formatting is complete you should see the drive in windows explorer.
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Author Comment

by:JoshOdom
ID: 24115288
:) Thank you!
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 225 total points
ID: 24115506
The 32-bit is referring to your PCI slot.
If your PCI slot is not 64-bit then a 64-bit card would operate in 32-bit mode anyway.

Also 32-bit PCI bandwidth is 133 MB/sec.
7200rpm and less drives max -sustained- transfer rates are less than 110 MB/sec anyway.
Sustained transfer rate is limited by the head-disk transfer rate and is the same regardless if the interface is SCSI, SATA, or PATA. Interface speed only helps until the buffer is full which takes a fraction of a second. After that it's head-disk transfer that throttles it.
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:IanTh
IanTh earned 110 total points
ID: 24116428
the raid on these type of cards can be one drive they are not proper raid as you need 2 drives to do raid 0 the base level . Bear in mind though the latest hdd's can max out these pci cards especially the 1tb drives
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:IanTh
IanTh earned 110 total points
ID: 24116436
just make sure you use the non raid driver that came with the sata card
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

by:
PCBONEZ earned 225 total points
ID: 24118799
Even if there is no non-raid driver you can use the RAID function but set the drives in the RAID setup screen to "Single Drive".
That's the same as not having RAID.
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