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Way to add internal extra SATA II ports without spending a fortune?

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Joseph W. Bourke
Way to add internal extra SATA II ports without spending a fortune?
on Mar 29, 2013 at 12:03:05 am

Here's the situation - my workstation mobo has 5 internal SATA ports, and 1 eSATA. I just installed a dockable bay (SATA) so that I can archive my client projects on these removeable hard drives. What I hadn't noticed is that between my OS drive, APPS drive, and two media drives (not striped), plus my DVD burner, all the mobo SATA ports are used!

All of the inexpensive solutions seem to be internal SATA extenders that also offer RAID capability, which I don't want (I also have an 8TB Drobo doing backup chores). All I'm looking for is a simple, cheap (less than 20 dollars if possible) way to add that extra internal SATA II port so I can hook the dock up.

By the way, I have one open PCI Express, and two open PCI slots. Most of what I see out there that's cheap, has RAID (and I'm not sure if I can bypass the RAID, and just use the one dockable drive, or whether it has to see two drives to work), or is just additional SATA ports, and they're SATA 1. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. Thanks.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Way to add internal extra SATA II ports without spending a fortune?
on Mar 29, 2013 at 1:02:21 am

All these $20 eSATA cards support JBOD, i.e. individual drives w/o RAID, some will allow you to disable BIOS (and this the visibility of the RAID functionality).

The trouble for me is that I don't want to spend $20 on such a card as I know it'll be crap, but there isn't anything made by a decent manufacturer for under $100. Nothing from ATTO or LSI, for that matter.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Way to add internal extra SATA II ports without spending a fortune?
on Mar 29, 2013 at 2:39:39 pm

Thanks Alex -

That's just what I fear...although I don't want to spend the 100 bucks or more, since the first 500GB drive and the dock were well under 100. Maybe I'll try one of the better rated RAID PCIe cards that doesn't need drivers that might slow down my system...I assume that setting it up as JBOD would enable me to bypass the RAID software/drivers?

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Way to add internal extra SATA II ports without spending a fortune?
on Mar 29, 2013 at 6:37:46 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] ".I assume that setting it up as JBOD would enable me to bypass the RAID software/drivers?"

On the $20 cards, you don't need to set up anything - it's JBOD by default. A good idea is also to disable its BIOS so it doesn't conflict with other cards that are actually important to your system (RAID controllers, graphics cards, etc.) - but they generally work w/o any changes, still.

They're unlikely to slow down your system, the hardware is ubiquitous... The drivers are junk though and once in a blue moon crash my Z800 - usually when the drives are acting up a bit... All in all, they do work.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Way to add internal extra SATA II ports without spending a fortune?
on Mar 29, 2013 at 9:16:37 pm

Thanks very much for the information, Alex. I think I'll give the $20 card a try, and see what happens. Since I'm just going to be using it for the one hot-swap docking bay, I can't see that it could cause too big a problem for me. My setup is such that I have an OS, Apps, and 2 Media drives, none of which are striped in any way, plus I have an 8TB Drobo chugging away with daily backups of my mission critical stuff. I will disable the BIOS when I get it. Good call! And thanks for all your input.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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