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Last reply by 08-08-2009 Unsolved
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how do i enable esata to work on xps420 on new vista 64bit install without actually using raid

as is already known, if you have an xps420 from dell and you bought it without a raid configuration, your esata port on the back of the tower doesnt work.  i can go into the f2 bios setup and change the sata operation from raid autodetect to raid on, and then the external esata will work and recognize the drive in the bios.  unfortunately you cannot boot into windows when you turn raid on if youre not using a raid configuration.  i have read that if you do a clean install of vista there is a way to set it up where you start the install with raid on so the esata port works, but then finish with not actually using raid so that you end up with a computer that is not raid but still has a working esata port.  im trying to find out how to do this.  any help would be appreciated, thanks.

Replies (10)
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by the way.  if there was a way to get my esata port to work without having to reinstall, that would be even better.  i know there was a few old solutions in the dell forums from about a year ago, but those only applied if you had the original dell image installed operating system, and even then the solution is outdated.  it doesnt apply to me because im actually working on a xps420 that has already had a clean install of vista 64bit.  i know i could always buy a pci esata card or one of those extenders that plug into a free sata port on my motherboard and then have an esata port on the back of the tower in one of the open slots, but im trying to see if theres anything i can do to get the esata that already came on my tower to work.  thanks again.

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bklynlou,

Check the Dell community threads:

SATA II 

SATA AHCI issues following clean install of Vista Ultimate 32bit

 

I did a lot of searching on the IDE - SATA RAID mode when I was trying to get my eSATA external HD connection working, most sites were saying you had to re-install your OS to change the BIOS setting from IDE to AHCI/RAID. I did find a method in a couple of different sites that stated it can be switched without re-installing the OS. Found a thread where a guy with a Inspiron 530 changed his BIOS from IDE to AHCI/RAID without re-installing the OS. You can load the AHCI or RAID drivers, then when you restart go to the BIOS (F2) and switch it to AHCI or RAID when the computer boots you can load Matrix Storage Manager if your using RAID setting in Bios. You don't have to have any hard drives in RAID if you don't want to.

If you don't have a way to 'safely remove hardware', my Studio 17 came with eSATA but didn't have the  'safely remove hardware' option, you can download and install the Hotswap program from the HotSwap site.

In order to get the hotswap program to run automatically check here How to Create a Task in Vista Task Scheduler, just remember to set it to start at log in.

Worked for my Inspiron 530, now I can hot swap my eSATA external hard drive. 

 

Good luck,

Dave

 

 

_______________________________

Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
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hi dave and thanks for your reply.  i tried everything and unfortunately when i get to the last part and its installing everything it comes up and says not supported by my vista 64bit system and doesnt install/work.  i think if i had vista 32bit it would of worked.  i have also researched online and it seems the only people who were able to get their xps420 esata port to work without an actual raid configuration were those with 32bit systems, or those who worked off of a dell installed image (not those with a clean install).  so after many days of trying, i think im going to just get one of those adapter plates that connects to a free sata port on my motherboard and gives me an esata port on the back of my tower as this seems to be a much easier way around this.  the item im talking about can be seen here at dells website http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Hard_Drives_External/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&....  i think this should work with no problem.  so again, thanks for your effort/imput, its appreciated, but for my particular setup with vista 64bit it didnt work.  take care.

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bklynlou,

Are you refering to the HotSwap program? That won't install/work?

If you go back to the HotSwap site they have a 64bit version.

I'm using the HotSwap 32bit version with 32bit Vista and HotSwap 64bit version with Win7 64bit on my desktop (Dual Boot).  The HotSwap 64bit version with both 64bit Vista and 64bit Win7 on my laptop (Dual Boot). They are all working with no problems. The desktop is in RAID and no HD in RAID, Matrix Storage Manager has the HD listed as 'Non RAID hard drive'. My laptop is in AHCI, BIOS has no RAID option. 

I don't see how being 64bit would affect this working. Might be something in the xps420 BIOS.

When my desktop was in IDE mode in the BIOS the eSATA port would work, I just couldn't plug and play the external HD, it worked if it was plugged in when I booted and then I had to wait until shutdown to take it out.

The back plate and eSATA to SATA cable on the link is exactely what I added to my desktop, did the steps above and it's all working. click the HotSwap icon sometimes it takes a minute or two to clear the cache then it says "safe to remove hardware".

Hope you get it working, the speed and plug and play are great!

Dave

 

_______________________________

Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
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hi again dave.  i should of been more clear, sorry.  the part that didnt work is when i downloaded the Intel Matrix Manager driver and went to update the Intel(R) ICH9 Serial ATA Storage Controller, it would start processing but then stop and say it couldnt complete because its not compatible with my system.  i even tried finding a different intel matrix manager driver that was more current and actually said vista 64 bit compatible, but the same thing happened.  it must be that my xps420 has something different in the bios or in general compared to your machine that isnt letting this fix work for me.

when i go into my bios, the only options i have are raid autodetect and raid on.  my computer is set to raid autodetect and the esata port doesnt work and the external drive is not even seen.  apparently dell installed the machine that way for people who were buying computers with only one drive and no raid configuration.  if i switch it to raid on (which i assume also means turning on ahci mode which is needed for the esata port to work on these dells), then the esata port does work as i can see the drive in the bios under drives, but then upon booting up windows gets the bsod and cannot boot so i have to put it back to raid autodetect.  dave, i only want to be able to use my external hard drive in esata mode because its much faster than usb or firewire.  right now im using a firewire cable and when i turn my computer on and off the drive goes on and off with no problem acting as if it was an internal drive.  and thats how i want it to be when i get the esata extender back plate item.  when i hook it up via an esata cable using the backplate method which is connected internally directly to a sata port on my motherboard, will the drive still function the same way as its functioning now using my firewire?  in other words, i just want it to go on and off when my computer goes on and off.  i have no need to hotswap/remove/transport it as its just going to sit on my desktop permanently.  so if i have no plans to unconnect and move the external hard drive, can i assume i dont need the hotswap program/ability you mentioned?  or do i still need it for the esata backplate method to work?  thanks again.

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1052

bklynlou,

Your eSATA back plate with the cable going directly to the SATA connection on the mobo will work with your BIOS in any setting, raid autodetect or raid on.

Your computer won't know it's not internal. The external hard drive is actually connected directly to the mobo SATA port. If your external HD is connected and powered up when you boot windows it will see it as another internal hard drive. I was doing this with my BIOS set to IDE (non RAID), if the external is powered and connected  when you boot you will see it, if it's not connected when you boot then your system will not see it. If the external was not connected when I booted windows it started fine, no issues.

If you don't need to hot swap it, you don't need the BIOS set to RAID ON or the HotSwap program. 

It will act as another internal hard drive.

Hope this helps,

 

_______________________________

Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
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thanks for explaining this.  now i know im good to go with the esata back plate setup and i dont need to have the bios on "raid on" and i also dont need the hotswap program since its going to be permanently connected.  i do appreciate all your efforts in helping me resolve and understand these issues.  take care dave and thanks again.

3 Argentum
1052

 

Your welcome,

Hope it all works for you,

Dave

_______________________________

Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
3 Argentum
1052

Just saw a similar post on a xps435, eSATA port not working. Sounds like it's a driver. 

Look at this:

XPS 435MT with Windows 7, eSATA Port not Working

 

Good luck

_______________________________

Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
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