11 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2011 8:58 AM by LaciG

    Best internal SATA expansion card?

    LaciG Level 1

      Two quick questions:

       

      1. What is a good (and simple) PCI(e) expansion card to add 4 internal SATA connectors to the mother board? I had been using an Adaptec 1405 SAS-SATA card that doesn't want to work after my recent clean installation. During boot up, the Adaptec BIOS discovers the connected devices (that had been formatted and used with the same card till last Thursday, before the recent OS reinstallation) but the computer can't see them. BTW, I do not have a driver, but according to Adaptec, I do not need it if I do not want to connect boot disks to this card (that I never wanted to do anyway). Any advice?

       

      2.(Not) completely unrelated: Windows 7 64-bit Pro fails restore operations (Error message: 0x80070005 - that's one reason why I had to do a complete reinstallation). My suspicion is BitDefender AV Pro 2011. There are several comments about this problem on the Internet, and not only with BD AV 2011 but with other AV software, also. Windows error message after the failed restore operation also mentions anti virus programs (even if they are disabled during the operation) as possible culprits. Any insight/advice?

       

      Thanks for any comment, Laci.

        • 1. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

          Laci,

           

          When you can see your drives in the BIOS but not in Windows just means you have not loaded the driver for that device, in this case it is your Adaptec driver that you have to install.  If you do not have the disk that should have come with the board or it does not have a Windows 7 64 driver then go out to the Adaptec site and download it.

          • 2. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
            LaciG Level 1

            Bill,

             

            Thank you for your quick reply. I didn't elaborate in my previous message about my efforts so far: I downloaded their latest driver for this card and my OS and tried to install from the device manager ('update driver, etc.). The 'installation' lasted a very long time, and then I got a timeout message and the comment that some error occurred (this happened multiple times in the last few days). Going back to the device manager however, it showed as if the driver would have been installed ('This device is working properly..."). Still no drives were seen by Windows. Last summer when I built the computer, I contacted Adaptec technical support (and will right now again, they just opened on the West Coast) but they told me that I do not need to install the driver.

             

            If you read p. 28 in the attached User Manual, you will understand why I don't want a card with a driver that is more cumbersome to install then the whole operating system and applications on my computer . (And, BTW, I do not even have a floppy drive following, and agreeing with, the advice of this Forum - but I have a 'USB Floppy Drive' that I can use if there is no easier solution for my problem.) It is also possible though that the simple driver installation (that repeatedly failed in my case) didn't work due to some other issues. I will contact Adaptec in the next hour and will report their advice.

             

            I have built my 'dream machine' following the advice of this Forum (yours and Harm's among others) and it had been working (with a few quirks due to my own faults) until last Thursday when it just didn't boot no matter what I tried so I had to reinstall the OS and applications. I am sure I have to install the driver as you said, and I am afraid that I have to follow Adaptec instructions for this installation however cumbersome they are. But this is exactly why I am considering to invest a little extra money to get a simple expansion card (with 4 internal SATA connector but without the booting ability and the SAS connections, etc.) if such a card exists.

             

            Thank you again for your help,

             

            Laci.

            • 3. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

              Well you do have a reason to jump from the Adaptec, if that does not work I really have no recent experience with any plain SATA controllers, but you do know some of us really love our Areca cards.  They do happen to have a non-RAID SAS/SATA 3 Gb/s card that is reasonably priced it is the ARC-1300-4i card.  Another choice is an entry level RAID card like an Intel RS2WC040 card (actually made by LSI for Intel) which is a much newer design PCIe 2.0 x8 and 6 Gb/s interface and later you could do a modest RAID configuration if you so desired.

              • 4. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                LaciG Level 1

                Hi Bill,

                 

                Thanks for these suggestion. I have just spent 2 x 2.5 hours with Adaptec

                technical support, and an hour to fix my computer (short of reinstalling the

                OpSys) after the Adaptec sessions (that didn't help) and the computer is

                almost in the state as it was before Adaptec tried to help me. (Even the

                mother board BIOS was messed up! I am 100% sure that I will go with one of

                those cards you listed (and, probably, have to do another clean installation

                - good thing I haven't installed back my CS5 and several other programs yet

                :-).

                 

                By the way, what kind of AV program do you use that doesn't mess up the win

                7 64-bit restore operation (BitDefender does mess it up). Also, when I

                restarted the computer the hundredth times today with "repair start" and did

                a restore there, it told me that restore didn't work, but then Windows

                started, and it told me that it did work (and it really started in the state

                that I selected in the restore window). Sorry for bothering you with that

                many questions.

                 

                Thank you again,

                 

                Laci.

                • 5. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                  Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                  Well this was one of my deep dark trade secrets but my AV program is a mechanical switch that only gets connect to the Internet when absolutely necessary.  And do you know what there is no annual fee!

                  • 6. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                    LaciG Level 1

                    Bill, I like your AV solution (thinking of marketing it?)!

                     

                    But right now, I am studying the RAID and non-RAID controllers you referred

                    to. Looks like the driver installation is very similar (and need a diskette,

                    really?) I have no diskette drive following Harm's advice saying that

                    diskette is soooo 20th century! But then I bought a USB diskette drive

                    exactly for this kind of card installation reason. (I also followed all his

                    other advice and didn't regret it :-)!) So, even though the cards and

                    software installation are similar but the quality and operation can very

                    well be different. I will try the Areca card, and let you know how it

                    goes...

                     

                    Thanks again,

                     

                    Laci.

                    • 7. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                      pauncho1

                      Hi Laci,

                       

                      I hate to bring up the obvious, but did you make them active in Disk Manager as well as in Device Manager?

                      • 8. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                        LaciG Level 1

                        Hi Pauncho1,

                         

                        My drives do not show up either in the Disk Management or in the Device Manager exactly because the Adaptec storage controller doesn't have its driver. (But I appreciate your suggestion about the 'obvious' because it is something that frequently being forgotten - especially by me .)

                         

                        - Laci.

                        • 9. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                          LaciG Level 1

                          Hi Bill,

                           

                          I am going with the Areca ARC-1300-4i storage controller. I called the "Customer/Technical Support" (one nice and knowledgeable engineer from Taiwan) who assured me that I can install the driver without any "driver diskette" (Harm was right again!) and actually Adaptec support tried the same thing but we only succeeded to mess up my system big time (as I described it in my previous message). I am convinced that something is wrong with the Adaptec card: that must have caused the crash of the system last week.

                           

                          Just one question: When I get the new card and replace the Adaptec card with it - do I have to reinstall the OS, or, when I restart the system, it will asks for the driver for the new (Areca) card? I am asking this because after the Adaptec disaster, there was a moment when I didn't see my other disks as members of a RAID set (that I set up with the Intel ICH10R raid controller on the MB last fall). There is a large amount of data (movies) in one of the RAID pair (backed up to the presently unreachable drive) and I would hate to loose it and restore back again. But either way, I will insert the new Areca card as soon as it arrives.

                           

                          Thank you again for your help and advice,

                           

                          Laci.

                          • 10. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                            LaciG Level 1

                            Hi Bill (and others who could help...),

                             

                            By the suggestions of this thread, I installed the Areca ARC-1300-4i storage controller a few weeks ago. Easily installed the driver, and everything showed up in the Device Manager, the Disk Management and in (My) Computer. (2x 2 TB HDDs and 2x LG optical drives are connected to it.) No problem with the HDDs, and no problem with reading from the optical drives (or playing movies, etc.).

                             

                            However, I run into a big problem when I wanted to write (burn) on the optical drives! I was trying out some burner software but nothing seemed to work: Windows Explorer froze and I had to hard reboot the system a few times. I have used "Nero micro" before without any problem to read and write with the Adaptec expansion card (which went bad and I replaced with this Areca card).

                             

                            I removed all the third party burner software (Revo is an excellent tool!), and tried Windows 7's native burning application: it also messed up Windows Explorer (hard reboot again...).  When I connected one of the LG optical drives directly to the mother board's SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (see attachment): voil'a, everything works just fine.

                             

                            I am contacting the Areca technical support tomorrow, and will report their input. Still, since it might be some deeper problem with the whole system, I would greatly appreciate if anybody would give me any idea what to try - short of reinstalling the operating system (again...) - which might be necessary after the many restore/restart operations during the Adaptec card replacement with the Areca card a few weeks ago.

                             

                            Thank you,

                             

                            Laci

                            .

                            P.S.

                            1. Adaptec is exchanging the bad Adaptec card with a brand new card (Adaptec 1405 SAS/SATA Controller), may be I will use that card after all...
                            2. The attached Intel Matrix Storage Consol shows the situation when one of the optical drive is directly connected to port 5 on the mother board.
                            • 11. Re: Best internal SATA expansion card?
                              LaciG Level 1

                              UPDATE: Problem solved! Areca fixed the ARC-1300-4i driver and now the card works just fine. (Also, Adaptec sent a replacement card which I will probably keep if I need more expansion.) - Laci.