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Intel RST stops working when eSATA drive is online

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I have two Seagate ST1000NM0033 1TB SATA drives in a RAID 1 array on my MOBO’s Intel ICH10R RAID controller with Intel Rapid Storage Technology Manager v. OS is Windows 7 SP1 x64.

I also have an external Seagate ST3500418AS 500GB SATA drive in an eSATA enclosure connected to the MOBO’s separate Marvell 6GB/s controller on an eSATA port. This drive was the system boot drive in a RAID 1 array on the same MOBO before I installed the 1TB drives and transferred the system to the new 1TB drives. There is still some data on the old drive I would like to access occasionally, but whenever I bring the eSATA drive online, either at boot or after, the Intel RST Manager shows as not working. The only way to make the Intel RST Manager start working again is to take the eSATA drive offline and re-boot.

I thought that maybe it was the fact that the old drive was still marked as active, so I used DiskPart to mark the drive as “Inactive”, since I couldn’t see any reason to boot from this drive again anyway. Made no difference.

Also, Windows Explorer does not list the drives in the usual order. In my experience, when you have two HDD’s, each with one Primary and one Extended partition, Windows will list the Primary partitions of each drive first, with the Extended partitions listed next in order (e.g., first physical drive primary partition – C:, second physical drive primary partition – D:, first physical drive extended partition – E:, second physical drive extended partition – F: ).

However, Windows Explorer is showing my eSATA old drive at the end of my drive letter list as L: & M: ( drive letters C: through K: were already assigned) in the actual partition order on that drive. In other words, the new L: used to be C: and the new M: used to be D: on the old drive.

I like this drive letter assignment a LOT better than having Windows re-arrange all the existing drive letters when a new HDD is introduced into the system. It’s much less confusing. But it bothers me because I don’t think that’s the way the OS usually does it, plus the fact that RST stops running when the eSATA drive is brought online makes me think I have a conflict somewhere.

Any ideas?

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I don't see any integrated eSATA port on the rear I/O panel

of your motherboard. Did you wire that PCI slot adapter

to one of the integrated Marvell SATA ports?


I would suggest yanking that PCI slot adapter,

and try wiring your external enclosure

directly to one of the ICH10R ports,

as one possible test.

If your external enclosure requires an eSATA

connector, you will need to purchase an

eSATA-to-SATA cable: they are available

at on-line retailers like Newegg:

There is supposed to be a slightly higher

voltage on eSATA ports, to make them

compatible with eSATA cables and the

extra distance they are allowed.

Thus, my BEST GUESS is that your

PCI slot adapter must be connected

to a second cable: and this pair of

2 cables -- wired in series -- need to

be eliminated and replaced with a

single SATA-to-eSATA cable that

plugs directly into an integrated

ICH10R port on your motherboard.

Just leave the PCI slot open, and

run your SATA-to-eSATA cable

right thru that open PCI slot

in your chassis -- for this test.


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Also, I notice that your motherboard specs show

6 x 3G SATA ports and 2 x 6G SATA ports.

You may need to move some cables around,

but I would also suggest that, for testing, you

wire your Seagate ST3500418AS to a native 3G port,

and NOT to either of the 2 x 6G ports.

ICH10R ports run at 3G, so we want to do

the purest possible test by connecting that

Seagate to an empty ICH10R port with a

quality SATA-to-eSATA cable.

Your Seagate's interface runs at 3G:

An even PURER test is to remove that Seagate

from your external enclosure, if you can without

doing any damage, and then wire the bare

Seagate drive directly to an available 3G port

controlled by your ICH10R chipset.

In the latter mode, you won't need a SATA-to-eSATA cable

because you should be able to connect the ICH10R port

on your motherboard directly to the Seagate,

using a cable with SATA connectors at both ends.

We keep an AT-style power supply around

for just this kind of testing, because your

external enclosure probably has its own

internal power supply.

There are some small AC adapters that

terminate at a standard 4-pin Molex connector.

Here's one that comes with a Molex-to-SATA power cable:

Edited by MRFS

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Yes, the eSATA drive is connected to the MOBO's 6GB/s Marvell SATA controller header via an eSATA slot bracket adapter. The adapter and eSATA cable are all 6GB/s-rated. It seemed to be the simplest solution as I only need to acces this drive occasionally for some data that's on it. I suppose I could switch this e-SATA drive to the ICH10-R controller and let the Intel controller manage it as a non-member drive. Maybe that would make it happy.

Looks like the immediate answer to the RST problem is to connect this drive via USB, rather than eSATA. RST doesn't get into a snit and quit working when the drive is connected via USB and I've heard the Marvell SATA controllers can be flakey. Fortunately, my Vantec eSATA drive enclosure will operate just fine on either eSATA or USB.
After wading through Intel's web site, it looks like the latest RST version to support the X58 / ICH10R RAID Chipset is v. I may update it.

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