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I'm looking for a 4 ports pci or pci-express (not pci-x) sata controller with these features: - real hot swap support - no RAID support, or with RAID support that can be disabled through the controller bios interface or reflashing the bios

My need is to hot plug/unplug one or more different sata1 and/or sata2 disks from different brands size and speed (even at the same time), coming from my customers computers to perform lab activities on them, like backup.

I tried several Silicon Image controllers (3112,3114,3124) and Promise TX4. Everyone has issues: some disks are not seen or are dropped during the backup process while the Promise even hangs the host pc with some hard-drives. Adaptec raid (Serveraid 8s) controllers aren't transparent to the operating system and it seems there is noway to disable the raid.

What would you suggest?

Thank you!

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what is the host OS? – iPaulo Feb 18 '10 at 17:34
@iPaulo it's a debian lenny 64bit – damko Feb 19 '10 at 0:18
Did you find something? Did you try the Areca ARC-1300-4e? – iPaulo May 24 '10 at 23:28
yes! I bought a Silicon Image 3124 Addonics multilane PCI-Express ADSA3GPX8-ML. It works very well! – damko May 29 '10 at 21:52
and no I never tried the Areca. Do you have any report about it? – damko May 29 '10 at 21:52

Did you consider a SAS card? They usually allow also SATA.

Could something like Intel SASWT4I (WILDWOOD TRAIL) fit the bill? I have absolutely no experience with it, but on paper it does everything you need.

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Have had sucess with this card LaCie 2Port They also make a four port but it is not inexpensive. Have had issues with some Startech cards not allowing Dell servers to boot and have not found a solution.

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Have you considered a SATA USB Dock?

Not sure what performance you are trying to achieve but this could be handy.

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yes I did, but usb is too slow for a professional use and all those devices are too much fragiles: they are not supposed to be used several thousands times in a year. Thank you anyway. – damko Feb 19 '10 at 0:21

As you mentioned fragility in a comment: Be really careful, as SATA plugs aren't supposed to be used thousands of time, in fact they are really fragile, as I have learned the hard way just two days ago.

For this kind of use I would try to find a controller with e-sata ports since they are designed for much greater stress.

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