After the misadventure with my nGear eSata EpressCard, I returned it, and I ordered a PPA Int’l eSata ExpressCard. This card uses the JMicron chipset and thus was recognized automatically by my MacBook Pro (OS X v10.5.5). It was not easy to find an ExpressCard with that chipset in Canada. Of course, it would have been possible to order it from the states, but then sometimes there is a custom fee to pay. I found my card here:

Here is how the card is recognised by in SystemProfiler:


Type:    AHCI Controller
Driver Installed:    Yes
Bus:    PCI
Slot:    PCI Slot 3
Vendor ID:    0x197b
Device ID:    0x2363
Subsystem Vendor ID:    0x197b
Subsystem ID:    0x2363
Revision ID:    0x0003
Link Width:    x1

Although I have a SATA drive connected to the eSata ExpressCard, the drive does not appear under Serial-ATA but under ATA in the System Profiler.

When I turned on my MBP with the ExpressCard and my external hard-drive connected, I did not find an icon for the hard-drive and I got a bit worried. I took a little while before appearing. At some point, my MBP froze and I still don’t know why. After rebooting, the external hard-drive never reappeared. So I switched cable, and connected it through a USB port. The drive got mounted fine. Then I thought about something. The Vantec enclosure I am using turns off the drive when it is not used for a while. I thought, maybe if the drive is not active, it is not seen by the ExpressCard. So I unmounted the drive and switched back to the eSata connection while the drive was still “active”. It got recognized and mounted automatically. Issuing the mount command in a shell, I could see how the drive was mounted:

/dev/disk1s1 on /Volumes/Data (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled)

So, I decided to “eject” the drive and to try remounting it with the following command:

mount_hfs -o nodev,nosuid  /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/Data

However, if I reboot my MBP, the mount_hfs trick does not work anymore because /dev/disk1s1 does not exist anymore. 🙁

UPDATE (2010-01-02): My PPA Int’l eSata ExpressCard is working now that I have installed Snow Leopard. See my new post:

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2 thoughts on “I got my PPA Int’l eSata ExpressCard

  1. I just wanted to say that you may have better luck with a esata only enclosure. That is what I use. I think the multi port enclosures sometimes confuse the system. Other world computing has a great dual bay encloseure for about 65 dollars. This set up has worked great for me. I hope this helps.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Actually, I tried various combinations (different eSata cables, external drives, and MBP’s), and I am now wondering if my MBP has a harware problem. I tried a La Cie drive and it did not work either. However, it was also multi-port drive. Then I tried my eSata card and my external drive on a friend’s MBP which may be about 1 year older than mine and it worked fine. This lets me believe that it might be a firmware or a hardware problem. But thanks for your input. If I have the chance, I will try with an eSata-only enclosure.



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