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Esata question


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Hey guys,

I have WHS 2011 installed on my Microserver and I was wondering if anyone can tell me if the Esata port on the back can be hot pluggable?

Currently i haven't installed any AMD drivers and I have to restart the server before it will detect the esata drive.


Thanks in advance.

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To be honest, I have yet to find a system where the eSATA port was reliable as far as auto-detection is concerned. That's why I do most of mine using USB.

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Let me clarify. When I talk about eSATA reliability, I'm only talking about its support for hot-plugging.


Sometimes, I would plug a drive into an eSATA port and the system would auto-discover it, but most often it wouldn't. It was very hit and miss. Now, what always worked was rebooting the system and letting the POST routine discover the drive(s). Of course, having to reboot is not so convenient and can be a real problem if you have services running that need to be available 24/7.


The other issue with eSATA was disconnecting drives. Unlike USB, I never found a 'Disconnect' option for eSATA. I only figured out 2 options for disconnecting eSATA drives:

  1. just wait long enough to be sure there was no more activity on the eSATA drive(s) and then just disconnect them. This might sound really risky, but I actually encountered few or no problems with it. This did surprise me, but it is what it is.
  2. Despite no issues, I still never felt completely comfortable with just yanking a drive from the system. Eventually, I figured out that I could go into Disk Manager and put the eSATA drive(s) Offline. I felt much more comfortable yanking out drives in this situation. It's the closest I came to the USB 'Disconnect' option. It's not as convenient and easy as USB, but it does seem to work.

Now, I always made sure all eSATA drives were set to 'Optimize for quick removal' in the drive properties. This helped ensure all data was flushed from the cache(s) before the drives were removed.


These days, I try to use USB3 for external drives, simply because it's as fast as eSATA and does have the easier-to-use 'Disconnect' option. I do recognise that USB3 is not necessarily a great option for the N40L, given its limited number of PCIe slots.


Bottom line, eSATA is fast and, with a little caution, is also reliable, so don't be afraid of it.

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