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Thread: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

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    PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    i just got one of these cards, in fact only last week i pointed it out to someone looking for the same thing, it's a PCI (not PCI-express) card that has one IDE/PATA/ATA133 socket that should be able to take two IDE devices and it has 3 SATA150 ports, although only two can be used at once as one is "mirrored" so that you can either use 2 ports internally or one internally and one externally. strangely the external port is a standard SATA port rather than eSATA (the internals of the cable are the same, just the ending is different). fortunately i had a PCI-e card with 2 ports, one internal and one external, and i was using the external port with an internal drive, thus had an eSATA to SATA cable running from outside the case back internally.

    anyway, whilst i understand i can only use 2 of the SATA ports at once, i believed i could use 2 SATA ports plus the IDE port, thus a total of 3 (or 4 if two devices were connected via IDE) things working at once, although for bandwidth reasons, not supplying data all at once. i connected one SATA drive and one IDE drive, and it all works fine, but when i connect an external eSATA drive it doesn't work and hangs. i know the device works as if i disconnect and reconnect to the PCI-e SATA card it works

    what i'm wondering, is if anyone has experience with these cards, and is is possible that you may be only able to use 2 devices at once, ie. either 2 SATA or 1 SATA and 1 PATA? i've not systematically went through unplugging and replugging yet as i only just got it (that's my next step), but on the card there is the external SATA port and and internal one opposite it and one to the side. i presumed the one to the side of the external port (ie. the closest) would mirror the external one, so used the one opposite/further away to conenct an internal SATA drive, and then connected one IDE drive. perhaps the ports opposite each other are the mirrored ports and the one on the side is independant. it's easy enough to open everything back up again and recheck, just a bit of a pain due to the location of the PC and all the cables running into it

    does anyone know for sure? the instructions are a one sheet peice of paper that just tell you to install the drivers on the disc, and online i can't find much help. i downloaded two sets of other drivers and tried one but it didn't change anything. it's not the end of the world if i can't use the other external SATA along with the internal one, but it's handy as i have 3 external SATA drives. the card was only £8.44 delivered and it was easy to install and get working, so no complaints there

    any help or input is appreciated, thanks. i'll post my findings if i get it to work as it might help out someone else, as i couldn't find anything by googling



    VIA VT6421A 3 PORT SATA SERIAL ATA + 1 ATA PCI CONTROLLER CARD

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/VT6421A-PORT.../dp/B000MR7SNS

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    Re: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    after a bit of mucking about and searching on google, it looks like there are a bunch of similar cards like this and loads of people having problems with them. i think i've found what the problem is however, on my card there are 4 sets of jumpers next to each other, of which i presume one relates to each of the 4 ports, 1 IDE and 3 sata. you can choose either 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 with the jumpers. at the moment i have one sata and the ide working, but i can't figure out the jumper settings for the other ports, there's nothing in the instructions or disc and nothing on the VIA or sumvision website (it's got a sumvision sticker on the card, not on the box)

    so what i need help with is what jumper settings relate to what, is there a diagram or guide, or is this supposed to be obvious, in that some clever dude can figure out what's what?

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    Re: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    The VT6421A only support 2 SATA devices. If you ever see a 3 port card the external port will be shared with one of the internal port.

    You can easily look at the traces on the card and see which two SATA ports are shared. There shouldn't be a problem if you stick in 1 Internal SATA, 1 eSATA and 2 IDE devices max.
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    Re: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    The VT6421A only support 2 SATA devices. If you ever see a 3 port card the external port will be shared with one of the internal port.

    You can easily look at the traces on the card and see which two SATA ports are shared. There shouldn't be a problem if you stick in 1 Internal SATA, 1 eSATA and 2 IDE devices max.
    thanks, i knew that though. the problem is it has 3 SATA ports plus 1 IDE/PATA port. i wanted to use 2 of the SATA ports, but i can't figure out the jumper selection to enable the external port, which as you say is shared with 1 of the 2 internal ports, but i can't figure out which 1 as the card didn't seem to work if you didn't connect it properly. at the moment it's working with one internal SATA and the internal IDE. i'm also not sure if it can operate with 2 of the SATA plus the IDE/PATA at the same time, as that may be handy (ie. 3 devices at once, 2 sata and 1 pata)

    strangely, some of the cards i've seen don't have jumpers, so i presume you simply have to remember not to plug SATA cables into the two shared ports, as most of the ones i've seen have 3 sockets, and you have the choice of an external port or second internal. strangely the external port is normal sata rather than esata

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    Re: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    Quote Originally Posted by uni View Post
    thanks, i knew that though. the problem is it has 3 SATA ports plus 1 IDE/PATA port. i wanted to use 2 of the SATA ports, but i can't figure out the jumper selection to enable the external port, which as you say is shared with 1 of the 2 internal ports, but i can't figure out which 1 as the card didn't seem to work if you didn't connect it properly. at the moment it's working with one internal SATA and the internal IDE. i'm also not sure if it can operate with 2 of the SATA plus the IDE/PATA at the same time, as that may be handy (ie. 3 devices at once, 2 sata and 1 pata)

    strangely, some of the cards i've seen don't have jumpers, so i presume you simply have to remember not to plug SATA cables into the two shared ports, as most of the ones i've seen have 3 sockets, and you have the choice of an external port or second internal. strangely the external port is normal sata rather than esata
    Actually, it could be possible you have a faulty port on the card.
    I had 3 of those cards for various machines and one was DOA.
    Does it work if you connect the eSATA only and no internal SATA?
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    Re: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    Actually, it could be possible you have a faulty port on the card.
    I had 3 of those cards for various machines and one was DOA.
    Does it work if you connect the eSATA only and no internal SATA?
    it works with one of the internal sata and the IDE, when i plugged in to the external sata port it hung, suggesting it might have mirrored the internal port, but i swapped about a bit and couldn't figure it out. with 4 sets of jumpers there are a few different combinations, and having to reboot and keep pulling the card out to go through sequentially is a bit of a pain so i was hoping to find the jumper setting explanation to take the guesswork out of it. i don't think the card is faulty, it works fine with the two devices

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    Re: PCI SATA/IDE card help sought VIA VT6421A

    a quick update

    i found out that the card is currently configured so that the external SATA port is working, and the SATA port directly opposite is working, and also the IDE/PATA port, but not the SATA port inside on the side of the card (opposite the PCI connector). it seems if you plug a SATA device into the side port it stops the other SATA ports working, but the PATA still works

    so at the moment i have two SATA drives connected and one IDE drive and it all works. the only thing is i have a SATA cable running from the outside of the case back inside (i've made a small slit in the back of the case). this isn't perfect, but it's not a huge problem as i wouldn't be able to use that port anyway if i want to use two sata devices

    i also bought a second card for another pc, so i'll maybe have a play with the jumpers on that and see if i can figure out how to change it so it's both the internal SATA plus IDE that works, and disables the external sata

    now i know why these cards don't get very good reviews on amazon and so many reports of them not working, i guess it's because people are plugging into the port that doesn't work and it stops the other port working. it took a bit of retrying and rebooting to figure it out, not exactly plug and play. it would be MUCH simpler if the instructions mentioned this. i've been putting pc's together for over 10 years so i'm used to jumper settings and everything else. god help a novice with an old pc wanting to stick in a new drive

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