eSATA External HD Not Recognized

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eSATA External HD Not Recognized

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A new xps 9000 arrived approx. one month ago, it is very fast, works great except that the eSATA port does not work with two eSATA external hard drives I have. One is a WD Home 1.5 TB model and the other is a LaCie Q2 Quadra. Both drives work fine in Firewire mode. In fact, the LaCie drive initially worked in eSATA but then stopped. I've had several online chats with Dell Tech Support, including a session during which the tech. took control of the computer and updated the BIOS from A-14 to A-15, and also checked registery settings. As a result of several chats with two different techs the conclusion was that there must be a problem with the motherboard.

Very reluctantly I accepted that recommendation and agreed to the swap. (Frankly, I was not convinced that a new motherboard would solve the problem). Several days before the scheduled swap I again contacted Dell via internet chat and reemphazied that the two external HDs were only certified thru Windows Vista (my computer is a Windows 7 (64 bit) model. The tech. asked me to connect the two HDs to another Win 7 computer and stated that he would call me the next day. I went to a BestBuy where the two HDs were connected to an HP that was running Windows 7 (64 bit) and both worked just fine in eSATA mode.

The Dell tech. did not call at the appointed hour as promised, so the Dell on-site tech came the next day and replaced the motherboard. As expecetd, the two HDs do not work in eSATA mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Then remembering that I had recently installed an eSATA PCI card in an old Windows Xp machine, I connected both HDs to it and they both worked fine in eSATA mode.  I did this because both WD and LaCie have advised that their drives only work in eSATA made with specific eSATA controllers

. My thought now is that I should be able to install the same PCI card((PPA Int'l, 3 Port PCI Card) in the xps 9000 with good results, any thoughts will be appreciated.

All Replies
  • Surely there must be someone out there who has had problems getting a computer to recognize an eSATA external hard drive?

  • Larry,

         My 435T/9000 XPS arrived as a replacement for the one that would not stay operational. I had already purchased an LG Blu-Ray/HD Combo Drive and a Patriot 256Gb SSD with an enclosure that fit in the 3 1/2" bay so I removed them when I shipped the original system back. The replacement had a DVD/RW drive and a Blu-Ray/RE drive and 3 Seagate 1.5 Tb HDD's so it was loaded to the max as far as SATA connections were concerned.

    I opted to remove the 3rd Seagate 1.5Tb and purchased an Omysis eSATA external enclosure and then removed the DVD/RW and placed the LG Combo drive in the compartment in its stead. I also placed the quick disconnect enclosure and Patriot 256Gb SSD in the bottom 3 1/2" bay and moved the SATA Cable from the 3rd drive to the SSD and booted the PC.

    Everything went as expected and works brilliantly, I then brought the system down and activated the eSATA in BIOS running BIOS A13 and it was recognized by Windows 7 64 Ultimate after booting and loading the drivers. Have not experienced any issues with it and use it as the Network backup drive for the 2 laptops and the 435T/9000 XPS. I know you don't have either the Seagate nor the Omysis enclosure but I can't believe your 9000 XPS wont recognize either using the eSATA port if you have not tried doing it the way I did you may want to, best of luck.

    435T i7 975 3.3 GHz Extreme, 12 Gb RAM, 1.5 Tb SATA x 2 internal,Patriot Warp 256 Gb SSD quick release and 1.5 Tb eSATA drive  Windows 7 64 Ultimate, Blu-ray/HD-DVD/RW combo by LG and Blu-ray/RW, 1000/NIC and  Belkin N+  wireless, X-Fi Extreme Soundblaster, Hauppauge 2250 DTV Tuner card with Media Center remote, Bose Surround Sound 5.1 speakers, LifeCam VX 3000 VidCam, Logitech Wireless Desktop Kb and Performance MX Mouse, Bamboo Pen Tablet,  XFX ATi 5870 XXX Edition driving a Vizio 37" HDTV using  Optical Toslink from the X-Fi Extreme Sound Card, also have Pioneer SE-DIR 800C Wireless Dolby DTS Headphones

     

    Black Alienware M17X Q9100 2.26 GHz Extreme, 320Gb HDD0 and 160Gb SSD1,Blu-Ray w/ DVD/RW, 8Gb RAM, WUXGA  Screen, ATI 4870 Crossfire-x,  Alienware TactX Mouse Windows 7 64 Professional.


  • Thanks.  I'm also surprised that my brand new xps 9000 will not recognize external eSATA HDs, but I can asssure you that is the dase.  With the thought that the BIOS (A15) is not set up to enable eSATA (even though the on-site DELL tech checked it and said that it is enabled, I just checked it out.  Being not overly familiar with working with the BIOS I thought I would write everything said about eSATA.

    Under the category of CMOS Setup Utilities there is a table that looks like this:

    SATA1     ATAPI (CDROM)

    SATA2     ATAPI (CDROM)

    SATA3     Hard Drive

    SATA4     Hard Drive

    SATA5     Hard Drive

    ESATA     Not Detected

    Than under the category of Advanced Chipset Features the following appears:

    SATA MODE     AHCI

    Again, the on-site Dell tech checked the BIOS and said that it was setup correctly, and it was also checked by an online Dell chat tech who confirmed the same.

    Thanks for any insight.

  • I would download BIOS Version A13 as I know that works quite well with my eSATA drive. I tend to use what works for me and see no reason to update to either A14 or A15, best of luck.

    435T i7 975 3.3 GHz Extreme, 12 Gb RAM, 1.5 Tb SATA x 2 internal,Patriot Warp 256 Gb SSD quick release and 1.5 Tb eSATA drive  Windows 7 64 Ultimate, Blu-ray/HD-DVD/RW combo by LG and Blu-ray/RW, 1000/NIC and  Belkin N+  wireless, X-Fi Extreme Soundblaster, Hauppauge 2250 DTV Tuner card with Media Center remote, Bose Surround Sound 5.1 speakers, LifeCam VX 3000 VidCam, Logitech Wireless Desktop Kb and Performance MX Mouse, Bamboo Pen Tablet,  XFX ATi 5870 XXX Edition driving a Vizio 37" HDTV using  Optical Toslink from the X-Fi Extreme Sound Card, also have Pioneer SE-DIR 800C Wireless Dolby DTS Headphones

     

    Black Alienware M17X Q9100 2.26 GHz Extreme, 320Gb HDD0 and 160Gb SSD1,Blu-Ray w/ DVD/RW, 8Gb RAM, WUXGA  Screen, ATI 4870 Crossfire-x,  Alienware TactX Mouse Windows 7 64 Professional.


  • It's ironic that, following Dell's instructions that came with the computer, I installed BIOS A15 (the computer came with A14), then when the new MB came with A15, I did the same. 

    Now a new hard drive with Windows 7 installed is on the way from Dell.  After some thought, I do not intend to install it, I'll just live without eSATA.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Before making a final decision on proceeding with Dell's recommendation to replace the hard drive I called Western Digital to get their views. I didn't expect a solution, just wanted to hear what they had to say about replacing the hard drive. As expected, they didn't hold out much hope that it would solve the problem.

    I pointed out that my specific HD is not certified for Windows 7, and asked if ANY WD hard drives are, and was surprised to hear that NONE are. More precisely, none are certified to operate in the eSATA mode.  I asked why this is the case and he said, "Because there are too many issues with eSATA and Windows 7."

  • The hard drive arrived from Dell today and it will go in later this evening.

    In the meantime, I came across a thread on another forum (not Dell) about eSATA connection problems and read many (I mean many!) posts in which the problem was attributed to loose connections. The solution was to cut as much as 1/4 inch of insulation from both ends of the cable. So I did just that and guess what happened -- correct, both the WD and LaCie hard drives work just fine when connected to the eSATA card (PCI) I installed. And, of course, neither work when connected to the on-board eSATA port.

    I expect that some will not accept what I'm reporting, but I can assure you that it happened just as I wrote above.

  • In my previous post, I should have mentioned that when I first connected an external hard drive to the eSATA port the cable felt very loose.

    Larry Rood

    The hard drive arrived from Dell today and it will go in later this evening.

    In the meantime, I came across a thread on another forum (not Dell) about eSATA connection problems and read many (I mean many!) posts in which the problem was attributed to loose connections. The solution was to cut as much as 1/4 inch of insulation from both ends of the cable. So I did just that and guess what happened -- correct, both the WD and LaCie hard drives work just fine when connected to the eSATA card (PCI) I installed. And, of course, neither work when connected to the on-board eSATA port.

    I expect that some will not accept what I'm reporting, but I can assure you that it happened just as I wrote above.

  • I spent days trying to figure out why my esata port wasn't working. I went through several cables and devices trying to root-cause the issue. I updated BIOS. I changed BIOS sata to RAID like some people mentioned in order to install the Intel Matrix Controller. I did everything possible other than call Dell (my warranty expired on 3/30/10 and today is 5/19/10... yay me).

    Larry Rood you are the hero of the day!

    The issue is that the header plate of the motherboard of my XPS 435 sits slightly rearward because there is a mesh isolator between case and plate. This in turn causes the port to sit rearward. When plugging in a cable, the molded end bottoms out against case and never fully seats. I cut away about 2mm of the molded end of esata cable and voila, it worked like a charm!

    I wonder house many countless man-hours and warranty work Dell paid for this issue. Tag this issue as a known fix so others can save themselves some grief and frustration.

  • Larry,

    I'm having a similar FRUSTRATING issue with my month old xps9000 (win7 64bit)  Angry

    In my case, I've ruled out the cable as an issue (I have three different cables with varying protrusions)
    Updating the BIOS and sata drivers didn't help.

    I have a pair of Samsung 2TB drives in Astone external esata cases - neither are recognized in disk management. (although one WAS - for a day only ???)
    I also have some eSata Vantec nexstar3 cases with 500GB drives - both WORK OK on the xps9000.
    I tried placing a 2TB drive in one of the vantec cases - same issue - not recognized.

    I also have a Dell XPS 1747 laptop with eSata port - the 2TB drive is not recognized, the 500GB is.

    So, I've ordered a pci eSata card to see if it is a problem/limitation of the dell hardware, and also a 1TB drive to see if they are recognized in the cases I have.

    Have you made any progress ?

    cheers, Ron

  • I'm having a similar issue with my new Dell Studio 1458 Windows 7 (64-bit) and new iomega external hard drive: it works using USB but not eSATA.

     

    Stan