PCIE eSata Card not recognising hard disk

Posted on 2009-06-30
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I'm pulling my hair out over these PCIE to eSata cards.

Trying to get eSata for my PowerEdge 2950 to backup data.  So i bought a PCI-Express sata/esata card.

Server boots fine, recognises the card, drivers install fine, and device shows up in device manager.  

Problem is that when i plug my external HDD in, nothing happens.  Server seems to freeze for about 5 seconds, then continues as normal.  The freeze suggests to me that the connection is made correctly, so it's probably not the cable or connection.  No new drives come up in disk manager.

I tried the card in a PowerEdge 840 as well.  Same deal,   I tried the card in a desktop machine with Asus P5B motherboard.... same deal again...   card installs fine...  doesn't recognise any drives.

If i plug the external drive into the in-built eSata connection on the Asus board, it works just fine.  So i'm fairly sure it's not the external hard disk.

I've been so frustrated with this, i went out and bought a new PCIE --> eSata card.  
This one has almost the same problem, but the machines freeze up until I unplug the external drive.

The first card i tried had JMB36X chipset, and the second card was Sil3132 chipset.
I've tried both cards on all three machines.
I've made sure that the external hard disk is properly formatted.
I've tried booting up with the drive plugged in  (gets into windows, just doesn't show up the HDD)

Running Windows Server 2003R2 and Windows XP Pro.

I desperately need help with this if anyone has any ideas!!  Thanks

Question by:Sc0tte
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 24750908
try shutting down the server and plug in the drive then power on the server.
also try chnage the pci slot.


Author Comment

ID: 24751025
Ok, booting with external disk plugged in and switched on, and with both cards i get same result.

Windows loads fine, but when it gets to windows loading screen, it takes quite a long time, and the blue scrolling wait indicator really chugs along.  Windows eventually starts, but there's no external drives showing up.

The eSata cards still show up fine in device manager, just not more disks in disk management.

Each of these machines only have a single PCIE slot, so i can't try different slots,..  that's why i tried three different computers.


LVL 23

Accepted Solution

ComputerTechie earned 500 total points
ID: 24751159
i would try to see if there is a new driver for the card and try a different cable and a different esata enclosure if possibe.

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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 24751542
I have read about non-video cards having issues in 1st (only) PCI-E slot.
From what I gather, most bioses seem to "expect" a video bios to load at a certain address, which other types of cards don't use.

Aside from seeing if Dell has a bios setting you can play with, or changing the addy in the driver, you might want to just use a PCI adapter instead.

Author Comment

ID: 24751888

hmm,...  after getting my hands on a different external drive, i've made *some* progress.
After trying 3 different HDD's in 2 different caddies... i think the problem is related to the caddie i was using not liking SATA2 ??... it works fine when i have an older HDD in there that is jumper configured to run at 150Gb/s. The other 1T drives that are defaulted to 3Gb/s don't like it :-S
The other caddie (Nexstar3 which is quite old) seems to work regardless of which drive i put in there tho :-\
Both the PCIE -> eSata cards are SATAII and hot plug/swap compatible.
Maybe the new caddie runs with the new disks at 3G/s (SATAII) and the PCIE cards don't like that?
Didn't make any difference using the internal SATA connector on the card.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 24752021
hmmmmmm... That's possible. SATA and SATAII don't always play nice like they are suppose to. Some devices play less nice than others.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 24752054
>> new caddie runs with the new disks at 3G/s

Did you mean 1.5? If the cards, caddie, and drives are all "running" at SATAII, there shouldn't be a problem.
Maybe the caddie is fubared somehow?

Expert Comment

ID: 24752724
I think the best and cheapest solution for external SATA drives is an interface card that allows for one or two of the internal SATA connectors to move to the Case backplane.
No fuss, no hassle, no additional hardware to enable and no additional drivers, if you have a free internal SATA port that is.
Finding the card was a bit of a problem but the card itself cost me about 30$ and my external SATA is running like a charm from the same controller as my internal drives do.

Author Comment

ID: 25038158
I ended up getting the most recent JMB36X drivers from JMB website.  Seems to be working for now.

I had limited success with other drivers, just had to find the right ones.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 25039695
Glad to hear it working.   : )

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