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use a sata hard drive enclosure

By byteside ·
I would like to use a sata external hard drive enclosure for backups. I already have one sata drive installed inside the pc connected to a sata controller card and a IDE with the operating system on it. How does the external sata enclosure connect to the pc? I know ATA/IDE external enclosures connect via usb or firewire but how does the sata connect considering the different power and ribbon cables.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to use a sata hard drive enc ...

I've just had a look at my main suppliers site and they do not list external SATA enclosures. The do however list internal SATA enclosures which fit into a 5.5 inch drive bay and work just like a IDE or SCSI removable drive. These connect like any normal SATA drive to the back of the mounting rack and then have their own interface to the drive in the removable enclosure.

They do not list a vendor so I'm unable to see if these companies actually make SATA external Drive caddies but if they do they should have a USB to SATA interface built into the enclosure and just connect through a standard USB port or maybe a Firewire Port if you need the extra speed. The M'Board would be transferring the data from the SATA drive and processing it to the external port.

As far as I know SCSI is the only other interface for external devices and unless you are already using SCSI HDD's it would not offer any speed advantage over Firewire or maybe even USB 2 as the data still has to go through the M'Board Bus to get to the SCSI controller.

Col

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by softcorp.us In reply to use a sata hard drive enc ...

Hello rm...

I haven't gotten my hands on one of these yet, but I can give you information about them.

"External SATA" or "eSATA" is a new specification for external serial ATA drives. Key points are:

- You use eSATA drives essentially the same as you use an external USB or FireWire drive.

- eSATA drives are a lot faster than external USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 drives.

- eSATA supports adding and removing the drive without rebooting. I don't know yet how well Windows XP supports this with eSATA at present. Windows XP supports this for external USB and FireWire drives very well.

- The eSATA specification includes a special external cable designed for the purpose. It can be up to 6 feet long.

- The current eSATA drives move data across the cable at up to 150 MBps (1200 Mbps) just like an internal SATA drive does. The specification supports transfer much faster than this but there are currently no drives available that can do it.

- For comparison: PATA internal drives move data across the cable at up to 133 MBps (1064 Mbps).

- For comparison: USB 2.0 drives move data across the USB cable at up to 60 MBps (480 Mbps). Real world performance is less. Performance is limited to this even though the PATA drive inside could send data at up to 133 MBps.

- For comparison: FireWire 400 drives move data across the FireWire cable at up to 50 MBps (400 Mbps). Real world performance is less. Performance is limited to this even though the PATA drive inside could send data at up to 133 MBps.

Some product info (but not necessarily a recommendation)
http://www.octools.com/index.cgi?caller=articles/highpoint/eSATA/eSATA.html

-----Steve Jackson

CEO/CSA
Software Corporation (Softcorp)
http://www.softcorp.us/probono
Advanced pro bono tools and utilities free for personal use

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by byteside In reply to use a sata hard drive enc ...

Thanks for all the info,both of you. eSata sounds pretty cool but I think I will wait a bit to make sure any possible bugs in xp have been worked out. I will keep my eye on it.

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