08-29-2012 06:48 AM
When I was analyzing laptop specifications to buy a new one, I was disappointed because I have some external eSATA disks, and there were no eSATAp connector on any W530 model. Anyway, I brought one and I can assure you it is a solid and great machine.
Meanwhile I found a good and almost inexpensive solution for this problem. It is a small adapter from Addonics that connects to USB 3.0 port and converts to an eSATAp port. (Since I live in Portugal to avoid customs costs I got mine from Aimtec (UK)).
I measure transfers of 120 MB/s with my 2,5” external disk and so far I am totally satisfied with this solution. To avoid mechanical stress in the laptop port, I suggest using an small USB3.0 extension cable (15 cm) instead of connecting directly the adapter to the computer.
(NOTE: I have no comercial interest or own any stock options on the referred companies. My only purpose is to share with other members this workaround since Lenovo dropped the support of eSATAp ports on W530 model).
08-29-2012 11:41 AM
08-29-2012 12:42 PM
I don't think this Sonnet adapter supplies power to the external drive. It is eSATA not eSATAp. In this case it is necessary to connect another cable to an USB port to supply power to the external disk.
In my own opinion I think it is better to have an external adapter than an internal one:
a) If outside, the heat it generates will be dissipated in the air while the heat generated by the internal adapter will be added to the one already inside and generated by the CPU, graphics etc..
b) Call me a too much careful person, but in case of internal adapter problem or short circuit, I prefer it occurs outside my machine. The electrical isolation is greater in a USB port than in the ExpressCard/34 Bus. Any electric pick or static discharge and the motherboard internal bus buffers may be damage.
These are the reasons why I choose an external adapter.
08-31-2012 06:37 PM - edited 08-31-2012 06:38 PM
I was aware of this solution i.e. the Addonics adapter. My question is: can you boot from the attached drive?
BTW: I still think it is a bummer that Lenovo dropped eSATAp. Dell still has it in the new m4700.
08-31-2012 09:00 PM
You can use the combination for an eSata drive to boot up the system on the W530.
09-01-2012 05:43 AM - edited 09-01-2012 06:42 AM
No, I have not tried thiis adapter as I have no need for it on my W520. The power comes from the USB 3.0 /USB 2.0 port. The USB 3.0 ports on the W530 are natively supported by the Ivy Bridge chipset so the eSata drive should be able to be used in boot mode. Most external USB 3.0 drives are SATA internally and utilize a SATA to USB bridge. The Addonics unit also works on USB 3.0 or USB 2.0,
09-05-2012 04:18 AM
Sorry my late reply. As you asked me, I tried by several ways to boot from the external disk using the eSata/USB3.0 adapter but without success. I used Acronis 2012 to copy my Windows 7 x64 boot partition and EasyBCD 2.1.2 to adjust the boot manager on target external disk. I think one time the boot was started from the external disk but after the Windows 7 logo was displayed, there were a reboot. I don’t know if this behavior is due to the way I cloned the portions or to adapter problems.
However I think there is a main problem regarding the boot. The adapter has two LED’s. One associated with the USB 3.0 port and the other with the eSATA port. Only when both are green the computer can access the external disk. After power on the machine and during the selection of boot source (keys ENTER and F12) the eSATA led is yellow so the external disk will not be displayed on the possible selections of F12 menu. I found a workaround. Starting the laptop using the internal HDD and when both adapter LED’s are green, do a Windows restart. This way (sometimes) during the F12 menu boot selection both lights are still green and it is possible to select the external disk.
With all negative points I mentioned previously, in my opinion this kind of solution is not reliable neither acceptable.
So if you ask me if it can boot, my answer is no, it can’t.