From: Edward W. Thompson on

"Paul" <nospam(a)> wrote in message news:hd762a$167$1(a)
> Edward W. Thompson wrote:
>> "Paul" <nospam(a)> wrote in message news:hd5usm$kqf$1(a)
>>> Edward W. Thompson wrote:
>>>> I have been trying to install a eSata PCIe card into my machine
>>>> (Gigabyte GA-P45-DS3 MB) to drive my Seagate FreeAgent external HDD.
>>>> So far I have tried two cards, one with a SIL3112 chipset and the other
>>>> with a JMicron360 chipset. Both cards appear to install and drivers
>>>> loaded (x64 drivers). Device Manager indicates the cards are
>>>> functional. The problem is the Seagate FreeAgent drive is not
>>>> recognized. The drive functions without problems from a USB port.
>>>> Although not relevant I have four internal HDDs connected to SATA
>>>> ports.
>>>> Scanning Google gives rise to many comments on the problem of getting
>>>> PCIe eSATA cards to function correctly but to date I have not seen a
>>>> definitive answer as to how to get the card to function. There is an
>>>> indication that AHCI needs to be loaded and I have tried this. It
>>>> seems that AHCI drivers can be loaded after the OS by changing the
>>>> value in the Registry of msachi
>>>> (HKLM\system\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msachi) to 0, then to reboot
>>>> and enable ACHI in the Bios. When I did this (Msachi was already at 0,
>>>> which seemed strange as the indication was that it should have been at
>>>> 1), WIN 7 x64 stalled during reboot. As an aside it took several
>>>> minutes to get past loading the ACHI drivers which seemed wrong. I have
>>>> reverted to running the drive from USB.
>>>> That's the story to date. Has anyone any experience of successfully
>>>> installing aPCIe eSATA card and can give some guidance to the
>>>> procedure?
>>> So are you trying to use the FreeAgent as your boot drive ? Or is the
>>> FreeAgent going to be a data drive, while your internal drive
>>> continues to be the boot drive ?
>>> The recipe for changing an AHCI setting, implies you're changing the
>>> Southbridge SATA interface from some other state, to AHCI. So the
>>> recipe you're following, is intended for situations where you
>>> sought to operate all the Southbridge interfaces in AHCI mode.
>>> It would be suitable, if the boot drive was connected to the
>>> Southbridge, and for some reason, you needed the AHCI driver
>>> so a second Southbridge SATA port could be used to hot-plug
>>> to a second SATA drive. The registry change is presumably intended
>>> to get Win7 to use the AHCI driver, so that the whole Southbridge
>>> uses it. And then, the second SATA device would be controlled by
>>> that driver.
>>> This is an independent issue from making AHCI work on the Jmicron360.
>>> The Jmicron360 is not part of your Southbridge. For that card, you
>>> would likely control it via a driver choice. As near as I can tell here,
>>> the driver file is jraid.sys, and presumably covers both RAID operation
>>> and AHCI on the Jmicron chip. If you don't use the utility to add RAID
>>> metadata to a disk, the disk connected to the Jmicron chip would likely
>>> be treated as AHCI (non-RAID).
>>> Windows 7 probably has a lot of drivers built in, and
>>> it may have already applied a driver for the JMB360.
>>> Perhaps you could check the properties of the device
>>> manager entry, and see what driver file is being used.
>>> In terms of procedures, say you thought the AHCI driver wasn't fully
>>> working, and hot-plug was broken. Then, you'd turn on the
>>> FreeAgent power, with the USB cable disconnected, and the ESATA
>>> cable connected to the Jmicron card. Then, start the PC, and
>>> allow it to boot from your regular boot drive. Next, go to
>>> either Device Manager, and see if a new storage device is there.
>>> Or go to Disk Management, and see if something has shown up there.
>>> Occasionally, there are people who have disk drives, where
>>> hot-plug doesn't work, and yet the drive works if it is present
>>> and detected at powerup. That is usually a driver/settings issue.
>>> In the case of the Jmicron, I don't know if there is even an
>>> option to install a broken driver. The download does include
>>> an IDE item, but that might be something that gets installed for
>>> one of the other chips, like a 363. As near as I can tell, the
>>> only file is the jraid.sys . So it should just... work.
>>> Of your two card choices, in this case, I'd try the Jmicron
>>> product first.
>>> Paul
>> My thanks to you Paul and RJK for your replies. My intention is simply
>> to use the 'FreeAgent' drive as a data drive, not a boot drive. I do
>> have the JMicron card installed and Device Manager reports the
>> 'jRaid.sys' v driver installed and the device is operating
>> normally. However, when booting with the eSata cable connected and the
>> FreeAgent drive 'on', the drive is not found and the FreeAgent 'Launcher'
>> reports 'no drive connected'.
>> Thank you for your explanation of the function of AHCI and the
>> 'southbridge' as that puts those issues to rest as a possible cause of
>> the 'problem'.
>> I really don't know what else can be tried. Searching Google shows the
>> driver installed is the most recent and trying other drivers returns the
>> message that the driver installed is the 'best' driver available. If I
>> only had one PCIe card I would suspect a card problem but both the
>> JMicron and the SIL3112 card exhibit the same characteristics.
>> Do you have any other avenues I might explore? The issue is not critical
>> but it is so maddening to have a piece of kit that is supposed to
>> function in a particular way and simply doesn't.
> Is the USB interface on the FreeAgent disconnected when you're
> attempting to use the ESATA ? The PCB design inside the drive,
> may use fairly simple logic for arbitrating control of the
> drive, and it could be that the ESATA remains disabled inside,
> because the FreeAgent still thinks the user is using USB.
> Other than that, it could be an outright failure of the
> ESATA interface. Or even a bad cable. Or a plug not fully seated
> in the connector. I've read at least one account yesterday, of
> an ESATA card, where misalignment of the connector with respect
> to the faceplate, was preventing the plug from seating properly.
> Paul

Thanks Paul, your point about the seating of the aSata connection is a good
one and may be relevant. The connector on the card is quite close to the
rib on the case and when I connected I wondered whether the plug was fully
home,. Obviously at the time I thought it was otherwise my post(s) wouldn't
have made sense. I'll remove the screw holding the card in the case to see
whether the plug will insert further,

With respect to your point about the USB connection and eSate connection to
the FreeAgent drive being made at the same time, the answer is no, the drive
is disconnected from USB before making the eSATA connection.

Addressing a failure of the card, that can't be ruled out but it would seem
extraordinary bad luck if both the JMicron and the SIL3112 card were both
faulty. The cable is new but that does not exclude the possibility of there
being a fault. I don't have another so for the meantime I am assuming the
cable is OK.

My thanks once more.

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