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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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dsteinschneider

Looking for recommendation on eSATA card and drive enclosure

Question

I'm looking for recommendations for a PCIe eSATA card and 4 or 8 bay enclosure.

 

Maybe someone might know why I'm having the issues described below:

 

Back story:

I have a Rosewill RC-219 connected to a MediaSonic Probox 4 drive enclosure. For 3 years I ran this card and enclosure in an Optiplex GX-620 running WHS 2011 and DrivePool. After about a year and a half of solid performance the Probox started to occasionally disappear. If I cycled its power it would come back without doing anything else. I replaced the Optiplex GX-620 with a Dell Vostro 430 running Windows 7 Pro 64. I also replaced the RC-219 with a new identical card.

 

The Probox would disappear on the new setup a few times a week but I found if I rebooted every night the problem stopped with our normal use. Recently I started converting all our WTV mpeg2 recorded TV to h.264 MKV on a second machine that reads the movies from this box but saves them on its own drive. Under this use the Probox has been disappearing several times a day. 

 

I get an Event ID 9. I saw someone online who running WHS-2011 with the same PCIe SATA card who flashed a certain BIOS and driver and the above behavior stopped - I can't replicate their experience because the drivers they used are 32bit. 

 

BTW The 4 drives are 4 year old WD30 EZRX-00MMMB0 (Green 3TB). I ran wdidle3 to stop the heads from parking but a couple of the drives already had 250K plus load cycles before I figured that out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I  also have the Mediasonic Probox.  I tried different cards and was having a number of issues similar to yours where the box would drop off under heavy load.

 

Drashna recommended a card based on the chipset a few years ago and ever since I got it it has been working flawlessly.  I'm actually looking for a second probox to add to my system now.

 

I ended up getting the Mediasonic 2 Port External Sata card off of amazon for 20$ CDN (it had the recommended chipset).

 

I tried to find the threads where we discussed this but it was a number of years ago.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully the right card will fix this issue.

 

Is this the correct card?:

 

Mediasonic ProBox 2 Port External SATA 3 / III 6.0 Gbps PCI Express Card HP1-SS3

 

 

Yup.  That is the correct card.  The HP1-SS3.  I just found my amazon receipts to confirm.

 

Also I found the thread where Drashna mentions the chipset issue... take a look.

 

http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/965-issue-when-working-with-folders/?hl=mediasonic&do=findComment&comment=6254

 

Hopefully this helps you out.  I've been running smooth since Jan of 2015 when I replaced the card.

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Great news.  Even though the current card is working now you won't be sorry with the Mediasonic card.  Its been running great for me for years.  I'm waiting for the probox to drop in price so I can add a second one to the card.

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I  also have the Mediasonic Probox.  I tried different cards and was having a number of issues similar to yours where the box would drop off under heavy load.

 

Drashna recommended a card based on the chipset a few years ago and ever since I got it it has been working flawlessly.  I'm actually looking for a second probox to add to my system now.

 

I ended up getting the Mediasonic 2 Port External Sata card off of amazon for 20$ CDN (it had the recommended chipset).

 

I tried to find the threads where we discussed this but it was a number of years ago.

 

Hi Gavin,

 

I bought the Mediasonic 2 Port External SATA card back in April after you confirmed Drashna's original recommendation but never put it in until about 3 weeks ago (July). My 3 year old ProBox has been running flawlessly since - I'm just about to order a second one along with another Mediasonic card. I need a few of the drive docks I've been using for a backup project so I'm swapping those out. I find the drives run cooler in the ProBox (have the fan set to stay on the middle speed) than in drive docks. 

 

Doug

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eSATA port multiplex question: 

 

I went ahead and ordered a second Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 & eSATA.

 

I also ordered a second Mediasonic ProBox 2 Port External SATA 3 / III 6.0 card because I'm under the impression that only one of the two eSATA ports on these cards can be used for multiplex.

 

It's only a $14 extra and I wouldn't mind having a spare on hand but will a single card multiplex both eSATA ports? (edit to answer my own question - apparently both ports can multiplex - card supports up to 8 drives)

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eSATA port multiplex question: 

 

I went ahead and ordered a second Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 & eSATA.

 

I also ordered a second Mediasonic ProBox 2 Port External SATA 3 / III 6.0 card because I'm under the impression that only one of the two eSATA ports on these cards can be used for multiplex.

 

It's only a $14 extra and I wouldn't mind having a spare on hand but will a single card multiplex both eSATA ports? (edit to answer my own question - apparently both ports can multiplex - card supports up to 8 drives)

 

You are correct.  The single card can handle both boxes.  I have my two boxes running off of the same card.  But having a backup card isn't bad.  And you never know if you want to plugin another esata device in the future.

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The Probox just arrived. I had it out of the box and up and running with 4 drives in 10 minutes. It's amazing how simple it is to setup the second unit. I took out the Rosewill RC-219 eSATA card and installed the second Mediasonic eSATA card. The RC-219 can only multiplex one of the two ports so isn't the right card for a DrivePool box. Before I had the Mediasonic eSATA card I thought I would be limited to two external SATA enclosures (the Vostro 430 I'm using for DrivePool only has two PCIe slots). Now I can easily add another ProBox each time I need to add storage. As 8TB drives work (have one so far) I will be able to add 64 TB more without swapping out existing drives. (EDIT - that will be the max as I will run out of drive letters after 16 more drives!)

 

This opens up the possibility of 4K movies. I figure using 64TB with duplication will be able to store well over 1000 4k movies using H265 mkv's at a bitrate that looks good on a 4k projector to a 110 inch screen viewed from 12 ft. Currently 1080 looks better than the local cineplex so I wouldn't go to 4k until prices are way down for the projectors and the media itself.

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Glad to hear it, and thanks for the update!

 

As for the drive letters, bah!

 

I have 30 drives in my system, though only 26 are in the pool.  

 

StableBit DrivePool doesn't need letters at all.  

However, for ease, you can use folder mounts, so you can easily access the drives:

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4822624

(this also has the advantage of cleaning up your system).

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Thanks for the link - that would work fine - agree - who needs drive letters!  :)

 

Just a comment on drive "naming". I use a Brother label printer for each HDD. I name them WDC_8TB_01, WDC_8TB_02, SEA_8TB_01, SAM_4TB_01 etc. I also use the rename drive in Windows with the same name. That way I'm never in doubt what physical drive is the one, for instance, I'm removing.

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Exactly.  :)

 

And that way gets you a lot more possibilities.   I mount mine based on drive bay (36 hot swap bays, plus 4 internal bays, and then whatever is external).

 

And physical labels are a good idea too.  Makes identification easy.  though serial numbers is another good way to do this.

 

Plenty of great options,  Makes things very easy to organize. :)

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