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Old 10-01-2007, 07:07 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Budapest
Distribution: Debian
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SATA hotplug - should it work?

I'm using Debian, now I started move to 4.0 Etch.
I'm planning to use SATA drive for periodical backup, for this I have bought a SATA/RAID addon card based on VIA6421L chip which is support hotplug.
Motherboard is an MSI694DProDual (VIA chipset) with two P3 866 MHz, there are a lots of other things, such as AIC-7892A U160 SCSI controller, D-Link gigabit ethernet card, Creative Labs SB Live, nVidia Vanta AGP controller (onboard)
Debian 4.0 installed as base and vanilla kernel 2.6.18-4-686 SMP.
After all if I put on a SATA drive (also supports hotplug - WD800) using Vipower Mobil Rack - happens nothing! What is wrong? Some one successed installing hotplug SATA subsystem?
Old 10-02-2007, 03:21 AM   #2
Registered: May 2006
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Distribution: Fedora 6-17 x64 / Ubuntu 10.x x64
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Does the drive show up with
fdisk -l
Has the drive been formatted? Does it have partitions on it?
Old 10-02-2007, 05:06 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, the answer is "No". At least I never got it to work via Hot Plug.

My external SATA drive works fine if it's connected when I boot up the system. If I attempt to disconnect it while the system is up, the system locks up and I have to power off the box to reset.
Old 10-02-2007, 09:28 AM   #4
Registered: May 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
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As long as you unmount the drive before you unplug it, everything should be fine. SATA and SATA II have hot plug in their spec. You will also be able to plug it in using hot plug, and then mount it.
Old 10-02-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
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It works

I've used SATA Hotplug and even gone as far as having LVM on the hotplugged drive and it works. You have to be sure that:
1. You SATA controller supports hotplug (not all do) and
2. That the linux driver supports hotplug

See here for a run down on these issues:

Bottom line, if your controller is AHCI compliant you'll get the best experience, I did a lot of research on this before settling for the SB600 southbridge which can function in AHCI mode for SATA.

- rmjb
Old 10-03-2007, 03:22 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Budapest
Distribution: Debian
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Thanks folk!
As usual I found the answer before these posts
sata_via driver DOES NOT support hotplug - as in "matrix" indicated
I'm struggling along to get a supported card as Silicon Image.
Old 10-03-2007, 07:37 PM   #7
Registered: May 2006
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It works partially for me.

It works in Fedora 7 except that I usually have to do a "cdrecord -scanbus before the drives show up with "fdisk -l". Then I have to mount them manually.
Old 10-03-2007, 07:51 PM   #8
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Just like SCSI hard drives, SATA have to get the same treatment. You have to tell Linux that you are removing the drive. Unmounting the drive is the first step but it is not the last step. The next step is echo a command to the SCSI subsystem.

Go to
Old 10-04-2007, 04:20 AM   #9
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Budapest
Distribution: Debian
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I have got a SIL3512 chip based SATA/RAID controller.
I'm reinstalling the base Debian 4.0 (netinst) - to be safe - and voila. Hotplug is working
I'm using ViPower SATA Mobile Rack (insert drive, attach mobile rack to controller) - switch on and I'm observe the same sequence as I put an USB drive - which is obviously hotplug. Done basic file system checks (fsck.ext3 ...) on newly plugged device, and mount it - it is work fine! After unmount it, and switch off the drive, using mobil rack's power switch - cleanly unmounted, but there was some messages about that system can not reset some dsevices, retry after 5 sec ... and system back to normal! I'm repeat these steps some times, no problems. I have been checked other SCSI devices (3 of them sda sdb sdc) no problems. Would be good to check behavior on middle or high load (in these test do not work any application on these drives) they was simply mopunted/unmounted, I thinking how to doit. It seem to be does not need to send messages to SCSI subsystem, about removing the drive!?
May be intresting to supress unneded kernel/driver messages to console.


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