Question
Reply
 
Intern
Cee-Cee
Posts: 88
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 1 of 37 (5,425 Views)

External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

I have a HP Pavilion e9150t running under Vista Ultimate 64bit, which I purchased last week.  I have 2 internal Seagate Barracuda ST3500620AS 500GB eSATA drives running as RAID1 (mirroring), an external Western Digital 250GB drive connected to an external Firewire connector, and a Western Digital 500GB external drive connected to an external eSATA connector.  BIOS setup only shows the twin RAID1 drives and the two DVD drives, but it does not show the two external HD drives (USB and eSATA).  I have the latest BIOS.

 

The problem is that since yesterday, when I installed the external WD 500GB (connected to the eSATA connector), it has disappeared from sight twice.  It does not show on Windows Explorer, PC Doctor, nor Vista Windows Disk Management.  I have been able to backup to it, while Disk Management lists it as DISK1 (the RAID drives are DISK0) and Windows Explorer has it as drive M.  (The other drive letters are assigned to the 2 DVD drives and several camera photo card connectors that came with the HP).  But twice, drive M has disappeared from sight without my rebooting or anything.

 

What could be the problem? Why is it disappearing?

Associate Professor
RoyalSerpent
Posts: 1,250
Member Since: ‎01-27-2009
Message 2 of 37 (5,416 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

Probably buggy BIOS or software.  Remove/reload with updated eSATA drivers if applicable.  The hardware could also be defective.  You've got a boat-load of stuffs connected to the board.  This may be too much for a strip-down OEM board.  An enthusiast board will have frequent BIOS updates to address various issues.

 

It's very hard to troubleshoot software problem without physical contact with the PC.  You can eliminate software bug by running a full destructive recovery of the OS.

 

You're not the only one with 9150t having drive detection.  I still have an old ECS board with NF4 chipset that would not display the USB stick after a few insertions.  The only fix is to reboot windows.  Oh well...the board was free after rebate.

Intern
Cee-Cee
Posts: 88
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 3 of 37 (5,396 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

Thanks for your response.  I don't know if I have a Mickey Mouse or a Mighty Mouse motherboard.  I have a Pegatron Truckee 1.03 with a American Megatrends 5.13 (4/30/2009) BIOS.  It has 6 memory slots which I ordered from HP filled up to the max with 12GB of memory.

 

Do you think that this might be to weak a motherboard for what I have on it?

Associate Professor
RoyalSerpent
Posts: 1,250
Member Since: ‎01-27-2009
Message 4 of 37 (5,381 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

First generation board is usually buggy.  It takes a few BIOS updates and/or revisions to work out the bug.  You're always the BETA tester when you buy the latest n greatest stuff from the big box makers.
Intern
Cee-Cee
Posts: 88
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 5 of 37 (5,378 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

I have been having other lockup/freezing issues unrelated to the external drive (it has happened before I connected the drive, and after I disconnected it) and HP says they are going to replace the computer.  Hopefully, it is not a BETA tester (guinea pig) bug, but a hardware defect.  Otherwise, I will be having the same lockup/freezing issues with the replacement computer (and even the external drive problem).

 

Thank you.

Associate Professor
RoyalSerpent
Posts: 1,250
Member Since: ‎01-27-2009
Message 6 of 37 (5,358 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

Run a full destructive recovery of the OS to make sure that the software is stable.  Be sure to connect only the mouse, keyboard, and monitor when testing.
Intern
Larry10k
Posts: 31
Member Since: ‎08-01-2009
Message 7 of 37 (5,156 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

I have the same computer, e9150t. I purchased the Western Digital 1TB eSATA Home Edition HDD. When I connect to the computer's eSATA connect, the WD drive may or may not work. If it's not working, I check for the drives letter, usually J. Guess what...it's missing.

 

I contacted WD's tech support. The told me that it's a controller problem with the computer. WD is qualifying controllers and you can find those that are qualified listed on the WD site. Or, just call WD.

 

I've contacted HP to see if they have a controller that will work with the WD drive. I'm awaiting an answer. However,  I suspect that they will tell me it's a WD problem and that I should purchase a controller recommended by WD.

 

Although this doesn't solve the problem, it may give you some insight and a fix if you follow the WD recommendations. My question is simply, why doesn't the eSATA standard work on all eSATA controllers. So much for standards.

Intern
Cee-Cee
Posts: 88
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 8 of 37 (5,146 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

You have made a valid point, as they are supposed to work together, that is what "standards" are for.  After all, Western Digital is not an odd brand.  The drive controller that we are using on the e9150t is built into the motherboard (so much for the idea of replacing it).  I guess that if the controller is the problem, one could buy a separate controller card and waste one of the available slots for this.  But again, we should not have to do this as we are simply trying to use one of the two eSATA connectors that came with the computer and that we paid for.

 

I had HP replace my original e9150t because it had lockup problems like a lot of other customers (see other thread under lockups e9150t).  The same thing happens when I connect the 500GB WD drive to one of the two external eSATA connectors.  When I boot-up or restart, it recognizes it, and I can see the drive and look at its files using Windows Explorer.  Then, after 1/2 to 1 hour, I hear a beep with no message.  When I look in Windows Explorer, I discover that the drive is no longer there as it has apparantly been kicked-out.

 

Let me know what HP responds with.  Hopefully we will not get a foolish answer.

Intern
Larry10k
Posts: 31
Member Since: ‎08-01-2009
Message 9 of 37 (5,135 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

Received a reply from HP. They instructed me to boot into the BIOS. Then, change the SATA 1 Controller setting to IDE, save setting, exit computer. Connect my WD eSATA drive and reboot. I found that my computer would not boot. So, I changed the setting back to it's original RAID setting. Now, the computer will boot up.

 

After a number of contacts with HP's tech support, on various problems that I have encountered with this computer, I have found them to be technically incompetent. They failed to fix any of the problems that I reported. I've been forced to spend hours researching the fixes for the problems. This is my first and last purchase from HP. As bad as Dell is, they are better than HP.

Intern
Larry10k
Posts: 31
Member Since: ‎08-01-2009
Message 10 of 37 (5,128 Views)

Re: External eSATA Hard Drive suddenly disappears

This information is from Western Digital's website. Hope it's of some help to those trying to use an external eSATA HDD and finding out that they lose the drive on a random basis:

 

The eSATA controllers listed below have been successfully tested to work with the eSATA compatible Western Digital hard drives.

 

For Desktop Computers

32-bit Vista:

  • Addonics eSATA ADSA3GPX1-2E PCI-E eSATA controller card.

  • Information about this controller can be found on the Addonics Website.

     

  • Promise SATA300 TX2300 SATA PCI controller card.

  • Information about this controller can be found on the Promise Website.

     

  • Addonics eSATA ADSA3GPX1-E PCI-E eSATA controller card.

  • Information about this controller can be found on the Addonics Website.


† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation