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Need suggestions for RAID / SATA expansion card

By HaLo2FrEeEk ยท 8 replies
Oct 2, 2010
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  1. I currently have 4 harddrives installed in my computer, 3 of which are SATA, the 4th is IDE (this one isn't actually plugged in right now.) I also have a SATA BluRay drive, making 4 SATA connections, which uses all of my motherboard's available ports. I'm quickly running out of storage space (imagine that,) and am looking into a PCI SATA card.

    I've found a few that have external ports, but I need then to be internal. Can anyone recommend me a decent, affordable SATA expansion card with at least 2 internal ports. RAID capabilities might be nice, but it isn't something I'm looking at using just yet, so it isn't a requirement. I also understand that I'll need a more powerful PSU, I'm looking at an 800W with modular cables to reduce clutter. Right now I'm using a 500W.

    Also, I know someone might want to suggest external drives. I'd like to stay away from them, I've just never liked external drives and the last thing I need is something else to clutter up my desk.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 840   +6

    Do you have any PCI-express slots available on your motherboard? Unless your PSU is really poor quality you don't need to upgrade just to support additional drives.
  3. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    I have a pci-e 1x, 4x, and 8x slot available (one of each.)

    The reason i'd like a new PSU is because I'm out of SATA power connections, for one, and because I'm powering a LOT of other stuff, like 2 DVD drives, and the graphics card, for example. That's why the 4th drive is unplugged right now, it was causing power issues.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,515   +3,700

    Try searching "Rocket RAID" at Newegg. They make a wide variety of PCI/PCI-E to SATA/RAID expansion cards, at a wide variety of price points. Something will probably meet your needs. You could also check out the "Rosewill" brand, although Rocket RAID is more or less the standard. They had been putting different Rocket cards on sale up to a couple of months ago, but I haven't seen them as of late

    As to running out of SATA power connectors, molex to SATA is widely available, and quite inexpensive. ($3.00 @Microcenter).

    You should attend to your power supply issues, first, and soon! If the addition of a single HDD is giving you "power issues", you're running way too close to the edge of disaster. Remember, a HDD is only about 20 watts tops!

    Here's a potential PSU for you; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...C-100210-Index-_-PowerSupplies-_-17341041-L0D I think these OCZ units are decent. (If somebody knows differently, feel free to chime in). BTW, what video card(s) are you running in this machine that 500 watts won't power it? Is this a good brand PSU, with an honest rating?
  5. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    Well I don't want to specifically say that it's the harddrive causing the issues, but I was having a problem with drives simply disappearing from My Computer and Disk Management, only reappearing with a restart. I unplugged the IDE drive because it was the one with the most frequent (although they all did it at least once, even partitions of other drives,) and the problems stopped. I haven't had the need to try it again.

    I'll look into rocket raid, those are the ones I was looking at earlier. I need to know though, will they let me just plug in single disks without RAID-ing them? I like having separate drives for stuff, organization, you know.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,559   +1,441


    1) ABORT!!! Forget Raid altogether, as even MS does not recommend Raid for the boot drive.

    2) Raid from any onboard chip set is #$%^&. Only use raid supported in a PCI card.
    Because far too many Raid-x fail and users are not prepaired do perform Raid Recovery.

    eg Raid-0 frequently requires a new HD and a complete image restore - - Do you have suce?
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,515   +3,700

    Second question, SATA RAID cards support "JBOD" "mode" (Just a Bunch of Discs), so that should be self explanatory.

    First question, if the machine in question is running Windows 7, and the drives disappear on resume from S-3, then the problem is most likely Windows, nothing else.

    Read this thread; https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic150892.html Start at post #10
  8. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    Well originally I planned on building a "large" (for a personal computer) array of, say, 9 disks using (I believe) RAID 5* (see bottom of post.) However, right now this isn't really a necessity. Right now I just need more storage, more disks. And I do plan to use a PCI card, not an onboard chipset.

    Now, I've experimented with Windows' built-in RAID options in Disk Management, making multiple individual drives appear as one large drive which, as I understand, is what JBOD is. What I want is to literally have a bunch of individual drives in My Computer. For example:


    H: and M: are 1TB drives, E:, R:, and C: are partitions of a single 500GB drive. It helps with organization as everything has a specific drive that it goes on.

    And also, yes, I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate x64. What do you mean by "on resume from S-3"?

    Finally, this is the PSU I'm using now:


    * The one where disks 1 and 2 are XOR'ed together and the parity data is stored on disk 3, so that if either disk 1 or 2 goes out, the remaining disk and the parity disk can then be XOR'ed together and rebuilt onto a replacement drive. I think it's RAID 5, but I'm not sure. With an array of 9 disks, using this method would give me 6 usable disks (three disks per group, two are usable, one is parity,) or 6 TB (not taking into account formatted capacity) of storage space, with some protection against data loss.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,515   +3,700

    "S-3" is normal "Standby". This is what's known also as, "suspend to RAM". It's the most commonly used form of standby. If you are suffering the problem I outlined, your drives disappear when you wake the computer from "sleep", and reappear when you reboot.

    The size of your HDDs make you a prime candidate for this issue. Many complaints similar to yours, center around the 1TB size HDDs. As I said before, it can also happen with " smaller big drives". It is maddening, and if this is indeed your issue, the M$ hotfix is a godsend.

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