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eSATA cards fail at pre-boot

Posted on 2012-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-09-11
We installed the Vantec UGT-ST622 SATA/eSATA card in a PowerEdge T320 running Windows Server 2008. We plugged the card in (did not install the software driver yet), and boot.

The machine issues a fatal error at pre-boot phase "checking firmware" and asks for reboot. We removed the card and the machine started normally.

In the past I installed a similar Vantec card ST400 in an older PowerEdge and it worked - but before that one worked, two other brands failed with a similar firmware failure like above. Now this new Vantec card fails too.

I don't have an answer to this dilema for now. What's going on with all these eSATA cards? Is firmware of some eSATA cards not compatible with some Intel chipsets? That's scary - how would one know what card to choose?
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Question by:campinam
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Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 38382833
Usually, a failure to boot indicates an electrical problem with the card or an incompatibility with the slot.  Have you verified that the card works in any other machine?  Even though it's brand new, it may be DOA.
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by:campinam
ID: 38384115
The error is similar to other eSATA cards... and the fact that these cards generally fail on server hardware is well established.

I just ordered "StarTech PEXESAT32 2 Port SATA 6 Gbps PCI Express eSATA Controller Card" and holding my breath, maybe it works...

Has anyone installed eSATA on PowerEdge T320 ?  There should be some way to go... Dell would only provide info on solutions they sell, never say a thing about other brands, which maybe makes them kind of unfriendly - they get all this info and keep it from customers...
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LVL 69

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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 38384535
The manual http://www.advania.is/library/Files/1.-Vefverslun-PDF/Midlaegar-lausnir/PowerEdge/dell-poweredge-t320-technical-guide.pdf says "Up to 3 PCIe 3.0 and 2 PCIe 2.0" slots - do you know what kind of slot the Vantec card is for, and the bandwidth it needs?  The T320 has 1 x16, 3 x4, and 1 x1 PCIe slot.
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Author Comment

by:campinam
ID: 38385380
The card says PCIe v.2.0. In sixe, it's an x1. It's a SATA III card, 6 Gb/s, compatible with lower SATA.

The mobo has two "G2" slots x4 in size, although one is marked x1 (?). Other slots are marked "G3".

I tried the card in the G2 x1/x4 slot, then in the G3 x4 slot, failed in both.
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 38386735
Does this card have a BIOS that lets you boot from a drive connected to it?  If so, it may be in conflict with a PERC card that you already have installed.  The solution in this case is to reassign the ROM address, typically with jumper settings on the card.

Unfortunately, I see that Dell has issues supporting eSATA cards in other machines: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/p/19449717/20180276.aspx#20180276  I assume Dell is no help in this problem?
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