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    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Login issues   11/07/17

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    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Getting Help   11/07/17

      If you're experiencing problems with the software, the best way to get ahold of us is to head to https://stablebit.com/Contact, especially if this is a licensing issue.    Issues submitted there are checked first, and handled more aggressively. So, especially if the problem is urgent, please head over there first. 
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pjakesson

External storage suggestions

Question

Dear all,

 

my chassi is full, no more drive bays nor SATA ports, so I have to expand my storage.

 

I wonder if someone could advice me how to expand my storage.

 

What technology should I use? (eSATA)

 

What controller card?   It's a requirement to obtain SMART data to StableBit Scanner.

 

External closure? (4 - 8 bays)

 

My motherboard has 2 free PCI Express x16 and 1 PCI Express x4.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Per

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12 answers to this question

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Well, this really depends on your budget. 

 

I would recommend against USB for this at all, because it's not as stable, in general. 

 

The cheapest solution is to get an ASMedia or Marvell based controller card, with eSATA ports (the ASMedia one requires the specific drivers for it to be installed, not just the generic Windows drivers). 

As for external enclosure, this depends on the card in use, and your preferences.  Though, I'd recommend something like the ORICO 3559SUSJ3-SV enclosure (5 bay, aluminum case, eSATA). But you could use something like the MediaSonic ProBoxes (though, we recommend purchasing spare power supplies, as they seem to burn out rapidly)

 

 

 

 

The other choice is to spend more money and go more of the enterprise quality. 

I suspect that isn't the case (especially as this gets expensive QUICKLY).

But a LSI card or a HighPoint card, with a "breakout cable" for 4 eSATA ports (each supporting multiple eSATA enclosures), or use a "SAS Expander case" to add many drives. 

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My Amazon.com blinders were on. Looks like the Orico is cheaper than I thought on Newegg. Might just pull the trigger on one soon.

 

Not a problem. :)

 

My recommendation though?  Use newegg primarily, and install the "Hover Hound" extension/plugin.  This shows the amazon (and other sites) prices on Newegg.  And it has a link for pcpartpicker IIRC.  So, it may be a better way to go. :)

 

And yeah, I'd recommend against the MediaSonic boxes.  

 

 

I've used a couple of Orico boxes and they seemed to be pretty solid boxes (both in construction and performance), but the IcyDock boxes are pretty good, as well. 

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Apologies in advance for semi-taking over this thread - I'm looking at the 8 bay version of the Orico (or the 10 bay, although after reading advice against USB only, I think I'll settle for the 8 bay instead and maybe look at a second enclosure if I need it)

 

Any recommendations on a PCIe card for eSATA and issues with drive multipliers?

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I don't know if I have bad luck or what but I've had a heck of a time with eSATA.  I currently have the ASMedia 1061 based card (https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-PCI-Express-SATA-6-Gbps-eSATA-Controller-Card~PEXESAT322I) and it was working great for about 2 weeks but now i'm getting random drives going offline. A simple reboot fixes the issue but i'm about to go back to USB3.0 because it just seems to never have issues for me. Prior to this card I had one with the Marvell 88SE9120 chipset. It was dropping the whole Orico bay and a reboot would resolve the issue. I returned that one and got the Startech card. 

 

Is it just me or should I try to get a higher quality card?

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Well, both Alex and I use the ASMedia ASM1061 fairly extensively, and it should be very stable. Chances are that you got a dud card....

 

But if you want to replace it, Marvell and Asmedia are pretty much the best options for chipsets here.  

Aside from that, you can use USB3, but that does have issues as well (usb drives can and generally do go offline from time to time, even if it is temporarily, but this can be a problem if the disk is being written to when this happens). 

 

Otherwise, it's SAS, and that's much more expensive (but it's a lot more reliable)

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Thank you for the reply. Yes, SAS would work but that's quite the investment for my little 6tb Plex/BI environment.  I think the wife wouldn't let that one happen anyways. :)

 

Any brand of Mavell or Asmedia chipset cards? I picked Startech because their website appears to be well done and it actually has drivers. 

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It is, which is why I was a bit hesitant to recommend it.  Also, companies like HighPoint use Marvell chipsets with custom firmware, so it may not help (though LSI based cards are very different). 

 

 

 

And yeah, any brand should be good. And StarTech is a good brand.

So, as I said before, so it may just be a bad card.

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