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 Post subject: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
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Location: Seattle
I want to use one of these internally to drive a front panel 2.5" dock because SATA controllers with good reviews are much more expensive.

But since I won't have a drive inserted each time the machine boots, would the BIOS, Windows, or Ubuntu give any error messages or warnings when they detect the empty adapter?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 478
Location: Ottawa
I'll say probably not. The ones I've used don't bother the OS at all if there is no drive connected.

Are you completely out of internal SATA ports? If you must go this route I'd suggest using the USB adapter for your optical drive if you have one. Unless the adapter is USB3 then even 2.5 drives will be speed limited by USB.

I'm not sure why you say a SATA controller is way more expensive. You can find cheap Asmedia or Marvel based cards for under $40, or even under $30 sometimes. They are the same chips used to add SATA3 ports to many current motherboards. Cheap but they work. Just make sure the card is just a straight controller and not a "RAID" card.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Location: Seattle
washu wrote:
Are you completely out of internal SATA ports? If you must go this route I'd suggest using the USB adapter for your optical drive if you have one. Unless the adapter is USB3 then even 2.5 drives will be speed limited by USB.

I'm not sure why you say a SATA controller is way more expensive. You can find cheap Asmedia or Marvel based cards for under $40, or even under $30 sometimes.


Newegg.com (and .ca) sells both 2.0 and 3.0 versions between $10 and $15. Most negative feedback just complains that they don't work with 3.5 inch drives.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Fire-Flare wrote:
Newegg.com (and .ca) sells both 2.0 and 3.0 versions between $10 and $15. Most negative feedback just complains that they don't work with 3.5 inch drives.

What exactly are you looking at? (link please) There is no way for a disk controller to even know if a drive is 2.5" vs 3.5". It's not even like PATA where the physical connectors were different.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Location: Switzerland
I believe Fire-Flare is talking about USB-powered SATA controllers, the kind that would be used in basic external 2.5'' enclosures. You can plug in a 2.5'' drive but they can't power a 3.5'' drive.
The ones I've used can't be used (not easily anyway) with a 3.5'' drive because their PCB is fixed on the combined data/power SATA plug. So there's no room for a separate SATA power plug.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
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Location: Seattle
washu wrote:
Fire-Flare wrote:
Newegg.com (and .ca) sells both 2.0 and 3.0 versions between $10 and $15. Most negative feedback just complains that they don't work with 3.5 inch drives.

What exactly are you looking at? (link please) There is no way for a disk controller to even know if a drive is 2.5" vs 3.5". It's not even like PATA where the physical connectors were different.

When I said 2.0 and 3.0 I was referring to the USB revisions, and this is the adapter I intend to get: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6812123371

HFat is correct, 2.5 and 3.5 drives use the same data/power connectors, so the adapter will fit on both. However, USB ports only offer only 5 volts, and 3.5 inch drives require 12 volts, thus requiring a separate power source.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
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Location: Ottawa
Ok, when you said front panel and internally I assumed you meant a dumb (ie, no electronics) dock that is internal to your case and you needed some way to hook it up.

Something like this:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6817990014

You simply hook it to your internal SATA and power. No issues with 3.5 drives because the power comes from your power supply.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
washu wrote:
Ok, when you said front panel and internally I assumed you meant a dumb (ie, no electronics) dock that is internal to your case and you needed some way to hook it up.

Something like this:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6817990014

You simply hook it to your internal SATA and power. No issues with 3.5 drives because the power comes from your power supply.

I have a similar dock, but it uses one of these inside: Image

Also, my board has a USB 3.0 header and I have an adapter to convert it to external 3.0 ports. Thus the SATA adapter would connect the motherboard header to the 2.5" dock internally, but the machine would see an external SATA adapter without a drive most of the time.

My question is; would the BIOS, or OS (Windows/Ubuntu) give any alerts or error messages due regarding the presence of an adapter with no drive?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Fire-Flare wrote:
I have a similar dock, but it uses one of these inside: Image

I guess I am still missing something. If you have that then why bother with USB at all? Just hook it up to a SATA port on your motherboard or add a PCIe SATA controller if you are out of ports.

Quote:
My question is; would the BIOS, or OS (Windows/Ubuntu) give any alerts or error messages due regarding the presence of an adapter with no drive?

Should be fine with no errors. I have both USB and SATA docks on various PCs connected all the time and Windows doesn't care.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Location: Seattle
washu wrote:
I guess I am still missing something. If you have that then why bother with USB at all? Just hook it up to a SATA port on your motherboard or add a PCIe SATA controller if you are out of ports.


I am out of SATA ports, and like I said earlier, a USB 3.0 adapter is cheaper than an add-in card.

I've compared both options and can save $20, with the added bonus of not getting a second port I won't need or worrying about lack of AHCI support.

Thank you very much for answering my questions, guys. And I apologize for my weak explanations.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 478
Location: Ottawa
Fire-Flare wrote:
I am out of SATA ports, and like I said earlier, a USB 3.0 adapter is cheaper than an add-in card.

I've compared both options and can save $20, with the added bonus of not getting a second port I won't need or worrying about lack of AHCI support.

Fair enough, that make sense. I'd personally still spend the extra and get a PCIe card, but the USB3 way should work fine.

If it helps any I can personally confirm that the Marvel controllers support AHCI just fine. I use one with the standard MS AHCI drivers at work for eSATA.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:04 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Lima, Perú
hi Fire-Flare, did you find what you needed? I have a similar situation and are very interested in this solution.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
Xyvotha wrote:
hi Fire-Flare, did you find what you needed? I have a similar situation and are very interested in this solution.

cheers

I'm sorry, I decided to use my tax return to upgrade the whole system instead.

But based on the other replies here I'm convinced that my original plan would have worked perfectly.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about USB to SATA adapters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
Xyvotha wrote:
hi Fire-Flare, did you find what you needed? I have a similar situation and are very interested in this solution.

cheers

Went and ordered one anyway, just as I assumed I can leave it plugged in and the neither Windows nor the BIOS freak out if it's empty on startup. I can also connect a drive after logging into Windows with no trouble.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817994138


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