kavalczuk
1 Copper

eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

Hi guys. I just bought my Studio XPS 13 laptop and have already faced problem with eSATA port which is simply not working at all.

I have an external enclosure with two 1.5 TB HDD's in it working in JBOD mode and I have no problem with connecting it to my desktop via eSATA. Same goes with connecting my enclosure to my laptop via eSATA port in Sweex ExpressCard controller - no problems, works great. However, if I connect the enclosure to the combo eSATA/USB port on my laptop, nothing happens at all. Drives are not recognized in BIOS as well, and leaving my enclosure connected while booting up leads to initial BIOS loading screen hanging.

Vista Home Premium x64, newest drivers installed, newest BIOS installed.

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OneFlame
1 Copper

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

 

I have a very similar problem...  I just purchased this Studio XPS 13, and also a Seagate FreeAgent XTreme, 1TB external HDD.

 

It was working fine at one point.  However, now the ESATA interface to the drive is not working, but the USB connection is.  This implies that it is an ESATA issue.

I updated my BIOS from A02 to A04, and this is when I noticed the problem.  (I am not totally convinced that this BIOS update toasted the ESATA connection.)

The BIOS setting is set properly to AHCI.  However, the BIOS does not detect the drive via ESATA.

I dont think that the drive was disconnected from the Laptop while running, but still ... It would be nice to confirm that there are not issues hot-swapping ESATA drives.

I also installed all of the Dell drivers and ran Windows update.  (Obviously, drivers cannot be the primary issue if the BIOS isn't detecting the drive.)

The BIOS does detect the drive when connected via USB.

The "HELP" for the "ESATA AHCI/ATA Mode" configuration setting refers to an "Enable ESATA" configuration setting.  I cannot find this setting anywhere in the BIOS.

I have spoken with Dell Tech Support about this.  The issue is being escalated and I was told that it will take a day or so to hear back. 

I am planning on going back to Best Buy to see if they will exchange my drive for another to see if the disk is bad somehow.

Will post results.

Hope this helps.

 

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OneFlame
1 Copper

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

An update, I took the drive back to Best Buy and they tested it there. They also could not get the drive to connect via the ESATA cable.

Perhaps it was possible that the drive got messed up during the BIOS update from A02 to A04?

The remaining problem is that I didn't get to exchange the drive, so I have no idea if my laptop's ESATA port is still working.

I will try to get another ESATA drive later this week.

HTH

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kavalczuk
1 Copper

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

You see, it has been confirmed by many users on the related forums that XPS 13 eSata port can't really work in SATA-II mode, and the problem is often solved by setting the HDD jumper to limit the transfer rate to SATA-I. However this in only possible if using external HDD enclosures which are easy to open and not the "external drives" which are also a HDD in the enclosure but you have to tear it apart to open it and set the jumper. I sent the question twice to the tech support, it's been a month...

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dillpa
1 Copper

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

I know there is something wrong with the Dell ESata, I have exactly the same issues.  I just received my Dell XPS 13 about 3 hours ago, I haven't installed anything and it does not work with my Seagate Xtreme 1.5TB drive.  I'm about to test the USB to see if that works.

Update: USB works fine, ESata doesn't work with any products that I have tested.  I've had good luck with an ESata express card and the same Seagate Xtreme 1.5TB drive.

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Dairn
1 Copper

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

I have the same issue as well.  I have had a tech visit twice (replaced esata port cable and then the motherboard) after the motherboard swap, I have no lockups, but of course, Inow the port is completely dead.  They have sent me a new refurbished replacement laptop and the same problem exists-eSATA will lock up at BIOS screen.  It appears there is a real problem with the XPS series.  I have used my eSATA drive on my desktop and a dell E6400 computer and it works fine.  Only my XPS has an issue.

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Jim Lewis
1 Nickel

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

Same eSATA issue for me, too.  Funny thing is I got the Dell XPS because my old laptop died.  I mounted the old HD with a 32-bit OS in a drive enclosure and it's my distant recollection that eSATA worked booting off 32-bit Win7 RC on the external HD.  But 64-bit Vista or 64-bit Win 7 RC (dual boot), neither works and the computer hangs on the BIOS post.  USB works fine.  3 different drives, 2 WD, 1 Seagate with eSATA/USB exhibit the same behavior.  My cable is DYNEX.

 

Jim Lewis

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Dave576
2 Iron

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

Just to try and narrow it down.

Can anyone/everyone list their OS (XP, Vista, Win7) and if 32bit (x86) or 64bit (x64).

If, as Jim mentioned, eSATA works with 32bit OS and not 64bit OS it might be a driver issue.

If the eSATA external HD isn't recognized in BIOS it's likely  hardware, connection port, cable, etc., or BIOS firmware.

Check that the cable is plugged in correctly, mine fits a little loose, not sure if the loose connection is 'normal' or not.

Some people have confirmed this, if you haven't yet, try checking the SATA setting in BIOS. In the 'Advanced' tab scroll down to 'SATA Mode Selection' is it in 'IDE' or 'AHCI' ? Should be in AHCI, If it is in 'IDE' the external should be seen if it's plugged in an powered up when you start the computer. If the correct AHCI driver is loaded on your computer you should be able to switch it to AHCI mode, if you try and you get a blue screen then go back to BIOS and switch it abck to 'IDE'.  (There's a way to load the AHCI drivers, restart, go to BIOS and set it to AHCI, this will work if your BIOS is set to IDE and you want to change it to SATA)

OneFlame,

"I took the drive back to Best Buy and they tested it there. They also could not get the drive to connect via the ESATA cable."

Did Best Buy try this on your XPS 13 or another computer, OS 32bit or 64bit?

"I dont think that the drive was disconnected from the Laptop while running, but still ... It would be nice to confirm that there are not issues hot-swapping ESATA drives."

I had the same concern, how do you confirm the HD is not 'still in use'?

Just on the chance you can get the eSATA port to work correctly.

If you don't have a way to 'safely remove hardware', my Studio 17 came with eSATA but didn't have any  'safely remove hardware' option, you can download and install the Hotswap program from the HotSwap site, they have both 32bit and 64bit versions.

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 Studio 17 and Inspiron 530, now I can safely hot swap my eSATA external hard drive. It will give you a message just like the windows 'Safely remove Hardware' feature.

Let us know if any of you find a fix or help with this, 

 

_______________________________

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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Jim Lewis
1 Nickel

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

Same eSATA issue for me, too.  Funny thing is I got the Dell XPS because my old laptop died.  I mounted the old HD with a 32-bit OS in a drive enclosure and it's my distant recollection that eSATA worked booting off 32-bit Win7 RC on the external HD.  But 64-bit Vista or 64-bit Win 7 RC (dual boot), neither works and the computer hangs on the BIOS post.  USB works fine.  3 different drives, 2 WD, 1 Seagate with eSATA/USB exhibit the same behavior.  My cable is DYNEX.

 

Jim Lewis

It appears to be the Dynex cable at bought at Best Buy! 

Dynex® - 6' eSATA Cable

Model: DX-C113221 | SKU: 8626098

I got out the Startech enclosure that I mounted my old hard drive from the dead laptop with the 32-bit OS.  Cable plugged deeply into its eSATA port unlike my two WD drives and my Seagate drive.  Booted Win7 RC 64-bit and no hang at BIOS post and I can access the external drive in the Startech enclosure like gangbusters.  Same with 64-bit Vista.

So tomorrow I am marching back to Best Buy with my receipt and the Dynex cable, hoping Best Buy feels it owes me a cable that works! 

Sorry I got mislead thinking it was the 32-bit OS responsible for eSATA working - it was just the better fitting eSATA connection of the enclosure the drive holding the OS was in!

EDIT: Best Buy sells only Dynex cable.  Gave me a 2nd one to try.  Same deal.  Works great with Startech enclosure but not Seagate Free Agent Pro Classic 750 Gb.  Best Buy cheerfully refunded my money so I will buy a SIIG cable from NewEgg.com, said on web blogs to work well all around.  Will update my post with info on that.

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Dave576
2 Iron

Re: eSATA port is not working in my Studio XPS 13

Jim,

I have read on several sites that cables were the cause if the eSATA external device is not recognized. One post said they 'trimmed' the cable end so it would insert further into the eSATA port. It might be that the eSATA/USB port doesn't let the cable go into the port far enough. When bad cables are the cause, this could be due to the end not being able to insert into the port properly, or just faulty cables.  

Hopefully a new cable will work 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.
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