Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
Alex.Covecube

Successfully Enabled Port Multiplier on eSATA

Recommended Posts

ikon

With a supported enclosure, yes, you should be able to see each of 2 drives individually from the eSATA port. For example, my Thermaltake 2-bay toaster drive dock will show 2 drives when connected to an eSATA port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joe_Miner

Hi All,

 

Thinking about adding a port multiplier to an N54L in a month or two (I'll do initial testing on an N40L)

Can I follow the guide, flash the bios / update the driver and operate a 2TB WD and 3TB WD disk off the same ESATA port?

This would free the onboard port for me, to run an SSD for better boot times.

 

I do not want to use RAID 0 or RAID 1 or any trickery - just 2 totally independant disks from the single ESATA port, that's possible if I'm understanding correctly?

 

It's all a big question IMHO. Nobody that I know has had a chance to look at and unlock the BIOS -- we can hope that it is the same (or better) BIOS as on the N36L & N40L but right now nobody knows but HP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wizzbang

My question was applicable to N36L, N40L but regardless my patience is awful - so I've ordered the parts already to try it out, I won't have it all for a week or two. I figure by then some news on the BIOS mods will be out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wizzbang

With a supported enclosure, yes, you should be able to see each of 2 drives individually from the eSATA port. For example, my Thermaltake 2-bay toaster drive dock will show 2 drives when connected to an eSATA port.

 

I missed this answer initially - thank you - really appreciate the response!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ikon

I missed this answer initially - thank you - really appreciate the response!

 

No worries. Good luck with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IKWeb

Hi All

 

Great post, but I am stuck at making the below change

 

There's one more caveat. For some unknown reason, AMD chose to disable the port multiplier functionality in the AHCI driver on any port that's marked as non-removable. By default, all the SATA + eSATA ports are marked as non-removable (or non-hot swappable). Once again, this is a setting that is available in the unlocked BIOS. You will need to enable this for the driver to enable port multiplier support.

 

Where in the BIOS can I find this? I have the new bios installed, but not sure where to look?

 

Many Thanks for any help anyone can give.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ikon

Paging Joe_Miner.... Telegram for Joe_Miner :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IKWeb

Just an update, I have made the changes shown on page 1 of this post

 

http://homeserversho...idden-features/

 

in the 3 screen shots, but when I boot back into Windows 7 x64 I still only see one drive, and only one drive light is lit on the external Esata unit. What I dont seem to be able to do is find anything in device manager which I need to update with the new AMD driver as everything is showing as having a valid driver.

 

Or am i banging my head against a wall, as I have read a few placed that the servers ESATA doesn't support more than 1 drive via ESATA..

Edited by IKWeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joe_Miner

I know some people have mentioned that the HP MicroServer N40L does support an eSATA port multiplier, but I thought that I'd mention a few points about my experience with this:

  • The eSATA and all the SATA ports are connected to the Southbridge SB850.
  • The SB850 can operate the SATA / eSATA ports in a number of modes, IDE / AHCI / RAID. These are set up in the BIOS (hit F10 while booting).
    IDE - Legacy mode (I didn't test this).
    AHCI - The standard for SATA drives. No special driver required (but one is available) from AMD. Can use the default Windows driver.
    RAID - Allows you to optionally set up a RAID and requires a special Windows driver. This mode can be used even if you don't have a RAID setup.
  • Switching between AHCI / RAID changes the hardware ID of the SATA controller. This is akin to swapping in a brand new controller. Because of this, the old controller driver in Windows will not recognize the new mode and Windows will refuse to boot. The easiest way to switch this mode if you really need to is to re-install Windows.
  • I've verified that the SB850 supports a port multiplier on both AHCI and RAID. I've used linux to verify this which just works with it out of the box.
  • The default BIOS is configured to, what they call, "combine" the last 2 SATA ports with IDE. You will want to turn this off. Unfortunately the only way to do this is to get the unofficial unlocked BIOS and turn that off in the new chipset section. I've verified that this setting remains even if you later re-flash the official BIOS.
  • The latest AMD SB850 AHCI driver does support a port multiplier. It's difficult to find the correct driver though. The easiest thing to do is to go to http://amd.com and click Support & Drivers > select Motherboard / Chipset > AMD 7 Series Chipset (yes 7 series) > All... > Windows 7 64-bit. You will want the AMD Chipset Drivers (12.10 as of right now).
     
    Download the EXE.
     
    Now I didn't want to risk running their setup and didn't want anything else to be installed besides the controller driver, so this is what I did.
     
    I extracted the EXE using 7-ZIP and found the correct driver in \12-10_vista_win7_win8_32-64_sb\$_OUTDIR\Packages\Drivers\SBDrv\SB7xx\AHCI\W764. Just open device manager and update the driver manually pointing it to this location. This was for Windows Server 2008 R2, so all WHS variants will use the same driver.
     
    I should stress that this is the AHCI driver and not the RAID driver, which I didn't test. Your BIOS must be set to AHCI for this driver to work.
  • There's one more caveat. For some unknown reason, AMD chose to disable the port multiplier functionality in the AHCI driver on any port that's marked as non-removable. By default, all the SATA + eSATA ports are marked as non-removable (or non-hot swappable). Once again, this is a setting that is available in the unlocked BIOS. You will need to enable this for the driver to enable port multiplier support.

So in summary, to get a port multiplier working over the eSATA port, you must:

  • Put the controller into AHCI mode (in the BIOS).
  • Disable SATA / IDE port "combining" (in the unlocked BIOS).
  • Enable the ability to hot-swap on all ports (in the unlocked BIOS).
  • Install the latest AMD AHCI driver (12.10 as of this writing).

I did not test the AMD RAID driver and I don't know whether it supports a port multiplier, so that may or may not work. I do know for sure that the RAID BIOS controller does support a port multiplier because it works in linux.

 

I hope this helps others who are looking to enable port multiplier support on the HP N40L MicroServer.

 

Message #14

 

I'm glad that you guys found this useful. It took almost the entire day to figure out :)

 

I forgot to mention one other important thing that I found:

  • The unlocked BIOS cannot boot if your SATA controller is in RAID mode. This is not an issue if you're running in AHCI mode, and it's not an issue with the official BIOS.
  • I've noticed that the RAID BIOS drive enumeration process never shows up during the boot cycle. This is something to be aware of.

I believe this means that if your server is set to RAID mode, you will not be able to boot your system if you flash the unlocked BIOS. I didn't spend any time diagnosing this problem because my goal was to get port multiplication working.

 

This is not destructive, because you can simply just flash the official BIOS back.

 

Message #28

 

Yes you're right I left out the A.

 

The correct path is:

\12-10_vista_win7_win8_32-64_sb\$_OUTDIR\Packages\Drivers\SBDrv\SB7xx\AHCI\W764A

 

To update the driver using device manager:

  • Log into the server with Remote Desktop as Administrator.
  • Open Device Manager (type that in the Start menu).
  • Locate the SATA controller, it should be listed under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
  • Right click on it and click Update Driver Software...
  • Select Browse my computer for driver software.
  • Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  • Click Have Disk...
  • Type in or browse to the full path where the driver is located, as I've shown above.
  • Then just click through ok, Next, Finish to install the AMD driver.

 

Hi All

 

Great post, but I am stuck at making the below change

 

There's one more caveat. For some unknown reason, AMD chose to disable the port multiplier functionality in the AHCI driver on any port that's marked as non-removable. By default, all the SATA + eSATA ports are marked as non-removable (or non-hot swappable). Once again, this is a setting that is available in the unlocked BIOS. You will need to enable this for the driver to enable port multiplier support.

 

Where in the BIOS can I find this? I have the new bios installed, but not sure where to look?

 

Many Thanks for any help anyone can give.

 

It's there -- You'll have to wait till I have some time later tonight when I can post a screen shot.

 

Just an update, I have made the changes shown on page 1 of this post

 

http://homeserversho...idden-features/

 

in the 3 screen shots, but when I boot back into Windows 7 x64 I still only see one drive, and only one drive light is lit on the external Esata unit. What I dont seem to be able to do is find anything in device manager which I need to update with the new AMD driver as everything is showing as having a valid driver.

 

Or am i banging my head against a wall, as I have read a few placed that the servers ESATA doesn't support more than 1 drive via ESATA..

 

Alex's 3rd post (see above) that was message #28 in this thread tells you how to update device manager. The SATA Controller does have a valid driver -- it just isn't the AMD driver that's right for port multiplying -- that's why you need to change it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IKWeb

Hi Joe...

 

Many thanks, I didn't see that part about selecting the current device in message 28. I have now got it working many many thanks for your help!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...