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Removable Sata & Bios


DaBeach
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I recently upgraded my system with 2 internal trays that allow for SATA drives to be installed/removed from the front of the system. After reading up on removable SATA drives I have discovered that the motherboard needs to have BIOS that are aware of removable SATA drives so I can hot swap in windows.

The temp motherboard I am using does not appear to have this feature and I am wondering if I would be able to add a SATA card to the motherboard that would allow me to hot swap the drives. Can this be done and what would be recommended prior to my new MB install?

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@DaBeach, HighPoint Raid Controllers support hot swap features.

RocketRAID 3500 Family Series

http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series_rr3500.htm

Online capacity expansion (OCE) and Online RAID level migration (ORLM)

RAID Array Roaming

Unplug/Remove RAID array

Hot key (ctrl-h) boot-up RAID manager via BIOS

Firmware update while running the Operating System

Verify RAID Array for Bad Sectors and Parity Check

Task Scheduler

Automatic RAID rebuild

Automatic drive (insert / removal) detection

Hot Spare Disk

Staggered Drive Spinup

Rebuild Priority (Low - Highest)

Spin Down Idle Mode

Hot Swap and Hot plug

Bad sector repair and remapping to reduce dropped drives

Multiple RAID array

Multiple Logical Drive

64bit LBA support greater than 2TB per volume

Edited by Infiltrator
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Yikes!

$300-$800 for the card. I think I will wait until I upgrade my MB as I was expecting around $200-$300 for the MB.

Yeah that's the only down side of raid controllers, the cost can be quite significant.

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Generally eSATA would be a better bet for hot swaps unless you had an external USB enclosure, or drive bays in your workstation designed for the ejecting of SATA drives. By default, I believe your drives show up in windows as removable media just like a thumb drive or other USB devices, so all you have to do is click the "Safely Remove Hardware and Media" in windows and select your specific drive to disconnect and unmount it, then you can swap them with the machine running and windows will then see the new drive you plugin. My system shows my SATAT drives as removable, although I wouldnt want to try it since I have my OS and swap files on multiple drives, but I imagine is possible if in a raid config or just a bunch of spare disks and nothing tied to the OS itself.

Not something you would want to do with normal internal drives, but I think is possible for internal SATA drives to eject by default. I think its probably more for eSATA, external or internal workstation enclosures that let you eject them from the front of the machine like cartridges. Not sure if the bios has to be anything other than SATA capable.

Not sure how you would do that in linux.

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I just remembered that under Windows you can optimize a HDD for quick removal.

If you go to Computer Management->Device Manager and under Disk Drives, right click on the hard drive you wish to optimize for quick removal.

Go to Policies tab and select the first option.

Optimize for quick removal. "This setting disables write caching on the disk and in Windows, so you can disconnect this device without using the Safe Removal Icon."

Edited by Infiltrator
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I had purchased 2 1.5TB WD SATA HDD's for data use only with 2 Icy Dock MB672SKGF SATA tray less docks for my system. My goals were 2 fold.

#1 OS - In bay 1 In the event of an OS crash or issue I would be able to power down and swap out my 2 cloned OS drives and be back up and running in seconds vs. 10-15 minutes performing a restore by image.

#2 DATA - I wanted to be able to swap out data only drives in bay 2 for access to data archive or to backup date with redundant drives individually.

Unfortunately I discovered that Windows would not see the drive that was inserted into bay 2 at all. It seems that the BIOS does not see drives that are inserted after the OS is active. I searched a little and discovered that the BIOS had to be of a certain type (forgot name) in order to perform hot swapping of SATA drives. I plan on completing my build later this year with a new MB and other parts and was wondering if a SATA card installed in my current MB would be able to allow windows to see the hot swapping of the data drives because if it would I would be able to achieve my goal prior to the new MB install.

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I had purchased 2 1.5TB WD SATA HDD's for data use only with 2 Icy Dock MB672SKGF SATA tray less docks for my system. My goals were 2 fold.

#1 OS - In bay 1 In the event of an OS crash or issue I would be able to power down and swap out my 2 cloned OS drives and be back up and running in seconds vs. 10-15 minutes performing a restore by image.

#2 DATA - I wanted to be able to swap out data only drives in bay 2 for access to data archive or to backup date with redundant drives individually.

Unfortunately I discovered that Windows would not see the drive that was inserted into bay 2 at all. It seems that the BIOS does not see drives that are inserted after the OS is active. I searched a little and discovered that the BIOS had to be of a certain type (forgot name) in order to perform hot swapping of SATA drives. I plan on completing my build later this year with a new MB and other parts and was wondering if a SATA card installed in my current MB would be able to allow windows to see the hot swapping of the data drives because if it would I would be able to achieve my goal prior to the new MB install.

I know Darren has the same sort of setup, the front of his one machine pulls down and he can swap drives on the go, but that also might be because of the hardware enclosure itself and maybe the software that it comes with.

See if your BIOS has an update from the mobo manufacturer, or look up the bios model and google for an updated firmware. Might be able to fix the issue without spending money for a new board.

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I know Darren has the same sort of setup, the front of his one machine pulls down and he can swap drives on the go, but that also might be because of the hardware enclosure itself and maybe the software that it comes with.

See if your BIOS has an update from the mobo manufacturer, or look up the bios model and google for an updated firmware. Might be able to fix the issue without spending money for a new board.

I will do this now, good idea. I would guess it might not as my MB is around 2 years old, not sure.

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Seems in order for Hot Swap SATA to work the MB or add on card would have to have "Advanced Host Controller Interface AHCI" ability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host...oller_Interface

And I am wondering if by adding a card like this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...ASUS-_-13131610

If it would allow me to hot swap drives with WIN7 64bit.

After checking my BIOS as the MB I am using is from 2007 it does not appear I can turn on/off this feature for SATA and there are no firmware updates for the MB.

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