Well, well, despite what the tech. support guy from nGear told me, there eSata ExpressCard is not using the JMB360 chipset but rather the Sil3132 chipset which I wanted to avoid. In fact, when I talked to the guy, he did not know off hand, so he checked the drivers supplied with the card. As a matter of fact, the drivers on the CD that came with the ExpressCard are for the JMicron (JMB360) chipset. However, I could not use these drivers because they were for Windows, and I am using OS X on a Macbook Pro. The card did not get recognized by my MBP at first, so I downloaded the drivers from the JMicron web site. It did not help.

In my system profiler, under PCI Cards, I could see the following:

ExpressCard:

Type:    Other Mass Storage Controller
Driver Installed:    No
Bus:    PCI
Slot:    PCI Slot 3
Vendor ID:    0x1095
Device ID:    0x3132
Subsystem Vendor ID:    0x1095
Subsystem ID:    0x3132
Revision ID:    0x0001
Link Width:    x1

So, I did some research, and I found out that Vendor ID 0x1095 means “Silicon Image”. I was a bit confused by this. In order to check whether my eSata ExpressCard was using the Sil3132 chipset from Silicon Image, I downloaded the drivers for it, and guess what! My MBP recognized the ExpressCard after installing the Sil3132 drivers and rebooting! I could not believe it. That means the drivers provided on the CD are not for the ExpressCard it came with. In fact, there are drivers for various cards on the CD. Here the folders on it:

  • expresscard to esata
  • expresscard to rs232
  • Pcmcia Serial Combo
  • PCMCIA Serial RS232

Of course, I checked the drivers in the expresscard to esata directory. I don’t understand. It means that the drivers on the CD are not for the ExpressCard that was in the same package.

The ExpressCard is working fine. I could do a backup on my external drive using the Time Machine. However, I am not expecting to be able to boot from my external drive.

Posted in Mac

One thought on “nGear eSata ExpressCard uses the Sil3132 chipset

  1. I too have an ESATA adaptor based on the SiI3132 and your post helped me to get it working on my MBP. Thanks for the tip!

    (Now hoping I won’t experience any of the freezing issues…)

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