KCComp

4-port PCI hot swap SATA adapter?

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I need a 4-port SATA PCI adapter with hot-swap capability. No RAID, just 4 individual drives. This is for a backup solution on a special server.

Now before you say "all SATA is hot swap", I don't want to have to go into device manager and uninstall the drive in order to remove it. I need a adapter whose driver/software marks the drives as removable and lets me shut them down either with the regular Windows safe removal tray app, or some special bundled tray app software.

Ideas?

thanks,

KC

p.s. I have a Sil3112 and it doesn't have this capability. I read Promise's web site and they have RAID & non-RAID adapters; the RAID adapters say hot swap but they don't say they support individual drives; the non-RAID adapters don't mention hot swap at all. I read Highpoint's web site and their RocketRAID 1640 doesn't support single drives.

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Bizzump.

or how about recommendations on an 8 port card with this capability?

So re: the need to uninstall, if you just mark the drive so that write cachine is disabled, you could just yank the drive without uninstalling it, right?

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So re: the need to uninstall, if you just mark the drive so that write cachine is disabled, you could just yank the drive without uninstalling it, right?

215844[/snapback]

That's the drive's write cache... the OS also caches some writes, and may have open files on the volume.

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WOW. I thought I was the only one who saw the need for something like this. I can only hope we few can help each other out...

I've seen considerable time and money researching and experimenting, only to still remain amazed at how the rest of the world simply does not care... I must consistently look for the off edge solutions only a few appear to want.

1. I was a VERY early adopter of using FireWire 400 and USB1 (now USB2) as removable "hot swappable" storage devices. But after getting burned by crappy bridge chips and Windows lack of stable firewire/usb interfaces resulting in junk like the infamous "delayed write cache" which TO THIS day still plagues many FW and USB storage users. I simply gave up on these things over a year ago after losing too much data. And yeah I've followed tons of site that monitor the delayed write problem.

2. I finally broken down and bought a few nVidia nforce4 boards since their version 6.xx IDE drivers support drives (SATA) that show up as removable. I thought this was the holy grail I was looking for.

Wrong. Not only are there consistent debates about the quality and reliablity of their IDE drivers vs stock MS drives on the Win32 platforms, I just ran into some (long story) and now have to resort to using the stock MS drivers. SO that just killed using nVidia for this.

3. I bought a few Silicon Image PCI SATA controllers (3512 and 3114) with eSATA external plugs. Flashed their BIOS with the non-RAID BIOS. Installed the non-RAID drivers. Bam! I thought I'm almost home.

Wrong. You can power on a box (eg, Windows 2003 server) once the drivers are installed. Later, turn on your external eSATA drive. SI will pick up the drive. But they never considered giving any kind of functionality to dismount the units.

A workaround? I go to the drive properties of my external drive and mark it as DISABLED. It appears that's enough to possibly cause the caches to be flushed from both Win32 and the drives internal. I wait a min or so, then power off the external chasis. Its not pretty, but so far NO DATA CORRUPTION unlike the nightmares that have plagued my Firewire and USB days for the last 6 years.

Believe me I have tried so many different FW and USB bridgeboards over the past 6 years, etc that I cannot believe people trust their data to that junk. How much money I've spent on that mess I do not even want to think about.

Other possible solutions I may try:

http://www.granitedigital.com/catalog/pg49...ostadapters.htm

The Initio shows promise of hot swap since it is NOT based on Silicon Image chips...

the problem for me is that it does not appear to use eSATA for the external connectors.

For background, I've started to retrofit a bunch of my FireWire external chasis that have been sitting idle with eSATA bridges. Bought a bunch of eSATA stuff from places like cooldrives.com.

Good luck to you!

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I too have suffered the delayed write issues with firewire.

Back in the day, people over at avsforums were having pretty good success with IDE drives, removable drive trays, and a utility that would "shut the drive down" (it's been so many years I don't remember technically what it was doing)

Of course you could solve this by running linux :) umount...

I noticed this product has "swap manager" software for hot swapping. Probably just flush the cache, and shutsdown the drive. I bet it'd work on any sata drive, not just in their cabinet.

http://www.cwol.com/serial-ata/sata-remova...rive-rugged.htm

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Hi!

Although I don't know of a PCI hotswap controller I use the nForce4 controller, it has hot swap support I use it to connect my backup raid 0+1 array and when backup is done it is removed (with the symbol in windows just like a USB memory). I have verified my backups several times without any problems.

So if you can consider a motherboard update this works well.

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