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mr.v. 05-10-2007 07:45 PM

SATA backplanes basic questions/linux compatability...
hi all--

I had a question about SATA Backplanes. I wasn't getting very far on google though. How do these things work? I'm planning on setting up a small Slackware file server that has 2 terabytes in a RAID5 configuration. I'd like to get one of these hot swappable SATA backplanes that look good. Here's my question though...How do these things work?

It looks like they have 4-5 internal connectors depending on the number of drives supported. But they only seem to have 1 (or more confusingly some have 2) external connectors. Where do these connector(s) go to? The documentation for most of them is terrible. Do they connect to the SATA port on the motherboard? If so, can the BIOS recognize all 4-5 drives as individuals even though they only plug into one sata connector? Or does the entire backplane glom all the drives together as one big drive?

Sorry for the ignorance, I just haven't had much luck figuring this out.

Any help is appreciated!

raf_iso 05-11-2007 02:52 AM


for mines (2x 4 SATA2 chenbro) each port is for one drives. Very easy to use. I just installed a 4TB raid5 with an adaptec 2820sa and it's working fine. Chenbro has enough documentation and there website.

Good luck

archtoad6 05-11-2007 10:36 AM

Please save us some, possibly wrong, Googling & supply the links to the pages you are thinking about.

mr.v. 05-11-2007 12:15 PM

Sorry 'bout that archtoad--

It's looking more and more like I'm an idiot and this isn't confusing at all. Looking at the pictures, I didn't realize that some of the connectors were actually SATA+SATA Power... and some were just the standard looking SATA, which combined with low resolution images made it seem that they weren't SATA connectors at all.

Here's one that seemed confusing:
the back image of it is here:

The MWave one I was looking at is here doesn't have a rear image:
but the guy on the phone said it only had two...I'm beginning to think that guy was confused like me...

There were a couple others with this type of configuration but I cannot find the links anymore for the life of me.

At any rate, it's fairly clear that I made a silly mistake. I've haven't seen one before up close, so it wasn't immediately obvious, and I didn't want to order one until I understood exactly what they did.

These ones are far more clear that each drive has a 1:1 SATA port to controller link...

This one clearly has all 5 sata connectors...

as does the one raf_iso mentioned...the chenbro one...Also this startech one seems to have 5 clearly defined SATA ports + 2 SATA power ports

Sorry for the waste of bandwidth!

archtoad6 05-12-2007 05:22 AM

No waste, opened my eyes to new hardware. Thanks for posting the links, that was really helpful.

I had no idea from your original post that these things were to fit in several 5 1/4" bays -- I thought we were discussing external enclosures. The 5-in-3 idea is really good, ideal for doing RAID 5. You can have 4 drives in the array w/ a spare that's ready to use, or 5 drives active; either would make a good RAID 5 array.

As long as we're on the subject, have you read the recent Google report on HD reliability?

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