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Extra SATA ports

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 1
Registered: 24-09-2008

Extra SATA ports

On one of my backup desktops I've a requirement to plug in a couple of extra SATA TB drives and I've run out of SATA ports.
I bought a SATA PCI cards similar to this http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/150798420774?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&cbt=y
from a local PC shop (I can get a credit if it doesn't work).
Problem is with the card in the available PCI slot, windows XP starts then freezes.
The local computer store have offered to identify and fix the problem, (they are good, but they normally take a few days which I don’t have) I thought I’d try here first. The extra disks are a temporary measure.
Any suggestion would be appreciated.
10 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Extra SATA ports

Try reserving an interrupt for exclusive use of the card, you should be able to do that in the BIOS and/or within Windows "Device Manager".
Look through the BIOS to see if you can set the relevant PCI slot number to be a "Bus Master".
Check the BIOS boot sequence to make sure that the PC is NOT trying to BOOT from the HDD controller on the PCI card.
You say it starts then freezes, are you able to press a 'magic key' during start-up to configure the PCI card ?
Last time I did something like this, there were a load of configurable settings in the add-in card's 'BIOS' that needed tweaking.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Extra SATA ports


Thanks purleigh
am not sure how I get into the cards Bios?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Extra SATA ports

Typically HDD controller cards usually announce "Press ?? key to setup" during the other BIOS messages that scroll past during PC startup.
If you can't find the info in the card handbook, you could try switching your PC BIOS from being '"quiet startup" so all the motherboard BIOS messages scroll past - and watch out for the HDD card starting.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,608
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Extra SATA ports

An alternative if the controller has no bios (normal for cheap sata boards) is remove the card, boot into XP then INSTALL the driver for the new card. Then reboot with the card in and see if XP gets over it's hump.
ID
Grafter
Posts: 125
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Extra SATA ports

If you don't need high transfer speed and can get away with just 2 extra drives I would recommend a usb dual SATA docking station.
You can get them for less than £20 if you shop about.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Extra SATA ports

HB, thanks response, tried installing software 'sans' card, says card is not installed.
Purleigh: Will try switching from "quite startup", got a 'batch' running at present, so will have to wait
ID, nice idea thanks recommendation:- its just a temporary measure, one disks arrived by courier this afternoon with around 500x 1GB files that need parsing through a spectral analysis package (ENVI), takes about an 30 minutes to read/process/write each file. Was going to spread the load over 2 PC's, high transfer speeds are useful.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Extra SATA ports

After a bit of Googling -
Some versions of this card have a BIOS, but most don't.
Some versions of this card have jumper links for configuration, but some don't.
The handbook information is only available on the CD that comes with the board.
The current driver for Windows XP is v5.50b from the VIA website.
[quote=ID]If you don't need high transfer speed and can get away with just 2 extra drives
This card has pretty poor throughput as the SATA ports are SATA150 not 300 or 600, and the PCI bus speed is 33MHz instead of the more usual 66MHz.  This card seems particularly popular because it has support for hacking Xbox hard drives.
My preference would be something like http://www.promise.com/media_bank/Download%20Bank/Datasheet/FT_TX4310_DS_032206_web.pdf
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,608
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Extra SATA ports

If you can access the .inf files just right click and install them, you don't need to install the s/w as such.
I have used this card with XP before so it can be done.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Extra SATA ports

Guys, thanks for all your help, latest version of the software is 5.9b, working like a dream, processing files at rate of 1 in less than 10 mins rather than 30 mins.
BUT it's a raid controller card, not a SATA controller card, good job I had a 'blank' TB  SATA disk
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,608
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Extra SATA ports

Its a soft "raid" you can have 1 or 2 disks on it. No need to raid them.
The raid is done in software, which you have to install, rather than on the card's BIOS like more expensive cards.
But as long as it is working that is all that matters.