eSata Computer port

hi guys,
do you know if we can take a (non-drobo) sata hard drive, and connect it up to the computer via the eSata port on the side? (eg without opening up the computer case etc)

(eg i have a powered usb / esata combo port)

if that is possible, do you know if a sata drive (which is part of a drobo disk pack) could be connected up in the same way, in order to run a drive util test.

(theres probably a lot more to worry about, in terms of risk in case plugging it in would cause some data to change and stop it working in a drobo again, and the fact that different drive “utils” are passive and others are active, but does anyone know more info on this at all)?

Yes and Yes.

You can connect a SATA drive to an eSATA or Powered eSATA (eSATAp) port.

The “single-piece” option for Powered eSATA:
Powered eSATA (eSATAp) to SATA+Power cable

“Single-piece” option that works with standard unpowered eSATA as well:
SATA HDD dock with eSATA interface

The “two-piece” solution:
eSATA (“I”) to SATA (“L”) cable (shielded is safer) AND external power for the drive.
I have some power bricks from some USB drive adapters that go to the standard 4-pin molex like those for optical drives, then I use an adapter to go to SATA power.

Once connected, you can do whatever you want with the drive - run diagnostics, reformat, etc.

While there is no guarantee that changes may not happen, generally speaking Windows won’t touch a drive with content that it doesn’t understand. Drives that are part of a Drobo disk pack fall into that category. If you really want to ensure no writes happen, you can get a write blocker but that’ll cost you more than the drive itself. :slight_smile:

thanks bhiga for the reply and comprehensive info

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