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Serial Port
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎12-11-2007
Location: Middlebury, VT
Message 1 of 3 (4,113 Views)

Any eSATA ExpressCard advice?

Hello everyone,


I'm looking for answers to three specific questions about the T61p. I am going to purchase an eSATA ExpressCard, and would like to make sure it's a good one. If you own one, or have researched them, I'd appreciate hearing your experiences.


1) Can you set the boot priority in BIOS to boot from the hard drives attached by ExpressCard? (I know you can by USB. Would be a shame if you couldn't by ExpressCard.)


2) Can you get your T61p to recognize your drives if you have your brand of ExpressCard inserted at power-on / BIOS / boot? (There is a problem with many of these cards that requires that you insert it after boot up if the laptop is going to recognize the drives. This is not a T61p problem per se.)


3) What kinds of SUSTAINED write speeds is your brand getting via the interface? (Note: I don't care about burst speed. Sustained writes are when the cache is full, because of a mountain of file transfers. It's known to vary, often by brand, between around 30MB/s (especially for multi-gigabyte files) and 70MB/s.)


Some of us have been looking for systematic reviews of the performance of these cards, so if you happen to know of a good roundup, feel free to share it.


Thanks for your feedback! 



Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-06-2008
Location: Ravensburg, Germany
Message 2 of 3 (4,048 Views)

Re: Any eSATA ExpressCard advice?

[ Edited ]

Hi. I own two e-sata cards. One PCMCIA card that is not recognized by the bios, therefore no drive, connected to it, will be shown in the bootable devices list.


My second Card is a Sil3132 cipset based e-sata express card. This card has a own bios and should be initialized by the Thinkpad BIOS. Those cards are told to be bootable but, what a pity, The Lenovo Thinpad BIOS will not initialize the card and only throw a POST ERROR (see here for further details)


So my conclusion is: You will have a hard time finding a bootable e-sata controller for your thinkpad

The cards without own BIOS will not be bootable and the ones with own BIOS will not be handled properly by the Thinkpad BIOS.


Good Luck.

Message Edited by harkman on 12-18-2008 07:40 PM
Serial Port
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎12-11-2007
Location: Middlebury, VT
Message 3 of 3 (4,040 Views)

Re: Any eSATA ExpressCard advice?



Thank you very, very much for that information. I'm dismayed to hear that Lenovo isn't paying heed to this BIOS issue. If anyone knows how Harkman can actually get this message through to the BIOS tech team, it would be greatly, greatly appreciated.


Wouldn't you all like to have the capability of booting off of, say, an eSATA RAID array?