I am wondering if anyone has had success with hot swapping SATA (or eSATA) drives on Windows 7?
I was hoping that it would be supported natively, however I am using the Hot Swap! software to get the Safe Device Removal feature to work. http://mt-naka.com/hotswap/index_enu.htm
I read something about making sure that AHCI is enabled in the BIOS, however when I changed the current setting of IDE to AHCI I could no longer boot into Windows.
Any advice much appreciated.
Yes, you need to have your controller running in AHCI mode for functionality like hot swap, amongst other things. It sounds like you installed Windows whilst in IDE mode; by default, only storage controller drivers that are used are installed. So when the install routine sees that you have IDE mode enabled, it forgoes installing the AHCI driver; this lowers system overhead and speeds booting.
Check here for how to change that: Error message when you start a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-based computer after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive: "STOP 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE"
By the way, that Hot Swap utility is crap; it never seems to work right. Just use the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your system tray.
Thanks Colin. I can work through the instructions to enable AHCI.
However, should I? Are there any performance or stability related issues of using AHCI over the IDE method?
I've only used the Hot Swap utility a couple of times so far, but it has worked as advertised (in IDE mode). At the moment my drives don't appear in the standard Windows Safely Remove Hardware utility, however I presume that after I have enabled AHCI they will appear?