munz

esata expresscard recommendation?

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Hi,

I recently bought a MEDIASONIC DUAL 3.5" SATA HARD DRIVE ENCLOSURE RAID 0/1 (model number: HUR1-SU2S2). I'm currently using the enclosure with two WD green 2TB SATA-3G WD20EARS 3.5" (total capacity 4GB using win7x64). I have the drives set up in a RAID-0 Stripe array as I'm looking for performance.

Unfortunately my Dell M1730 laptop does not have esata, but since it has expresscard, I was hoping someone might be able to guide me as to which card would be best to use in conjunction with the above. At present I'm using USB2 however it's painfully slow, in fact no faster than my single USB enclosures. I've seen cards on ebay from .99c all the way up to over $100. I have no idea which ones are reputable etc. I'd appreciate any input/guidance in this respect, thanks.

edit: i should add that the more expensive cards have more slots and RAID functionality, which I assume I don't need since my enclosure already consists of two drives right? i mean the only way i would imagine that to benefit me was if i had two identical enclosures that support esata, am i understanding this correctly?

Edited by munz

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I don't see why something like this wouldn't be good enough:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16839328027

Keep in mind, eSata is a little different from SATA. If you need a strictly SATA card, they have those too, and I recommend it because eSata is not only different in standard slightly (The voltage is a little higher to allow for a longer cable) the connector is flat as opposed to SATA's l-shape.

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thanks for that brian, yeah i will try to find something similar to that on ebay because i'm based in australia and have had issues with newegg delivering here. i was thinking of going with this one off ebay, would you think it would give me very similar performance?

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/eSATA-e-SATA-II-PCMCIA-ExpressCard-Express-Card-3-Gb-s-/260600644960?cmd=ViewItem&pt=AU_Laptop_Accessories&hash=item3cad024560#ht_2350wt_1002

@mockingbird: yes my enclosure only supports USB2 and esata, seems to be a great enclosure, if only i can reach those speeds with 2x2TB in RAID-0 stripe.

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You know...you're taking a risk with no-name brands on eBay. Worst case it fails...is the money that important to you? If so, then I'd look for a more reputable place...unless this guy will take returns if it blows up on you :)

Sometimes these cards get really hot or the ports fail after several insertions, so check the return window then perhaps roll the dice.

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thanks brian, i'll try to order this one as you suggested. if they can't deliver, can you suggest other alternatives? the only one i am aware of that is available in australia is from a company called ritmo and i have no idea how they are in terms of reliability or performance:

http://www.crazysales.com.au/ritmo-3gb-s-express-esata-1-port-card-adapter-support-windows-98-se-2000-xp-vista_p2559.html

thanks again

edit: also this one, at this stage i'm not as concerned about price as i am about quality, performance and features:

http://www.mwave.com.au/newAU/mwaveAU/productdetail.asp?SKU=22080101

Edited by munz

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instead of creating a new thread i thought i would post this problem here since it refers to the above mentioned enclosure and hard drives.

i've formatted my 4TB RAID-0 array with the following four partitions:

Partition 1: 200GB

Partition 2: 200GB

Partition 3: 200GB

Partition 4: 3.05TB

i'm using an eSATA expresscard to connect my laptop to the enclosure, which is considerably faster than my laptop's built in 2x200GB 7200rpm RAID-0.

since i now have loads of space and faster drives, i would like to install windows on the 4TB RAID-0. when i start windows setup and try selecting Partition 1 to install windows on, i get the following prompt and am unable to install windows on that partition:

"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

any ideas as to whether there is any way to get around this? thank you.

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***BUMP***

was hoping someone might now how to boot a laptop from an esata expresscard connected to a raid-0 external enclosure. cheers

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Better split this to a new thread; it's a different topic altogether.

How did you partition the drive? I think Windows (XP) can only boot from classical MBR-style partitions, not from GPT. It can also be a problem regardless of the OS if you don't have an EFI BIOS.

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Better split this to a new thread; it's a different topic altogether.

How did you partition the drive? I think Windows (XP) can only boot from classical MBR-style partitions, not from GPT. It can also be a problem regardless of the OS if you don't have an EFI BIOS.

Thanks for the reply eshap, I'm not sure how to go about splitting the thread, though I certainly have no objections in doing so :) Should I just create a new thread?

I'm using Win7x64 and I created the four partitions by going under control panel\admin tools\computer management\disk management. I then formatted each of the four as primary partitions in NTFS with default cluster size. Did that answer your question?

This is how I partitioned my laptop's internal drives as well, and have dual boot working fine. My research thus far suggests the problem with installing windows 7 is that the eSATA card doesn't allow me to boot from it. I was hoping there may have been a workaround, or a suggestion as to which eSATA card would boot.

Thanks again.

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"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

any ideas as to whether there is any way to get around this? thank you.

Sounds like Windows is whining that your expresscard doesn't have a BIOS so it's worried that it won't be able to boot from it.

This is a way around it: Take out the two drives from your laptop and put in a blank drive. Install Windows 7 to this drive and then ghost it to your array (Assuming of course that your 4TB array is empty ATM). If it's not empty than you can simply copy it over manually and then "repair" the master boot record.

Bottom line is get the Windows installation on the array somehow, and then worry about how you can boot to it from the laptop's Windows 7 boot menu (You will have to play with BCD Manager).

Good luck.

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