Solved eSATA HD not detected by desktop PCs

March 24, 2013 at 09:46:59
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, Intel Core 2 Quad/8gig
I have two desktop PCs each less than 4 years old and both running Windows 7 Home Premium. Each came with an internal SATA hard drive. Each has a motherboard with multiple unused SATA input slots for attaching peripherals. I purchased an eSATA adapter device for each computer that has two SATA cables that I plugged in to open SATA slots on the motherboard and two eSATA input slots that I mounted to the back of the computer case. This is supposed to allow me to plug in external SATA devices into the back of the computer. I purchased an SATA hard drive and eSATA hard drive enclosure to use as a back-up HD (the HD enclosure has both eSATA and USB connectors). I plugged the eSATA cable from the external HD into the eSATA adapter slots I installed on each computer and neither will detect the HD. When I use the external HD’s USB cable both computers detect the HD and it works perfectly. I do not understand why neither computer detects the external HD using the eSATA cable. What could be the problem and how can I correct it?

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✔ Best Answer
March 27, 2013 at 19:11:34
I think I found the answer to my problem on another tech web site:
"The root of the problem is that the "converter" you have that came free with the external drive is a connection "converter" only. That is, it simply allows you to connect an eSATA cable to a plain SATA port. The standards for eSATA have several extra features that plain regular SATA does not. Among those are support for "Hot Swap" and support for longer cable lengths. Now it happens that some of the recent SATA chip and BIOS makers used for mobos actually add these features to "normal" SATA ports, but not always because it is NOT required in the SATA standard. So users of these adapters can get their eSATA units to work just fine with those systems. However, if your internal SATA port never had Hot Swap support, no "converter" is going to do that for you. You can live with what you have and do what you've been doing. Or, you can buy a proper eSATA port controller that mounts in a PCIe x1 or higher slot and gives you a TRUE eSATA port with all the features required by that standard."
So, I have the wrong eSATA adapter. I need an eSATA port controller that mounts in a PCIe x1 or higher slot. Or, I can use the USB connectors. Oh well....


#1
March 24, 2013 at 15:14:14
Some of those eSATA cards have jumpers on the card so that you can either use the internal sata connectors or the external eSATA connectors, not both. Make sure that you have those jumpers in the right configuration.

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#2
March 24, 2013 at 20:18:40
OK. I will take a look. I was unaware of the jumper choices. Thanks.

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#3
March 26, 2013 at 06:41:16
So, how did it go?

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Related Solutions

#4
March 26, 2013 at 07:30:23
Does the enclosure have its own power supply? This is necessary for eSATA. Are you sure there isn't a switch on it to select USB or eSATA? Otherwise, it should just work.

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#5
March 26, 2013 at 18:01:49
I can't find a jumper on the adapter. I am still stumped. Perhaps there is a jumper on the motherboard or some CMOS setting I am unaware of?

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#6
March 26, 2013 at 22:24:18
I am assuming that you have installed the drivers for the SATA cards and you are using the power supply for your external case. The only other thing would be, the case is defective or your sata cable is bad.

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#7
March 26, 2013 at 22:28:36
Ah. I looked at the eSATA adapter I installed in the computer for a jumper rather than the external hard drive enclosure. I'll get a screwdriver and check it.

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#8
March 26, 2013 at 22:46:42
I checked the inside of the HD enclosure and found no jumpers or switches. It has its own power supply. I noted that when I plug the HD enclosure into the computer, Windows freezes up and stays that way until I turn off the HD enclosure. I plugged the USB cable in and all works fine. Perhaps the SATA cable is bad. I will try another one.

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#9
March 26, 2013 at 22:48:07
Do I need to install sata drivers if my primary internal HD is SATA and works fine and I am using Windows 7?

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#10
March 27, 2013 at 01:41:13
Yes you have to install the drivers for your new SATA card, unless windows installed a basic set of drivers for it. You may want to go to the manufacture's website and download the newest drivers for your SATA card.

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#11
March 27, 2013 at 03:31:59
i'm not sure if there isn't some confusion. I took it from the OP that the "adapter" was simply cables plugging in to the m/b providing eSATA connectors on a backplate. In that case there is no need for additional drivers.

Note that eSATA is not (necessarily) plug and play. Don't plug the disk in whilst Windows is running. You should switch the computer off, plug in the drive, power it on, power on the computer, and check that it appears in the BIOS. Then start Windows and check Disk Management to see if the drive is listed and its partition recognized as an NTFS (or FAT32) partition. It may be that all you need to do is to assign a drive letter to the partition(s).


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#12
March 27, 2013 at 11:31:59
OK. I will give that a try. It seems more complicated than using the USB connector.

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#13
March 27, 2013 at 11:44:05
Well, that did not work. Windows would not boot using this start up sequence. I ended up in the CMOS and did not see the external eSATA drive listed. I turned the external drive off and restared the computer and it booted normally. I removed the eSATA cable and plugged in the USB cable and the drive works fine. I will try a new eSATA cable next. Thanks for your help.

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#14
March 27, 2013 at 11:52:37
You are correct that the "adapter" is simply cables plugging in to the m/b providing eSATA connectors on a backplate. It seemed like an easy way to use an external eSATA hard drive and benefit from higher transfer speeds. It seems I assumed too much. At least I can use the USB connectors and all is not lost. I will try a different eSATA cable and see what happens.

I wonder if I would have this same problem if I installdd the SATA HD inside the computer case as a secondary drive? I hope not.


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#15
March 27, 2013 at 12:39:27
That's odd. An eSATA drive is essentially just a SATA drive outside the case. You might have to change the boot sequence to allow for the new drive, but if you can't find it in the BIOS you can't do that. The only things I can think are:

1. A dud cable.
2. Inadequate power to the drive (does it spin?).
3. That there is some switch on the external casing to select USB or eSATA.

Any of those could cause the drive to work as USB but not eSATA. I have a similar setup and it just works (and eSATA certainly provides a good speed increase over USB2). You could try installing it internally. Again (with a check of the boot sequence) it should just work, but you will still probably have to assign a drive letter with Disk Management.


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#16
March 27, 2013 at 12:42:47
1. A dud cable. maybe
2. Inadequate power to the drive (does it spin?). the drive spins
3. That there is some switch on the external casing to select USB or eSATA. nope.

I will try a new eSATA cable next.


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#17
March 27, 2013 at 16:17:53
Okay, I see you are not using a eSATA controller card you are just using a backplane like this http://www.addonics.com/faq/images/...

If you have a Dell, You may want to go into the BIOS and make sure that the SATA ports that you are using are turned on.


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#18
March 27, 2013 at 18:36:30
I have a Compaq (HP). I am not sure how to go to the BIOS. I can access the CMOS. I will check the internet for some BIOS adjusting instructions on how to turn on the SATA ports.. Thanks for the clue.

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#19
March 27, 2013 at 19:11:34
✔ Best Answer
I think I found the answer to my problem on another tech web site:
"The root of the problem is that the "converter" you have that came free with the external drive is a connection "converter" only. That is, it simply allows you to connect an eSATA cable to a plain SATA port. The standards for eSATA have several extra features that plain regular SATA does not. Among those are support for "Hot Swap" and support for longer cable lengths. Now it happens that some of the recent SATA chip and BIOS makers used for mobos actually add these features to "normal" SATA ports, but not always because it is NOT required in the SATA standard. So users of these adapters can get their eSATA units to work just fine with those systems. However, if your internal SATA port never had Hot Swap support, no "converter" is going to do that for you. You can live with what you have and do what you've been doing. Or, you can buy a proper eSATA port controller that mounts in a PCIe x1 or higher slot and gives you a TRUE eSATA port with all the features required by that standard."
So, I have the wrong eSATA adapter. I need an eSATA port controller that mounts in a PCIe x1 or higher slot. Or, I can use the USB connectors. Oh well....

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