My eSata doesn't work, am I missing something?

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
I have a 2006 Mac Pro and today I installed the eSata extender cable so I can use the two hidden Sata ports with my external drive.
The first time I booted up after installing it, I couldn't click on anything (my cursor moved) and my bluetooth keyboard didn't work. Using my MBP to control the screen over the network, I looked at system profiler and the sata page reported an error scanning for sata devices. I dismantled everything and checked it was all connected right, and rebuilt it all.

I've tried restarting several times, I can't start up at all (stuck at the blue screen) with it connected. If I connect it early during startup, I get the same problem as before with no clicking (no idea how that could be connected).
If I connected it late during or after startup, nothing shows up in the system profiler under the two internal sata ports. As I understand it, you can't hot-plug these sata ports, so that's normal?
 

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
I have a 2006 Mac Pro and today I installed the eSata extender cable so I can use the two hidden Sata ports with my external drive.
The first time I booted up after installing it, I couldn't click on anything (my cursor moved) and my bluetooth keyboard didn't work. Using my MBP to control the screen over the network, I looked at system profiler and the sata page reported an error scanning for sata devices. I dismantled everything and checked it was all connected right, and rebuilt it all.

I've tried restarting several times, I can't start up at all (stuck at the blue screen) with it connected. If I connect it early during startup, I get the same problem as before with no clicking (no idea how that could be connected).
If I connected it late during or after startup, nothing shows up in the system profiler under the two internal sata ports. As I understand it, you can't hot-plug these sata ports, so that's normal?

According to a few users here connecting or disconnecting an SATA device with the Mac Pro powered up is dangerous. So don't do that (again).

My only question is do you have power to the drive? There are two cables you know. One is the extended data cable from the MP and the other is power - to be supplied typically by the enclosure (case).
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
According to a few users here connecting or disconnecting an SATA device with the Mac Pro powered up is dangerous. So don't do that (again).
Ok that sounds like advice worth taking :)

My only question is do you have power to the drive? There are two cables you know. One is the extended data cable from the MP and the other is power - to be supplied typically by the enclosure (case).
Yip, it's in a external USB / FW / eSata enclosure, and works perfectly over USB / FW, and has it's own gigantic power brick.
 

gugucom

macrumors 68020
May 21, 2009
2,136
0
Munich, Germany
If you have the cables connected in the right way the most likely reason for OS X not recognizing your external drive may be the interface in your external back plane. If it contains hardware that OS X has no driver for you will not be able to get it to work.
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
If you have the cables connected in the right way the most likely reason for OS X not recognizing your external drive may be the interface in your external back plane. If it contains hardware that OS X has no driver for you will not be able to get it to work.
As in the stuff I've added inside my MP? It's just a cable to extend the extra Sata ports already on the mother board (logic board in macs?), it's designed specifically to fit the Mac Pro's awkward placement and there no mention of needed extra software for it.
Sata/eSata are industry standards and there was no mention of needed extra drivers with my external drive?
 

JesterJJZ

macrumors 68020
Jul 21, 2004
2,406
751
The internal sata ports are NOT hot swappable. If you turn disks on or off while logged on you will likely hang or crash or drive off a cliff.
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
The internal sata ports are NOT hot swappable. If you turn disks on or off while logged on you will likely hang or crash or drive off a cliff.
As I mentioned in my first post, I know. I only tried plugging it in during/after startup because my system froze during startup if it was connected.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
As I mentioned in my first post, I know. I only tried plugging it in during/after startup because my system froze during startup if it was connected.
You need to make sure the max cable length is 1.0m per the SATA spec, as this thing is passive. So that means the cable from the logic board to the PCI bracket + eSATA cable to the drive, and any internal cable in the enclosure to the actual drive.

Startup Sequence, assuming you haven't been doing it this way.
1. Turn on the external drive
2. Turn on the MP

Why:
The client edition of OS X does not support hot swapping either (not the same as hot plug). What this means, is you can't start the system, then plug in the drive and have OS X recognize it with standard OS X. You'd need the Server edition to get this feature, and it's not cheap. Especially just for that. ;) :p
 

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
As I mentioned in my first post, I know. I only tried plugging it in during/after startup because my system froze during startup if it was connected.
About what I said. About plugging and unplugging being dangerous. That's only the MP power. If you're just plugging or unplugging the data cable more than likely nothing damaging will happen. Likely they'll just not mount at all. They have to be powered and connected before the Mac gray boot screen appears during startup for the unit(s) to be recognized and mounted.

After mounting they can be "ejected" with a right click - though I understand you're not getting that far yet. Just saying...
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
You need to make sure the max cable length is 1.0m per the SATA spec, as this thing is passive. So that means the cable from the logic board to the PCI bracket + eSATA cable to the drive, and any internal cable in the enclosure to the actual drive.

Startup Sequence, assuming you haven't been doing it this way.
1. Turn on the external drive
2. Turn on the MP

Why:
The client edition of OS X does not support hot swapping either (not the same as hot plug). What this means, is you can't start the system, then plug in the drive and have OS X recognize it with standard OS X. You'd need the Server edition to get this feature, and it's not cheap. Especially just for that. ;) :p
Hmm, my cable is about 90cm, the cables in the bracket are maybe about another 30cm. Could this cause my issues with not being able to start up?
I guess I'll need a shorter cable if this is the issue, that'll be pretty inconvenient though having such a short cable :/
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,782
198
Canada
I have a 2006 Mac Pro and today I installed the eSata extender cable so I can use the two hidden Sata ports with my external drive.
The first time I booted up after installing it, I couldn't click on anything (my cursor moved) and my bluetooth keyboard didn't work. Using my MBP to control the screen over the network, I looked at system profiler and the sata page reported an error scanning for sata devices. I dismantled everything and checked it was all connected right, and rebuilt it all.

I've tried restarting several times, I can't start up at all (stuck at the blue screen) with it connected. If I connect it early during startup, I get the same problem as before with no clicking (no idea how that could be connected).
If I connected it late during or after startup, nothing shows up in the system profiler under the two internal sata ports. As I understand it, you can't hot-plug these sata ports, so that's normal?

If you can't get the ports to work then you may want to consider an internal e-sata card I have the one below it works great fairly cheap as well got it for ~$50 plus shipping from OWC.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_e2p.html
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Hmm, my cable is about 90cm, the cables in the bracket are maybe about another 30cm. Could this cause my issues with not being able to start up?
I guess I'll need a shorter cable if this is the issue, that'll be pretty inconvenient though having such a short cable :/
If the cable exceeds that distance, it won't work. Sometimes as you get closer to the max limit, it might mount then disappear at random. It will drive you nutz.

So get a shorter eSATA cable from the bracket to the drive. Say 0.5m, and you will be within the spec's cable length requirement. ;)
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
If the cable exceeds that distance, it won't work. Sometimes as you get closer to the max limit, it might mount then disappear at random. It will drive you nutz.

So get a shorter eSATA cable from the bracket to the drive. Say 0.5m, and you will be within the spec's cable length requirement. ;)
Ok, I finally got a 0.5m eSata cable, to including that cable and the logicboard-port bracket thingy, it's easy under a meter in total, with room to spare. Still doesn't work tho :(

When I try to start up with it connected and turned on, my Mac just stays at the plain grey screen, before the Apple logo.
 

Pixellated

macrumors 65816
Apr 1, 2008
1,099
0
Ok, I finally got a 0.5m eSata cable, to including that cable and the logicboard-port bracket thingy, it's easy under a meter in total, with room to spare. Still doesn't work tho :(

When I try to start up with it connected and turned on, my Mac just stays at the plain grey screen, before the Apple logo.
Try holding alt/option at boot, and select 'Macintosh HD'.
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
What are you trying to hook up there? Is it a bootable device?
It's a 1TB drive with two partitions, one should be bootable (backup of my main drive done with Carbon Copy Cloner). The enclosure also has USB and works fine with that.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
Your using an internal sata port adding in a controller board between it and the drive that is your issue. You can't just convert a sata into an esata port.
 

a350

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2009
103
0
Not sure if this is your problem but on a external drive I have the sata cable would not seat properly because the enclosure, I had to trim about 1/4" off the cables rubber at the connector before the cable would seat all the way in the connection, it was a WD 1TB MyBook.
 

gugucom

macrumors 68020
May 21, 2009
2,136
0
Munich, Germany
It's a 1TB drive with two partitions, one should be bootable (backup of my main drive done with Carbon Copy Cloner). The enclosure also has USB and works fine with that.
I was suspecting a bootcamp partition, but that is apparently not present. I would also recommend to make it as simple as possible and hook up just an HSF formatted drive with Mac Pro or enclosure power.
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
Your using an internal sata port adding in a controller board between it and the drive that is your issue. You can't just convert a sata into an esata port.
This is the exact cable I have, and it's manufactured specifically to fit in behind the Mac Pros fan enclosure and fit eSata ports at the back, so I doubt they'd make it if you can't use it for this purpose?
http://www.newertech.com/products/esata_cable.php
 

BHamilton

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2009
25
0
Canada
This is the exact cable I have, and it's manufactured specifically to fit in behind the Mac Pros fan enclosure and fit eSata ports at the back, so I doubt they'd make it if you can't use it for this purpose?
http://www.newertech.com/products/esata_cable.php
No problem there, we use those on our Macs for e-sata evidence drives. Can assure you 100% sata-to-esata extension works.

I would humor everyone and remove the drive from the enclosure and hook it direct to the board (you can run a straight sata cable from the board to the drive - borrow power from the optical drive bay). This will confirm the ODD port works.

If this doesn't make sense to try, forgive me, I've been down this road before.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I know the drive and enclosure works as I use it with USB, so this would just be a lot of hassle n wouldn't really prove anything?
You've proven the enclosure works with USB only. It's possible the eSATA port on the enclosure, the eSATA bracket itself (cable or bad ends in the eSATA connector), or the external cable is the source of the malfunction.

Try both ports on the eSATA bracket. If it's not working on either, then pull the drive and attach it to the logic board. Check each ODD_SATA port to see if they are functional.

It takes time, but the process of elimination will help to isolate the issue. Worst case, if there's still a problem, post what was done, and someone can hopefully help out.

Your using an internal sata port adding in a controller board between it and the drive that is your issue. You can't just convert a sata into an esata port.
Actually, no. It's just a means of cable connection from the ODD_SATA ports to external enclosures.

The bracket is just a convenient way of doing it, but there's no circuits in-between the logic board and the enclosure (and eSATA is just a pass-through on the little board in the enclosure directly to the drive).