10.6 compatible eSATA card for '09 Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Transporteur, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #1
    Hello guys,

    I'm looking for a very simple eSATA card for my Pro.
    2 ports are enough so far.
    It just should have to work flawlessly and should support full eSATA speed.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    If you don't need boot capability, then any of the PCIe based SIL3132 cards will work (Silicon Image has Mac drivers out for SL on thier site). It's a 2 oort card that you can configure to use internal or external ports via jumpers (rather sweet IMO, as it's versatile). Example. They're inexpensive as well, as you can see. Typically ~$25USD, though I'm not sure if the price is higher in the UK or not. I know the taxes alone make it more expensive. You might try eBay's UK site to locate one.

    But the bootable model from Highpoint is expensive ($230USD at OWC). :eek: But it's the only bootable eSATA card (I've not seen any internal SATA models).
     
  3. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    What about the Arc-1202 two port eSATA card? Its about 135€ in Europe.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think it boots OS X but it is specified for Apple EFI. It is basic in terms of having only 1x PCIe but it does all the basic RAID modes.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #5
    It's a true RAID card, and it does Boot EFI. :D

    I was sticking with eSATA only, but not a bad idea to mention, especially as it does boot EFI. $135EUR converts to ~$203USD (I used xe.com), so it's less expensive than the Highpoint product, and does more.

    Not the least expensive solution, compared to a really basic eSATA card (no booting, just driver suport), but not bad, for what it is. A couple of 4x bay eSATA enclosures, and you've 8x drives to configure in array/s.
     
  5. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    135€ is a little too expensive for me at the moment.
    I have to save some money for a decent internal Raid card which boots both OS X from a Raid and Windows.
    Unfortunately the ARC-1210 gugucom uses does not support that, so I have to invest a little bit more.

    The HighPoint 3510 seems to support that, but 340€ is everything but cheap. :(


    In terms of eSATA I really don't need a Raid card. Just a basic card that allows me to hook up one, maybe two drives.
    The cheap solution nanofrog showed looks perfect. Unfortunately I haven't found a single vendor for such cheap cards with the SIL3132 chip. Neither in the UK, nor in Germany.
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    No, it can't. None of HighPoint's products can. You have to choose which OS you want it to boot, and load the proper firmware (default = BIOS, and it cannot hold both, as the ROM's too small).

    UK eBay has one (here). $2.80GBP. Awfully expensive there... :p

    The same seller also has it posted on the German eBay site (seller's physical location is in Hong Kong). 10 in stock, 99.1% Positive Feedback, and lots of sales. I think you'd be OK with the seller.

    Physically, it's the same card I linked from newegg (the color of the solder mask is different), and it claims that it is in fact an SIL3132 chip in the specifications towards the bottom of the page. :)
     
  7. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    I finally ordered the card nanofrog found on ebay.
    A german online shop sells them for 20€. Twice as much as the original price from the ebay reseller, but still pretty cheap.

    I hope it works with my external enclosure.
    Maybe I can also connect my internal Windows drive to it and place it in the lower optical bay.

    Unfortunately I am still not aware of what I need to get power for a additional 2.5" drive in my lower optical bay.
    DIY would be no problem, but what adapters do I need to get two power cords from the combined SATA connector?

    From what I understood I need to replace the current second ODD bay cable with a new one. Is that hard to do? I really don't want to disassemble any parts of the computer for that to keep the warranty.
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    I'd seen it on the German eBay site, but it was more expensive there for some reason (different seller). So I linked the UK site, and presumed shipping was possible (not listed as NO, such as Italy).

    What enclosure are you using?

    Yes. The BIOS emulation will kick in from the EFI firmware, and allow the card's BIOS to boot the disk.

    But IIRC, you have an '09, and it's not necessary. Those can boot Windows off the ODD SATA port that's available for the empty optical bay.

    Assuming you've an '09, here's one way.

    1. Get a Backplane Extension Cable
    2. Get a SATA power cable
    3. Cut the Female end off of the SATA power cable, and splice the Male end to the power connections on the Backplane Extension Cable.

    Power, and no modifications to the system that will void the warranty. Not expensive either, though the cost of the cables are likely to differ for you, given your location.

    gugucom found a smaller adapter that can also work there in Germany. A bit cleaner, but I can't recall the source. But there is a link in MR somewhere. ;)
     
  9. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    I already have a Intel in the second ODD bay and honestly I don't want to use it with such a cheap SATA card. ;)
    Therefore booting my bootcamp drive from that card would be perfect.


    My external enclosure is a Macpower SK-3500 with both FW and eSata. Really not the best enclosure by the way.


    I found a backplane extension on ebay germany. 20cm for only 7€. Click
    Pretty nice deal. :D


    Thank you very much for your advice nanofrog!
    I really appreciate your effort.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #11
    I didn't realize the second ODD SATA port was already occupied. I'd leave the SSD on it as you want, and run the mechanical to the card. It will be able to boot it (I do presume the actual model you picked up is identical, and therefore has the BIOS ROM on it).

    It's a single drive enclosure, so it will work, no problem. It's if it uses a Port Mulitplier chip that you have to pay a bit more attention, as not all SATA/eSATA cards can handle them (or work with specific model PM chips).

    I presume this is for an additional drive. Backup maybe?

    If you want, search for gugucom's solution, or if you can't locate it, send him a PM. It's much smaller, so the internals will be cleaner. I'm just not sure if you'll have enough room, now that I know you'll have a mechanical + SSD stuffed in the bay.

    Otherwise, what you found will certainly work, and it's a good price I think. Ready-made cables of this sort are the least expensive associated with RAIDs and backplanes. MiniSAS cables can get pricy (~$30USD for internal, and $50USD+ for short externals, usually higher).

    :cool: NP. :)
     
  11. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    I just found another cable from the same vendor, which seems to offer exactly what I want.
    Two more SATA power connectors from a single connector.
    [​IMG]

    Shouldn't that work too? It's even cheaper than the solution with the backplane extension and a little smaller.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    You have to be careful, as it may not fit the backplane adapter when combined with the SATA data cable for the SSD. The plastic on the side may over-hang too much. An X-Acto knife can do wonders (shaving the sides that will butt up to one another), but you have to be careful.

    Splicing will eliminate the need to do so. Up to you, but gugucom ran into that IIRC (not sure he attempted to shave it though), and why he went with the adapter he eventually located.

    Just a word of caution. If you've a DIY spirit, give it a go. But if you want to make sure it will work without having to mod, or order new parts, you may want to skip it. ;)
     
  13. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #15
    You know what, I just buy the connectors for both ways. :rolleyes:
    The cable prices are lower than expected and I better buy more than needed, instead of ordering again and waiting two more weeks.


    @BobD2
    I already read the article, but both cards are extremely expensive. Way more than I like to spend at the moment.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #16
    The eSATA bracket won't work in '09 systems, and the ODD_SATA ports in the '06 - '08's can't boot a Windows disk. 4 port cards are rather steep in price, but would work.

    I managed to locate an inexpensive 2 port card that works with Mac (including SL). It's based on the SIL3132 chip, and worst case, falls in a little under $25USD (newegg). There's a Hong Kong based eBay supplier for less ($13.47USD, including S/H, here). It's the exact same card, save the color of the solder mask.
     
  15. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #17
    I just received the new 2.5" drive (320GB Scorpio Black) which is supposed to hold my Windows installation.
    At the moment Windows is installed on a 500GB 3.5" drive.

    Now I'm wondering how I can clone the current drive to the new one. CCC does not work because it can't write NTFS.
     
  16. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #18
    Use the Winclone donation ware from twocanoes.
     
  17. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #19
    I have different experience. The 2006, 2007 and 2009 MP can boot Windows from the ODD SATA ports very well if you have set the HDD or SSD to the AHCI mode. There is only the 2008 model which according to a report by Nedev35 and yourself will not boot windows from ODD SATA.
     
  18. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Unfortunately they discontinued WinClone due some issues with Windows 7, which is what I use. :(
     
  19. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #21
    This is the first time I hear the bad news. Winclone has been a valuable resource for so long. I'm sad and shocked. I can imagine that Microsoft got them to discontinue. RIP Winclone.
     
  20. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #22
    Seemed to be a very good software. I've read the forums a little and some people say that a beta was capable of doing proper clones, you can't get the version though. All download links are down.

    Acronis True Image does not support the GPT partition bootcamp creates, so that does not work either.

    I'm currently creating an image of the source disk with Disk Utility. I hope I can restore that image to the target disk. I'm not very confident though as my OS X is not able to write NTFS.

    Edit: Nope, restoring the disk with an image does not work.
     
  21. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Still haven't found a suitable method to clone the current installation to the new (smaller) hard drive.

    I found a 2.2 version of Winclone which actually is able to create an image file of the source disk, can't restore it though, due to the different sizes of the disks.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    I was under the impression that the '06 - '07 systems were as well, from other posts.

    In the '08's, getting AHCI to engage can be done on the HDD ports, but don't work with the ODD_SATA ports. Even when it's intitially installed on the HDD ports and transfered to the ODD_SATA ports. It's wierd, but tested = FAIL. :(
     
  23. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    Location:
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    #25
    In Winclone 2.2 you best compress the actual file system in place so that there is practically no space left. Look into the extras/options for that. Then you pull a special compressed, non mountable image of the Windows drive. Refit that compressed image to the new drive and use extras/options again to expand it. If you forget to expand you will have BSOD on startup when Windows tries to create the page out file due to lack of drive space.
     

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