[rescue] 611 cases & cables

Lionel Peterson lionel4287 at verizon.net
Fri Jun 13 08:17:41 CDT 2008

>From: Jonathan Groll <lists at groll.co.za>
>Date: 2008/06/13 Fri AM 04:31:59 EDT
>To: The Rescue List <rescue at sunhelp.org>
>Subject: Re: [rescue] 611 cases & cables


>I've had a recent experience with assorted I/O errors, caused by
>mounting a modern 320GB SATA drive in a 611 case.  
>My plan was to mount the drive in the 611, powered by the power supply
>of the external case, and then just run a regular SATA (not eSATA)
>connector directly into the back of an U60 with a PCI SATA controller
>in it.
>Various system errors occurred, even while doing a newfs on the

I think your non-eSATA cable caused your problems. I think (I don't know) these cables are shielded, and are probably pretty sensitive (high-speed data rate) to line noise...

>I've now mounted the SATA disk in one of the floppy drive bays
>internal to the U60 and power it with the internal PSU, and the errors
>have disappeared but I'm concerned how many drives can be powered by
>the internal PSU as I would like to add further drives (to play with

Which supports my theory on the external cable causing the problem.

>Do I need to take extra care with grounding both of the cases
>together? Does the power supply of the 611 produce enough current for
>a SATA drive on all voltages? (Yes, I know I should measure but spare
>molex connectors are always a rarity in my life!)

I can't believe a modern SATA drive needs cleaner or more power than a 15 year-old SCSI HD.

I've thought about an upgrade to some MultiPack cases (6/12 SCSI boxes) to SATA - in theory, all it would take is a new circuit board inside the case with SATA connectors and that terminates in some multi-port eSATA connectors, but whle in my mind the upgrade is trivial (and for the right engineer in Sun it would likely be very trivial), here in the real world it would be quite hard.

Pity - low-cost multi-bay SATA cases could keep many of those cases out of the landfills/chinese recycle plants...



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