Lone Star
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XPS 8700: Drive configuration question

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On my XPS 8700 running Windows 7, I plan to occasionally use an external drive connected by eSATA to one of the motherboard SATA ports, but the external drive is not always attached and running.  Which of these drive configuration cablings would be OK:

Scenario One:

  • SATA 0: hard drive
  • SATA 1: eSATA, but normally no drive attached.  Occasionally an external drive would be attached. (would this need to be enabled/disabled in the BIOS each time?).
  • SATA 2:  Optical drive

Scenario Two:

  • SATA 0:  hard drive
  • SATA 1:  Optical drive
  • SATA 2:  eSATA, but normally no drive attached.  Occasionally an external drive would be attached. (would this need to be to be enabled/disabled in the BIOS each time?).

Thanks!

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osprey4
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RE: XPS 8700: Drive configuration question

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Hi Lone Star,

It should make no difference. However, you may want to assign a drive letter to the external drive so it doesn't change other drive letter assignments when you connect the eSATA drive.

Lone Star
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RE: XPS 8700: Drive configuration question

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Thanks!

For the majority of the time when no external drive is connected via eSATA, do I need to go into the BIOS and mark the 3rd SATA slot as "empty"?   Seems like if I don't do that, the computer will try to find a drive in slot 3 and will error.

osprey4
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RE: XPS 8700: Drive configuration question

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In newer systems, the SATA ports are auto-sensing, so this is not necessary.

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Lone Star
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RE: XPS 8700: Drive configuration question

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Thanks.  That's good to know.  My other computer is 10 years old, so I always had to enable/disable the SATA port each time.  So this will be much easier.

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