Mac Mini eSATA Hack Drive Limitation

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ksmith173, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. ksmith173 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #1
    I have a 2009 Mac Mini Server (Macmini3,1) with a 2.53GHz C2D and 4GB Ram. I removed the top HDD (where the DVD drive would be on a normal mini), and routed a SATA to eSATA cable out the back of the mini (I used a male-to-male adapter to achieve this). I have a OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 with 4 2TB drives in RAID 5 (so I have a 6TB volume). I was unable to get the mini to recognize that anything was connected when using my eSATA connection. When I connect the drive via Firewire 800, everything works as it should. I was able to format the drive, etc.

    So my question is, should my Mac Mini recognize this 6TB volume when I attempt to connect it via my eSATA hack?
     
  2. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #2
    I must admit, this worries me. I was planning to do this on a Mini on my own, with the exact same setup as you (including the enclosure). I have no idea why this wouldn't work, the RAID controller is hardware in the enclosure, and S-ATA is just S-ATA to my knowledge.

    I may be horribly wrong, of course...
     
  3. philipma1957, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    I built two of these let me help you troubleshoot. your unit needs an esata port multiplier to work.

    go to this link

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEQX2KIT0GB/

    it lets you know you need esata cards to make esata work. here are units that work


    http://www.sansdigital.com/towerstor/ts2ct.html

    you can do 6tb raid0 or 3tb raid1

    http://www.sansdigital.com/towerstor/ts1ut.html

    this will work with up to 3tb 1 hdd


    http://eshop.macsales.com/owcpages/guardianmax_mini.html

    this will work as raid1 or raid0


    right now I am using these below


    http://www.amazon.com/Fantom-G-Forc...8IRC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297271965&sr=8-1


    I have tests and photos. The qx2 is nice unit very good for fw800 time machine if you have a mac mini.
     
  4. ksmith173 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #4
    eSATA card should not be necessary. I hooked up this enclosure to a Windows desktop using the same SATA to eSATA cable, and the POST screen showed the enclosure, and Windows Disk Management showed the 6TB enclosure.

    This SATA to eSATA cable adapter is specifically mentioned as an option for Mac Pro users:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/MPQXES2/

    I did other testing to ensure that my Male-to-male adapter was not bad. It works great.

    So, I have concluded that there seems to be some compatibility issue with the enclosure and the nvidia southbridge in the mini, or the raid volume is simply too large. I have yet to find any mac mini eSata hack guide that mentions using anything other than a 2TB external volume.
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Neither does OWC state that the unit requires a PM eSATA port, nor would it make any sense.
    The unit has a build in RAID controller, so the discs will be available as one to the port, not 4 individual ones.

    Most of the cards that OWC RECOMMENDS (they do NOT say you need an eSATA card) don't even support PM. Certainly the simple SATA to eSATA bracket does not and apparently the unit works with this bracket, otherwise OWC wouldn't list it as recommended.
     
  6. philipma1957, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    Not to argue it needs a port multiplier to work. I am speaking from experience. I have owned two of the units. that unit the owc qx2 needs a esata jack that supports port multiplication if you want to use it with esata.

    I have more links. he can email and ask .
     
  7. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #7
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #8
    let me try it one more time. forget pm card forget raid controller.

    The sata jack in a mac mini won't work with a qx2.

    it will work with the other enclosures I gave. I am having trouble explaining why it won't work. OWC has said they will come out with a better qx2 that the esata is correctly seen as one drive to an esata jack. I a looking for the blog that owc explains why it does not work.
     
  9. ksmith173, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

    ksmith173 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #9
    If you could find it I would appreciate it.

    Edit: I have just chatted with OWC tech support:
    Adam Thomas: [1:34:56 PM] You can try rebooting with the drive attached and turned on - to see if it will recognize it. But - the Qx2 does not require port multiplication. There is a list of supported eSATA cards on our site that work with the Qx2.
    Kyle Smith: [1:35:20 PM] I have tried that
    [1:36:27 PM] it will not show up in disk utility
    [1:36:59 PM] it works fine via Firewire 800, but I was really hoping to get it working using SATA to eSATA for the added speed
    Adam Thomas: [1:37:47 PM] Doesn't look like it's compatible with that SATA connection.
    Kyle Smith: [1:38:44 PM] That is the conclusion I had come to as well. Is there any hope for a firmware update for the QX2 that may fix this issue?
    Adam Thomas: [1:40:14 PM] I don't think so - but can't rule it out. The problem could be the chipset of the Qx2 & the Mini SATA controller are not compatible. Even if we updated our firmware it doesn't guarantee it would work with the Mini Server.
     

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