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Expand Space with External Drives


jmaster
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I want to expand the storage on my Home Server using external HDD's and enclosures. I could easily add a few USB drives but I want something faster. Any advice on what I could use to give me internal drive speed but hosting them externally?

Thanks

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eSATA provides the same speed as an internal SATA connection. Beyond that is only USB3 or Firewire 800. See the front page for a recent review of USB3.

Personally I'd go with ESATA if at all possible. Are you running a home-built or an OEM? eSATA + Port Multiplier + external enclosure can be pretty sweet.

The other option I'll throw out there is that if you have a homebuilt, maybe look into getting a new case?

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I just did that a few weeks ago and am happy with the results thus far. I added 2 components:
1)Enclosure
http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid/tr4m.html

2)2-2TB Drives
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/en/products/deskstar/7K2000/

It was relatively easy to setup and basically worked right on the 1st try.

On a related note, prior to this solution I tried the Western Digital My Book 4TB solution and it just WOULD NOT WORK AT ALL with my EX475. I did some investigating and (according to my exhaustive google search) the eSATA chipset that the WD uses is incompatible with the SATA controller in the EX475.

I hope this helps.

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Guys,

Hoping you can help me, I bought an external ESATA drive and enclosure. Installed the SATA card and everything booted OK. I switched on the external drive and Windows saw it OK. Using WHS I then added the drive to my pool. That was easy I thought, however, when I rebooted my server I can't get past the BIOS screen. The Boot screens show everything, show that the PC has found all my IDE drives, my new External drive, screen goes blank and then nothing. If I boot with the external drive switched off, I boot straight into WHS without a problem (first time I did this I had to remove the drive from the pool but other than that it was error free).

Any ideas, I assumed it might be the SATA card but the system boots OK with that installed, it only fails when I boot with the drive switched ON. As I mentioned, I can even boot to WHS, login and then switch the drive on and windows finds the drive with no complaints. I'm sure its BIO related but I've tried almost everything.

Thanks

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Check the boot order in BIOS - it could be that BIOS is trying to boot off the ESATA drive but you usually get an error about a non system disk with that. Make sure you have the ESATA drive disabled as a boot device as well. If the add-in card does have a separate BIOS (you get a prompt to enter its config by hitting CTRL-A, CTRL-I, etc) you may be able to disable the BIOS on the add-in card since you most likely aren't using it (not booting to it or using it to manage a RAID array).

I generally disable all boot devices except for the drive I'm using with the thought that in the rare event that I do need to boot to a CD or USB drive I can just go into BIOS and re-enable the device. It helps keep the POST time shorter too.

Other than that, I got nothin.

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Th card does have a BIOS but I have no idea how to get into it. Tried the usual suspects of key combinations but nothing..Anybody else got any ideas?

Additionally, does anybody know if an older SATA input will accept the newer drives such as the 1.5TB drive I bought?

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OK, so just an update as to what I did. In the end I couldn't get the WHS to boot with the drive switched on. The motherboard is very old but does have 2 1.0 sata connectors that are not being used. If I connected these to the ESATA cable and connected the drive externally I still had the same problem, however, if I connected the drive directly to the SATA connector AND changed the jumper on the drive to limit the drive to 150MB/sec, the server boots - YAY.

I think this home build is reaching the end of its natural life, while working on it I had some problems with the Graphics card, having some spare I decided to just swap them out, however I quickly discovered that the MB is so old it doesn't even have a PCI express port - lol

Time to go do some housework so I can persuade the wife to buy me a new HP Home Server :)

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