We use a couple of external hard drive enclosures for offline backups at work. The best connectivity is via eSATA (USB being a bit flakier and much slower).
It works great on my Ubuntu 10.04 install on my Dell laptop, but that is my personal box. I was able to provision a Dell desktop and a PCI SATA card with two eSATA ports. It is a Rosewill RC-209-EX with the SIL3114 chipset.
After plugging it all in, my drives were just not recognized. No matter the boot order or what I did- no go. So, I buckled and read the directions. 🙂 As it turns out, this card can only do four total SATA ports and the four internal are on by default and the two external are off. I reset the jumpers to turn on both external and two internal.
Now it detects the drives. Well, actually it detects one drive. There are two in the enclosure.
So far I have had no luck getting the other drive in the enclosure detected. This is quite frustrating.
If anyone happens to read this and know what I can do to solve this, please leave a comment. If I fix it, I will add and update to this post.
UPDATE: I have emailed Rosewill (no response yet). I also set the jumpers on the WD drives to force them to be 150 MB/s. This had no effect either. I am still without a solution and am pretty frustrated.
UPDATE 2: I heard back from Rosewill. No assistance at all, I responded- but no word back yet. I have now also tried a SIL-3512 eSATA card (the only eSATA card Fry’s had) and it does not work either. This is very frustrating.
UPDATE 3: I returned the SIL-3512 to Fry’s (no problems there) and hit up NewEgg for a SNT SNT-PCIX Card Silicon Image 3132 SATA II PCI Express 2 x eSATA Port Multiplier RAID Controller Card. It is PCI-E but I have a slot (it appears anyway) and it works with a drive array with multiple drives. About the same price as the other two as well. Why is this so hard? I should get it next week. I also ordered an additional eSATA cable so I have two. This looks really cool as well if you just need eSATA ports and you have spare SATA ones eSATA bracket.
UPDATE 4: The card I ordered from NewEgg works. Well mostly. Sometimes I do not get both drives showing up. I re-seat the cables, and power the enclosure back on and all is well. This was pretty darn annoying if I say so myself.