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Mini 1,1 Won't Boot via Rosewill eSata Enclosure
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Captain Kirk
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Mini 1,1 Won't Boot via Rosewill eSata Enclosure Reply with quote

About 3-4 years ago, I built a Mac Mini Monster by putting a Sata HD into a Frisbee enclosure connected to the standard Sata connector inside my Mini via a Sata Extension cable. Worked like a champ for a couple of years. Just recently some wires in the Frisbee got FRIED mysteriously so it was replacement time.

Following several threads in this forum (and elsewhere), I chose the eSata route and now have a Rosewill RX358 V2 Enclosure with a 1TB inside connected via a Sata-to-eSata 18" cable from cpu Stuff. This cable is connected to the Sata connector in the Mini and it plugs directly into the back of the Rosewill enclosure.

When I start up the HD and hold my keyboard's Option Key down, neither of the 2 volumes (that have a System) on the 1 TB is available for booting. If I disconnect the eSata cable and boot via a USB cable, it boots fine and all 4 volumes on the 1 TB are available.

I cannot get either my 1TB HD or a different 2TB HD to boot from the Rosewill via eSata. Both will boot from the Rosewill via USB2, and both will boot from my FW400 Box in FW or USB2.

When booting the Mini from the FW400 Box, I've run several read/write tests to the 1TB via eSata and it's at least 3 times faster than the speeds I can get via USB2 or FW400. That's the good news.

Since I really want to boot from the Rosewill via eSata, that's the bad news.

I'm concluding that the eSata chipset in the Rosewill is at fault. Since a few folks on this forum use Rosewill enclosures, I'm hoping someone can confirm my suspicion OR tell me how to fix/get around this problem.

Thanks in advance………… Captain Kirk
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Mini 1,1 Core Duo, 1.66GHz, 2GB Mem, 1TB SATA HD & 2TB SATA HD in eSATA OWC Enclosure, ViewSonic G225f, other HDs in BlacX Docks, OS X 10.6.8
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billb
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Rosewill Enclosure Won't Boot from eSata Reply with quote

I looked at the video on NewEgg for that
enclosure. When you install a Hard Drive
you connect it to an internal circuit board
which enables USB and Firewire to work.
That circuit board doesn't support booting
via eSata. In order to boot from eSata you
would need to bypass that circuit board and
attach your eSata cable directly to your Hard
Drive. You'll probably need a Sata to Sata
cable and not a Sata to eSata cable.
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Captain Kirk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Rosewill Enclosure Won't Boot from eSata Reply with quote

Thanks for the info billb……

I did shoot a note off to Rosewill support to see what they've got to say. Don't expect to hear from them soon.

I'm pretty sure the Rosewill will never boot via eSata without hacking, so I've decided to live with it by rearranging where my various volumes reside. This way I'll boot from the FW400 box but run Parallels (I need to use XP for some design work I do part time), and the other SW I use that does all the heavy lifting, on the Rosewill via eSata. It's a compromise I can live with 'cause I really like the enclosure (it's industrial strength, aluminum case, and has a cooling fan).

My clone and Time Machine are also on the Rosewill and if the FW box should fail, I'll boot the clone in the Rosewill box via USB to get me up right away. It'll be slower but it would only be temporary.

It seems a great little enclosure and I'd recommend it to any Mac user who doesn't need to boot from it.
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billb
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: OWC Dual eSATA Enclosure Reply with quote

OWC has a dual Hard Drive Enclosure for $50.00.
It has two eSATA ports that connect directly to the
SATA hard drives. One for each hard drive. You can
run just one HD if you want. I believe it has a fan.
It is inexpensive and made for one purpose. No USB,
Firewire or circuit board. Just eSATA to SATA. If your
looking for external SATA this will work.

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Captain Kirk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: OWC Dual eSATA Enclosure Reply with quote

It looks tempting for the short term. What I'd do is put both of my Sata HDs in the eSata Enclosure, then pull the CD/DVD unit out of the mini and run that Sata bus out to the eSata Enclosure. That would speed up most everything I do.

But........ The real speed limit that I am currently facing (other than a meager budget) is the 2GB memory limit. There's a lot of file swapping going on when I've got 8-10 apps open which is typical and that slows down everything. My Mini runs 24/7 and I find that both Safari and Mail hog memory over time and when Parallels is open, all the apps are competing for that measly 2GB.

So............. When I upgrade to my next Mac Mini which I'm going to do in the next 18-24 months, how could the OWC eSata Enclosure be useful with that new "stock" Mini which I don't plan to hack into ? Are there ThunderBolt to eSata cables yet ? Any other sensible ways to connect the Enclosure to a new Mini without hacking ?
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billb
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: $50 OWC Enclosure Reply with quote

Man, if you can't afford $50.

I don't know what to say.

Wait…….don't wait.

Fifty bucks to get mostly what
you want today……….geez.
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Captain Kirk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: OWC Dual eSATA Enclosure Reply with quote

You've convinced me of the logic of your argument. I'm going to figure out what I need to do to return the Rosewill since it won't boot via eSata and get my $30 back. Then I'll get the OWC Enclosure, another Sata-to-eSata cable and I'll let you (and everyone else who may have an interest) know what transpires.

It annoys me that I'll probably have zero use for the OWC Enclosure after I upgrade this Mini for a newer one, but I'll get over it. Next I'll probably consider upgrading the CPU, etc. but the 2GB memory (or hacked 3GB) still looks like a critical bottleneck.
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Mini 1,1 Core Duo, 1.66GHz, 2GB Mem, 1TB SATA HD & 2TB SATA HD in eSATA OWC Enclosure, ViewSonic G225f, other HDs in BlacX Docks, OS X 10.6.8
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Y-Guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have that same drive, though not the SATA version of it. Good drive, fan is a tad loud. Make sure the fan runs though, the wires can bend to block the blades. I use the drive for off site storage at this point, take it home once a month to back up data and then keep it at work now. In case of a major fire my data will be off site.
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billb
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Re: OWC Dual eSATA Enclosure Reply with quote

Captain Kirk wrote:
Then I'll get the OWC Enclosure, another Sata-to-eSata
cable and I'll let you (and everyone else who may have
an interest) know what transpires.

It annoys me that I'll probably have zero use for the OWC
Enclosure after I upgrade this Mini for a newer one, but I'll
get over it.
Check the OWC web site.
I had bought that enclosure and it came with cables.
Make sure they are usable. You may be able to use
a SATA to eSATE adapter to connect one of the ends.

As far as only using that specialized enclosure once.
I keep using mine over and over again. The fact that
its SATA without any circuitry makes it hackable for
so many things and you don't have much money
tied up. Its also attractive so your hack doesn't
look much like a hack.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: OWC Dual eSATA Enclosure Reply with quote

Here's the Update - Phase 1 - The OWC Enclosure arrived last week so I returned the Rosewill Enclosure and put my primary boot HD (1TB HD) in the OWC which of course, boots just fine. The 2TB HD which is mostly back-ups and other secondary uses I put in the FW Enclosure I already had. Both HDs boot fine now and the OWC with its SATA/eSata bus remains ~3X faster than the FW400 HD.

Phase 2 - My next goal was to put both of the HDs inside the OWC and take advantage of the faster SATA speeds for both. But……….. I didn't do my homework too carefully it seems. My 1,1 Mini has the optical reader with the PATA/IDE interface, and the 1,1 Mini's Interconnect Board (922-7320) only has 1 SATA interface.

So far, I haven't been able to find a reasonable PATA/IDE >> SATA interface solution to this new challenge and I'm not even sure that the speeds through it would be better than the FW400 but I think they would be.

Anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?

I think I'm beginning to see the light on why it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend too much time/money trying to upgrade a pre-2009 Mini.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: newmodeus Optibay Adapter Reply with quote

For around $20.00 (USA) on eBay you
can buy an Adapter thats shaped like
an Optical Drive but holds a 2.5" Hard
Drive. Swap your Optical Drive for this
Adapter and attach your SATA Cable to
this Optical Drive / Hard Drive Adapter.

THIS is the expensive version, just buy
something with similar specs from eBay.

It MUST be a PATA to SATA
NOT a SATA to SATA.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: IDE/PATA to SATA OptiBay Caddy Reply with quote

For a few days these links are good:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2nd-SATA-HDD-Hard-Disk-IDE-PATA-Caddy-BOX-Bay-9-5mm-/140577105798?pt=PCC_Drives_Storage_Internal&hash=item20bb0c6786#ht_2421wt_986

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2nd-SATA-HDD-Hard-Disk-IDE-PATA-Caddy-Bay-9-5mm-DV23-/290589713907?pt=PCC_Drives_Storage_Internal&hash=item43a87f25f3#ht_2404wt_1220
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Captain Kirk
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: IDE/PATA to SATA OptiBay Caddy Reply with quote

@ Bill......

I ordered the one at the 2nd link a couple of hours ago. I'll post another update next week when it's hooked up, and I'll post the results of some speed tests for each of the drives when they're both in the OWC Enclosure.

Thanks......... CaptainKirk
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Mini 1,1 Core Duo, 1.66GHz, 2GB Mem, 1TB SATA HD & 2TB SATA HD in eSATA OWC Enclosure, ViewSonic G225f, other HDs in BlacX Docks, OS X 10.6.8
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second seller had not just a better price
but a much better rating. I would have chosen
the second link as well. Keep us posted.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject: IDE/PATA to SATA OptiBay Caddy Reply with quote

Phase 2 - The PATA-to-SATA 2.5" HD carrier arrived. I removed the stock DVD player from the Mini then inserted the HD carrier into the PATA slot on the Mini Interconnect Board - managed to get it in and fit snugly and properly.

Then I added a SATA extender cable to get the HD Carrier's SATA (was PATA) bus outside the Mini's enclosure. (I haven't sealed it up yet so I can't provide any cable routing details - as of now it's still flapping in the breeze.) Then I attached a SATA-eSata cable to the extender cable and connected the eSata connector to the OWC Enclosure. Bingo !

Now I have 2 HDs inside the OWC Enclosure connected to the 2 SATA buses coming out of the Mini. Both are bootable as there are 2 volumes on each of the HDs that have OS X systems on them.

Next - the speed tests………. these are the HDs and Models :

1. 1TB Samsung HD102UJ, 7200 RPM, 16MB Cache, 3.0GB/sec

2. 2TB Hitachi HDS5C3020ALA632, 5400/5944 RPM (optimized), 32MB Cache, 6.0GB/sec

I tested both HDs via each bus that came out of the Mini - SATA vs PATA>>SATA. Regardless which HD was connected to which bus, the SATA always out-performed the PATA>>SATA bus…….. but not by a hell of a lot.

The tests I ran were from the BenchTest suite in Drive Genius 3 using Sustained Reads/Writes and Random Reads/Writes which uses test files from 32KB to 16MB. The peak transfer rates were in the 100MB/sec range via the SATA bus and 75MB/sec via the PATA>>SATA bus regardless of which HD was being tested (4 to 3 ratio).

In comparison, the peak transfer rates for the same HDs via USB2 or FW400 were ~ 31MB/sec via USB2 and ~34MB/sec via FW400. Compared to the SATA bus speeds, that's a ratio of SATA being 3.2x faster than USB2 and 2.95x faster than FW400. Again I'll mention that these are peak transfer rates which is not real life every day usage.

However I've drawn several conclusions from these tests:

1. My normal Boot Volume and Parallels (for my XP virtual machine) must reside on the HD connected to the Mini's internal SATA bus. That's my 1TB HD.

2. All of the applications I use daily Safari, Mail, iCal, Excel, Word, iTunes, etc, etc. reside on the Mini's internal SATA bus. (same 1TB HD)

3. The PATA>>SATA bus has the 2TB HD which has weekly back-ups of all the 1TB HD's volumes, Time Machine's twice daily back-ups of my User Folder plus my large iTunes Library and my extensive movie collection both of which are backed up on HDs elsewhere.

Therefore all is good……. I can boot from both HDs once again but now the 2TB HD is ~ 3x faster than it used to be in the FW400 enclosure.

I hope this information is interesting to all and perhaps useful to someone.
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