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What's DOS?
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
Location: USA
0 Kudos

x201 eSata external HD via ExpressCard Freezing Problem

Dear Lenovo,

I have an X201 Thinkpad (Product ID: 3249CTO) running Windows 7 Pro.  I am trying to use an external hard drive (AcomData Samurai 500GB w. USB 2.0 & eSata ) via an eSata interface by using an Sil3132 ExpressCard:

  - Syba SD-PCBX-ESA2 ExpressCard SIL3132 Chipset 2x e-SATA II

The drivers all seem to install properly, the interface card / hard drive appear in the device manager, and the drive seems to work initially.  But when I try to copy a number of files (particularly larger ones), the process inevitably stalls, comes to a complete halt (essentially freezes), and seems impossible to cancel (the copying process).  The Thinkpad continues to function for the most part.

Any ideas?

I've upgraded the BIOS  (to LENOVO 6QET45WW (1.15 ), 4/26/2010) based on forum posting on similar problems with T61 Thinkpads:

  - http://forum.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/When-will-BIOS-bugfix-be-released/m-p/53780#M41...

But it doesn't seem to help.  The external hard drive is fine via its USB 2.0 interface (but slow of course).  Thank you in advance for any help.

What's DOS?
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
Location: USA
0 Kudos

Re: x201 eSata external HD via ExpressCard Freezing Problem

Just a bit more info...after digging around some more, it seems like the problem with the T61 might be similar to what's happening for my x201?  The problem getting the eSata interface to work for the T61 was definitely a BIOS issue, which was impressively documented here:

   http://2xod.com/articles/Lenovo%20T61%20Slow%20PCMCIA/

The driver for my ExpressCard (the Syba SIL3132) shows up as follows:

   Device Description: Silicon Image SiI 3132 SATALink Controller
   Driver Date: 10/31/2006
   Drier Version: 1.0.12.0

The driver for my hard drive (the AcomData Samurai) shows up as follows:

   Hitachi HTS545050B9A300 SCSI Disk Device
   Driver Provider: Microsoft
   Driver Date: 6/21/2006
   Driver Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Does anyone have any ideas?  Could it be that the BIOS for the x201 needs to be upgraded as well?  Thanks again.

What's DOS?
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
Location: USA
0 Kudos

Re: x201 eSata external HD via ExpressCard Freezing Problem (SOLVED)

Buying an eSata 3G HD (vs. the AcomData Samurai which seems to be eSata 1.5G) seemed to do the trick:

 

   Iomega 1 TB eSATA 3 GB/USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive 34280

 

With the above, the write speeds seem to be 3x or so faster than those for USB 2.0 (around 50 MB/s).

Paper Tape
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
Location: US
0 Kudos

Re: x201 eSata external HD via ExpressCard Freezing Problem

This is off-topic and very basic, but how do you connect the Express Card to the X201?

 

Does an eSATA drive connect just to the Express Card, or does it also need a USB port?

 

I have the same X201 as you and I'm trying to find ways to speed up Photoshop. I think an eSATA drive may help.

 

btw, I already have 8gb RAM and a 500gb SDD internal hard drive.

 

Thanks.

 

What's DOS?
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
Location: USA
0 Kudos

Re: x201 eSata external HD via ExpressCard Freezing Problem

Oh, it just plugs right into the ExpressCard slot, no USB needed (and the other end goes to the external hard drive that's eSata compatible).  You have to have the right cable too.  Here's where I got it from:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Syba-SD-PCBX-ESA2-ExpressCard-SIL3132-Chipset/dp/B000JWONA2

 

Just to make sure, you're trying to speed up access (reads and writes) to an external drive right?