Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

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Srdjan
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Joined: Jun 18th, 2008, 6:36 am

Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

Post by Srdjan » Jun 18th, 2008, 7:02 am

I think that you are already aware of this problem in the latest build of Safe removal (4.0 beta 4).
After complete unlocking, the program cannot see any other locking handlers on this disk, but still cannot remove it while displaying the nonrelevant message about drive may be under another account with more privileges.

The chipset is Intel 965P (ICH8R) under AHCI, with latest Intel Matrrix Storage Manager drivers at the moment. The motherboard is Gigabyte GA 965P-DS4, the external disk is WD3200KS connected via eSATA cable and eSATA to SATA extension bracket. The internal disk is WD5000AAKS as the only one.

I suggest you fix this bug as soon as possible, because it is not cosmetic. Without this feature working as it should one can say that this otherwise excellent program simply does not work.

Apart from this bug, which is however essential for me, this program is by far the best among the similar of this kind. For example, the "Hotswap" 4.1.1.0 (http://mysite.verizon.net/kaakoon/hotswap/index_enu.htm) can remove my Hard disk and USB disks. However, it is done not by removing but rather by deinstalling the disks, causing the message "found new hardware....." every time one of these disks is plugged in again. I am not sure if this can be a hint towards a solution for the mentioned problem in Safe removal.

Best regards
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Igor
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Re: Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

Post by Igor » Jun 18th, 2008, 10:29 am

Srdjan wrote:I think that you are already aware of this problem in the latest build of Safe removal (4.0 beta 4).
After complete unlocking, the program cannot see any other locking handlers on this disk, but still cannot remove it while displaying the nonrelevant message about drive may be under another account with more privileges.

The chipset is Intel 965P (ICH8R) under AHCI, with latest Intel Matrrix Storage Manager drivers at the moment. The motherboard is Gigabyte GA 965P-DS4, the external disk is WD3200KS connected via eSATA cable and eSATA to SATA extension bracket. The internal disk is WD5000AAKS as the only one.

I suggest you fix this bug as soon as possible, because it is not cosmetic. Without this feature working as it should one can say that this otherwise excellent program simply does not work.

Apart from this bug, which is however essential for me, this program is by far the best among the similar of this kind. For example, the "Hotswap" 4.1.1.0 (http://mysite.verizon.net/kaakoon/hotswap/index_enu.htm) can remove my Hard disk and USB disks. However, it is done not by removing but rather by deinstalling the disks, causing the message "found new hardware....." every time one of these disks is plugged in again. I am not sure if this can be a hint towards a solution for the mentioned problem in Safe removal.

Best regards
Srdjan,
Thank you for your message! In a 2-3 weeks we will release the version that will probably support removal of such SATA drives like yours. If you are interested in beta-testing of the functionality we can notify you when we release the beta-version.

P.S.
Honestly we are also going to remove such drives by "uninstalling", because they doesn't support "safe removal", at least it's impossible to do with Windows API. However we will implement it as much as possible transparent for user.
Srdjan
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 18th, 2008, 6:36 am

Re: Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

Post by Srdjan » Jun 18th, 2008, 12:34 pm

Igor wrote: Srdjan,
Thank you for your message! In a 2-3 weeks we will release the version that will probably support removal of such SATA drives like yours. If you are interested in beta-testing of the functionality we can notify you when we release the beta-version.

P.S.
Honestly we are also going to remove such drives by "uninstalling", because they doesn't support "safe removal", at least it's impossible to do with Windows API. However we will implement it as much as possible transparent for user.
Igor, thank you for your prompt answer. Yes, I would like to beta test this new version so please notify me in when it is released.

Your statement that such drives actualy do not support "safe removal" seems very unclear to me. This hard drive is normal SATA II drive which should support hot plugging by itself. Also, it is well known that SATA drives can be "safely removed" on Nforce chipsets using native Windows safe removal icon. SATA drives are visible in this icon on nForce motherborads. So it seems that it is not the hard drive preventing the safe removal. Hot plugging is a part of SATA design (when AHCI mode is enabled) and should work as designed.

I guess the problem is in Intel ICH and Matrix Storage drivers which do not allow safe removal. Intel confirmed it in the drivers "release info" under "unresolved issues".

Is it possible to solve the problem like NForce drivers do ? It is also done through Windows API ? If this feature can be implemented only by "uninstalling drive" like other hardware, then I suppose that it is performed on a lower (hardware) level and diffrent from safe removal of USB drives. In this case try to avoid the disturbing message "New hardware found... Disk drive......Your hardware is ready for use" and also try to avoid short system freeze while drive is being recognized every time when this drive is plugged in again.
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Igor
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Re: Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

Post by Igor » Jun 20th, 2008, 10:57 am

Srdjan, thank you for the reply!

Your statement that such drives actualy do not support "safe removal" seems very unclear to me. This hard drive is normal SATA II drive which should support hot plugging by itself. Also, it is well known that SATA drives can be "safely removed" on Nforce chipsets using native Windows safe removal icon. SATA drives are visible in this icon on nForce motherborads. So it seems that it is not the hard drive preventing the safe removal. Hot plugging is a part of SATA design (when AHCI mode is enabled) and should work as designed.
When AHCI mode is disabled (AFAIK it's a default mode of many currently working BIOSes), SATA drive doesn't have a special system flag (REMOVABLE), so it can be only disabled, not safely removed. If I'm not right in my sentences, please correct me.

I guess the problem is in Intel ICH and Matrix Storage drivers which do not allow safe removal. Intel confirmed it in the drivers "release info" under "unresolved issues".

Is it possible to solve the problem like NForce drivers do ? It is also done through Windows API ? If this feature can be implemented only by "uninstalling drive" like other hardware, then I suppose that it is performed on a lower (hardware) level and diffrent from safe removal of USB drives. In this case try to avoid the disturbing message "New hardware found... Disk drive......Your hardware is ready for use" and also try to avoid short system freeze while drive is being recognized every time when this drive is plugged in again.
Currently we do not have plans to fix this problem because I do not know any other ways on how to fix this problem except by writing a custom driver for SATA controller of chipset. It's a very labour-consuming task for us.

Regarding your another suggestions we will try to keep them in mind on development. In any case we will present you a beta-version before release and you can tell us your opinion about it.
Srdjan
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Re: Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

Post by Srdjan » Jun 20th, 2008, 2:18 pm

Igor wrote:When AHCI mode is disabled (AFAIK it's a default mode of many currently working BIOSes), SATA drive doesn't have a special system flag (REMOVABLE), so it can be only disabled, not safely removed. If I'm not right in my sentences, please correct me.


Currently we do not have plans to fix this problem because I do not know any other ways on how to fix this problem except by writing a custom driver for SATA controller of chipset. It's a very labour-consuming task for us.
Igor, thank you for yor answer. May be I was not clear, trying to convince you that every SATA II drive should allow hotswapping with SATA II controller if AHCI mode is enabled in BIOS (not disabled as you wrote) with a motherboard which chipset and drivers are designed for safe removal. It is to blame Intel not you for not supporting this feature in Matrix Storeage Drivers and actually fooling their customers. I don't know about this flag you mentioned, but it is a truth that SATA II drive is removable via native Windows safe removal icon on nVidia chipset. Regarding this a lot of people complained on safe removal icon being placed in systray when no USB drive was connected, but it is just properly implemented hotswap feature in their drivers.
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Igor
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Re: Can't stop SATA II disk in external enclosure

Post by Igor » Jul 1st, 2008, 1:41 pm

Srdjan wrote: Igor, thank you for yor answer. May be I was not clear, trying to convince you that every SATA II drive should allow hotswapping with SATA II controller if AHCI mode is enabled in BIOS (not disabled as you wrote) with a motherboard which chipset and drivers are designed for safe removal. It is to blame Intel not you for not supporting this feature in Matrix Storeage Drivers and actually fooling their customers. I don't know about this flag you mentioned, but it is a truth that SATA II drive is removable via native Windows safe removal icon on nVidia chipset. Regarding this a lot of people complained on safe removal icon being placed in systray when no USB drive was connected, but it is just properly implemented hotswap feature in their drivers.
Hi Srdjan,
We have implemented the functionality I promised above (enabling\disabling of devices). It's still in active development, however main behavior has been implemented and so you can evaluate it and give us your opinion on how we implemented yours desired features.

Find development version here:
http://safelyremove.com/usbsafelyremovesetupbeta5.exe
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