NewerTech eSATA extender cable

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by student101, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. student101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #1
    Has anyone tried to do a RAID configuration on an external drive hooked up with eSATA? I have a 500GB MyBook hooked up via eSATA using NewerTech's eSATA extender cable (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/MPQXES2/). I am trying to set up a RAID 0 with a 500GB internal drive. Has anyone else tried something like this? I cannot get it to work for some reason. There's either a) something wrong with the drive, or b) what I'm trying to do isn't supported (at least not in Leopard).
     
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #2
    Let me get this straight...

    You are trying to create a RAID0 volume from one internal and one external drive?

    Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong but you need two exact, or almost exact drives for this to work. This is probably your problem here.
     
  3. student101 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #3
    Yes, I am trying to create a RAID0 volume from one internal and one external drive.

    I'll go ahead and correct you. The drives do not have to be identical. It is beneficial to have them the same size, but whether they are external or internal is of little importance. The problem I am having, and the question I am asking, is not whether it is possible to set up a RAID with internal/external disks (I know how this works and have done it on many occasions). My question is whether or not anyone has tried it before using the NewerTech eSATA extender cable (or similar).
     
  4. toru173 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    #4
    I don't see how it would be a problem. I've used a similar cable and a similar concept for my PC, and it's my understanding that the Mac Pro sees the "external" drive as internal anyway.

    My guess is that if the OS can see it, you could RAID it.
     
  5. student101 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #5
    Yes, I thought the same thing. But in practice it doesn't seem to be working. I can set up the RAID, although it takes longer than usual, but then when I actually use the RAID volume, it hangs up and freezes. The eSATA interface works fine on its own, as does the USB and FireWire. I can successfully RAID the disk using FireWire, and it works fine. Today, I returned the drive and bought a different one, but still have the same problem. The problem is ONLY when using eSATA, and even then, ONLY when using RAID.
     
  6. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #6
    AFAIK it needs to be on the same controller.

    Never has worked for me on PC mobos doing it on different controllers.
     
  7. student101 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #7
    Last night I tried running two identical external drives hooked up via NewerTech's eSATA extender cable. I had nothing but problems. I think there is a real problem with this cable (at least using Leopard). So, my solution was just to run the RAID0 on these same drives via FW800 (which runs great, of course). But I am REALLY disappointed that I couldn't get the eSATA to run properly.
     
  8. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #8

    Just to clarify.

    1.So you run the cables via the free nr.1 and nr.2 slots on the mobo?

    2.Does the drives work separately,ia, Drive 1 and Drive 2?

    3.Have you managed to raid them if you put one in the port 1 of NTs eSata and one in the MPs free slot?

    4.Did you manage to raid them under tiger?

    5.Has ANYONE managed to raid stuff with the NTs eSata extender either in Internal1/External1 or External1/External2 configs?


    Intresting to know if the product is borked or is it that the internal sata slots cant be used in Raid configs because of some timing issues or whatever?

    For what I´ve heard, you can use the internal slots for "raid", IF your NAS/external box handles the Raiding itself.

    Hmm.
    So internal 6 disk raid0 is out of option...
     
  9. student101 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #9
    Just to clarify.

    1.So you run the cables via the free nr.1 and nr.2 slots on the mobo?

    YES

    2.Does the drives work separately,ia, Drive 1 and Drive 2?

    YES. Although I did have a problem ONE TIME using a drive separately (not in a RAID configuration) via the eSATA extender cable. Transferring a file, and it froze. This was only once, though, and could have been a Leopard bug and not related to the eSATA product. But the answer to your question is YES the drives run just fine when they are separate.

    3.Have you managed to raid them if you put one in the port 1 of NTs eSata and one in the MPs free slot?

    NO. I say no, because although Disk Utility technically DID set up the RAID, it doesn't work properly. It always hangs during file transfer.

    4.Did you manage to raid them under tiger?

    Never tried.

    5.Has ANYONE managed to raid stuff with the NTs eSata extender either in Internal1/External1 or External1/External2 configs?

    This is what I want to know, too. Anyone?
     
  10. student101 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #10
    Problem solved

    Okay, for anyone that was paying attention to this thread and was discouraged from buying the eSATA extender cable, I solved my problem. The problem was with the external drives I was using. I was using WD MyBook Studio Edition 500GB drives. There is a major problem with the controller chip or firmware on these drives. They go to sleep like usual, but often they won't spin back up unless you restart them. And sometimes the drives even go sleep during long use (eg: initial Time Machine Backup). Here's just one example of the many discussions about the drive's problems:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1167080&tstart=0

    So I returned the drives and bought two enclosures from OWC that conveniently match the look of the Mac Pro. Running them right now through the eSATA cable in RAID0, and everything works great and very speedy.

    Lesson learned: Don't try to save money buying a cheap external drive, buy a good one from a reputable Mac vendor. There's nothing worse than bad firmware on a hard drive controller.
     

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