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Lian-Li EX-503B How to Setup for Port replication


jdavis37
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I wanted to buy an external drive enclosure with port replication features (main goal is to store data that can easily be swapped out for remote storage and general safekeeping in event of fire, etc). First one I bought was disapointing and had to return it. The Lian Li appears to be well built, quiet fan (important) but the owners manual is sketchy at best regarding setting this up in port replication mode so each drive is individually visible within windows.

 

My first post so ahve not set anything up here... computer is configured as follows (non server):

 

ASUS P8Z77-V deluxe mothercoard

Intel i7 3770K cpu

32Gb Ram

Win 7 Pro 64 bit

2 internal hard drives, 2 drives in hot swap bays in case

 

If anyone can describe how to set up the drives in the Lian Li case as individual drives ( either via eSata or USB3) I would greatly appreciate it. I do not desire a RAID setup in any way nor do i want the case drives to appear as a single large drive. Thx!

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As far as I know, there is nothing to setup on EX-503 as it is a function of the motherboard via eSata if it supports port multipliers (have not messed much with PR). The EX-503b supports port multiplication out of the box with no settings needed, though I have never tested it mainly as I dislike eSata. As I understand it, you will not get port replication from USB 3 and depending on our controller you may need an add on card.

 

Anyone else have experience with port replication?

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Thx... I would lean toward going USB3 if it will recognize all drives individually. I know per manual it has dipswitch settings for the various modes so assumed the switches would need to be set appropriately. I'm fine with either eSata or USB as long as it sees each drive as an individual drive :) Appreciate the help!

 

As far as I know, there is nothing to setup on EX-503 as it is a function of the motherboard via eSata if it supports port multipliers (have not messed much with PR). The EX-503b supports port multiplication out of the box with no settings needed, though I have never tested it mainly as I dislike eSata. As I understand it, you will not get port replication from USB 3 and depending on our controller you may need an add on card.

 

Anyone else have experience with port replication?

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I wanted to do this with my 2nd EX-503, but couldn't get it to work

I did some reading up on JBOD. According to 1 Wikipedia article:

 

JBOD, meaning "Just a Bunch Of Drives", is used to refer to one distinct concept:

  • all disks are independently addressed, with no collective properties. Each physical disk, with all the logical partitions each may contain, is mapped to a different logical volume: just a bunch of disks.

 

The article goes on to say that JBOD and Concatenation (or SPAN or BIG) are often used interchangably, leading to confusion. It appears that this is what Lian-Li has done. To quote the EX-503 User Manual:

 

Concatenating (JBOD)

This mode is also named “JBOD”. In this mode, JMB393 will concatenate all of the hard drives into a

single hard drive with larger capacity. For example, if three 500GB hard disks is connected to JMB393

in concatenating mode, user will get a single hard disk with capacity of 1,500 GB.

The name at the top says it all. From this it sounds like the EX-503 doesn't actually support seeing the drives individually.

 

The issue is further confused because the manual also lists a setting where all the DIP switches are set to H. This is supposed to clear any RAID settings (which presumably also includes JBOD, although I do not consider JBOD to be a form of RAID at all). The manual says it makes the system Port Multiplier aware. Perhaps this would allow the drives to be addressed individually??

 

So it may be exactly as pcdoc says: you can get separate disks if you use have a Port Multiplier aware eSATA connector on your server and connect it to the EX-503. I agree with pcdoc that there's no way USB3 would support it

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I wanted to do this with my 2nd EX-503, but couldn't get it to work

I did some reading up on JBOD. According to 1 Wikipedia article:

 

 

 

The article goes on to say that JBOD and Concatenation (or SPAN or BIG) are often used interchangably, leading to confusion. It appears that this is what Lian-Li has done. To quote the EX-503 User Manual:

 

[/size]

The name at the top says it all. From this it sounds like the EX-503 doesn't actually support seeing the drives individually.

 

The issue is further confused because the manual also lists a setting where all the DIP switches are set to H. This is supposed to clear any RAID settings (which presumably also includes JBOD, although I do not consider JBOD to be a form of RAID at all). The manual says it makes the system Port Multiplier aware. Perhaps this would allow the drives to be addressed individually??

 

So it may be exactly as pcdoc says: you can get separate disks if you use have a Port Multiplier aware eSATA connector on your server and connect it to the EX-503. I agree with pcdoc that there's no way USB3 would support it

 

Thx... I fear I may be barking up atree on this one and guess I'll find out soon enough as I ahve a 503 on its way. Having a bad computer night as I just discovered my motherboard USB3 19 pin connector has a bent and a broken pin. While am sure the builder will replce am just not into a complete system tear down and will find other ways around that.

 

now, the 503.. I beleive my ASUS motherbaord is port replicating aware for its esata and guess that is now my hope versus USB. It would seem USB would ahve been simpler but perhaps the RAID setup on the Lian Li is such that USB cannot possibly work. Just hope this doesn't turn into a mess! Appreciate th feedback thus far.

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I decided to use JBOD Concatenation and USB3. What I'm doing is backup data to the JBOD drive, then eject the drive and replace the disks with another set, so I have 2 sets that I can rotate offsite. I still have testing to do though, so I can't fully say it's all working. Of course, the drives will be fully labelled, so I can put them back in the correct order.

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Case arrived yesterday and I decided to set it up this morning. I had a new unformatted 2 Tb drive and 2 older 750 Gb drives that were boxed up. I also have a 1tb drive and another 750 Gb drive in my old coputer that will be transferred to this case. Case arrived jumpered to "Clear RAID" mode that is also analgous to port replication mode though the manual is very unclear about this. I placed the 2 - 750 Gb drives 9they were formatted and had data on them) and the new unformatted 2Tb drive in their respective slots, connected via USB3, and powered up. The two 750 Gb drives were immediately recognized as individual drives, each ahving their own unique drive letter assigned. it also recognized the unformatted 2Tb drive which I quickly formatted. As of this writing all 3 drives are recognized individually and all is working well. Anyone wanting port replication via USB3 can have such using this chassis. I have not checked vi eSata. Appreciate the earlier feedback.

 

All 4 dipswitches are set to H

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This is excellent news! And I agree, the manual is singularly fuzzy about it. They should not be calling the Concatenation mode JBOD for one thing.

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I ran it in esata mode and it works there as well with my motherbaord but am going to stay with USB3 for now. No issues as of yet. Just extracted 2 other drives from my old computer and will soon be full in this thing (until I start buying 3 Tb drives). Love the idea of this and glad it does work with either USB3 or eSata!

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