From the Intel® Desktop Board DP55KG Technical Product Specification
1.7.1 eSATA Support
The red eSATA connectors on the back panel can be used to connect an eSATA drive.
They can also be used for port replication, which allows the aggregation of multiple
hard drives on each of the eSATA ports. Figure 10 on page 42 shows the location of
the External SATA -compatible SATA ports on the back panel.
The Marvell 88E6145 controller uses the PCI Express bus for data transfer with a
theoretical maximum transfer rate of 3 Gb/s per port. These connectors are in
addition to the six SATA connectors of the PCH SATA interface.
To use the eSATA ports you must enable RAID support in the BIOS for the Marvell
discrete controller. The two internal ports can stay in the default IDE mode if RAID is
The discrete SATA interface supports the following RAID levels:
- RAID 0
- RAID 1
The Marvell 88E6145 controller supports single drive non-RAID configurations as well
as RAID configurations. For RAID configurations, you must install the RAID drivers by
pressing F6 during operating system installation. See your operating system
installation documentation for more information about installing drivers during the
I would also suggest that you download and look at the Marvell RAID Utility User Guide at http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/d975xbx2/sb/mv_raid_manual.pdf.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Keith, but sadly no. I enabled RAID in the BIOS for the Marvell controller and installed the Marvell drivers. I can now see my eSATA drive, but CD-ROM disappeared and I have tried everything to get it back. Switched back to IDE mode, uninstalled the Marvell drivers...nothing worked - it is weird. I actually have it back online, but I had to move the CD-ROM over to the Intel ICH RAID port I had left. I really dont want it there, but had no other choice at this point. It must be something really simple stupid, but I tried for several hours to no avial...any other thoughts?
jgalinov, did you ever get this issue resolved?
In my experience so far, documentation, implementation and support for eSATA on the Marvell Controller is substandard at best. Seems to work for some, but frustrated posts around the Internet indicate problems are fairly common on Intel and other motherboards.
My LG optical drive is working (blue SATA port 0), but trying to use the red eSATA connectors has led to one problem after another. eSATA drives work flawlessly on my old computer using a cheap Vantec eSATA PCI card on Intel D875PBZ motherboard. Marvell Controller on DP55KG is a different story.
Upgraded the Marvell driver and set the controller to RAID in the BIOS. The eSATA drive was now visible in Marvell MRU, but only as an unusable, generic SATA device with 0 bytes available. The Marvell Controller is visible In device manager, but no external drive appears under Disk drives.
Next, I found Safe Eject setting in Marvell Controller properties. Enabled it for Port 3 (the eSATA port I was trying to use). Seemed like a good idea, but Windows would no longer boot after that. Booted to the Windows logo and just stayed there. Waited more than 15 mins on one attempt. Windows tried to repair the problem, but only returned a "bad driver" message. Eventually had to go back to last good restore point.
This controller has weakened my confidence in Intel motherboards. I can understand quirks or waiting for fixes when dealing with new technology (e.g. SSD RAID array on the ICH controller, which is working great BTW), but no respectable manufacturer should still have a significant percentage of customers struggling to get eSATA working.
Chipset: P55, INF ver. 220.127.116.112
Intel SATA RAID Controller: driver RST 18.104.22.1687
Marvell Controller: 88SE61xx, BIOS 22.214.171.124, driver 126.96.36.19903
OS: Windows 7 Pro x64
External HD: WD 500GB WD5001ABYS
Enclosure: NexStar 3
I decided to ignore eSATA on the Marvell controller for now (kind of the way Intel and Marvell seem to be ignoring it) and just be grateful at least my LG optical drive was working. Now several days later, without having touched anything except install the latest Windows updates, I have the same condition as jgalinov. My optical drive has disappeared. Poof, gone! Doesn't appear in MRU or in Device Manager. This drive was working fine for weeks until I ran STOR_AllOS_MRUSetup_188.8.131.5203_PV_Marvell.exe changed to RAID in the BIOS and tried to get eSATA working.
At one point, the optical drive and eSATA attached drive were both showing up in MRU Physical Devices and Topology. When Windows started hanging on boot, I detached the external drive and went back to previous restore point. The restore point was apparently after MRU was installed because it's still there, but I don't plan to go back earlier for now.
Not only is my optical drive not working, but Windows is hanging on boot again. After waiting 3-4 minutes, Windows finally finished booting (note: I had 8-second boot time before installing "updates" for this Marvel controller). Event Viewer shows repeated "Request to PD 4 is timeout." system event warnings from "mv61xx". PD 4 corresponds to Port 3 where I had the eSATA device attached several days ago. So much for Marvell eSATA "Safe Eject support"...
Well, I'm off to see what Intel Support has to say about this.
First, let me say most Intel support representatives are very helpful and great to work with. Thanks to all of you for doing the best you could. However, 4 or 5 different technicians were unable to resolve the topic of this thread or the second problem of optical drives disappearing on the Marvell controller after setting to RAID mode and installing 184.108.40.20603 drivers.
Aside from eSATA and optical drive not working, Windows started taking several minutes to boot (previously 8 seconds cold boot). Eventually Windows wouldn't boot at all (stalled at the Windows logo). Finally had to disable the Marvell controller. Everything went back to normal at that point (other than no eSATA or optical drive). I requested escalation to tier-3. Chat support did escalate to "US local support group", but that only resulted in suggestions to try reinstalling Windows (which I had already done once for a different reason) or replacing the motherboard.
This was obviously not tier-3: No in-depth questions, tracing or dumps; no curiosity about what could be causing these problems; no specific reason for asking me to go through all the trouble of rebuilding my system. I asked if there were any cases on file where these particular Marvell controller issues were fixed by reinstalling Windows or replacing the motherboard. Response: "...we do not have records on other people having the same issue, this seems to be an isolated case." If Intel or Marvell engineers don't know about customer problems with the Marvell controller, what chance is there a fix will ever be released? (That's a rhetorical question BTW.)
I refuse to rebuild a system I just spent many hours building over the holidays--just to see what happens. So what to do? No choice but to experiment some more on my own. Guess what? I found a workaround!
What ended up working on my system (specs posted earlier) was simple: Move the optical drive off the Marvell controller to an available SATA port on the Intel controller. Then re-enable Marvell discrete controller and set it to RAID in the BIOS; reinstall the latest Marvell RAID drivers if they were removed; go to Device Manager -> Storage Controllers -> Marvell controller properties and enable Safe Eject on port 2 and 3 (eSATA ports). Reboot once more and you're golden (at least it worked for me).
The result on my system was:
- LG optical drive is working again.
- eSATA is finally working on my DP55KG board!
- I can hot-plug/remove an eSATA device with no problem (some report problems with hot-plugging eSATA on Marvell 88SE61xx)
- Windows boot times are fast again--maybe 16-20 seconds instead of 8, but that's expected due to device detection on the secondary controller.
- Performance (small file copy, listing hundereds of files, etc.) on the eSATA drive is very quick. (Sorry no measurements or very large files yet.)
I might have read about someone else moving their optical drive off the Marvell controller on a non-Intel motherboard. After reading complaints in so many forums, I can't remember. (Just Google "Marvell eSATA".) Only remaining problem now is sleep mode command is apparently not passed through to the eSATA drive. When the computer goes into hybrid-sleep the external WD drive never spins down. I can live with that for now.
My apologies for such a long post (above). The first half is mainly about Intel support apparently being largely unaware of customer problems with eSATA and optical drives on the Marvell controller. (Am I the first to open a support case on this?). The second half is a configuration that worked for me and a few others from what I've read on the Web.
Update on item 5 (eSATA performance): I copied a 42.7 GB file from an eSATA/Nexstar 3 attached WD5001ABYS to my Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB RAID-1 array. Avg. sustained transfer rate was just under 30 MB/sec. Discussion on eSATA transfer rates should be done in a different thread, but this is roughly half of some of the better real-world transfer rates out there. Don't think the WD5001ABYS is a problem. But the Nexstar enclosure, Marvell controller (as implemented on the DP55KG), eSATA cable and, some say, antivirus software could all be contributing factors. (Note: write caching is enabled on the Spinpoint array.)
My apologies if somebody already stated above what I'm stating in this post, I don't have time to go read all the above posts. But here's some facts.
Marvell 6145 Controller controls 4 ports on Kingsberg. 2 blue internal SATA ports (which support IDE, and RAID boot) and 2 eSATA ports on the back panel (which only work with RAID for boot). After booting, both IDE and RAID should work in any of the 4 Marvell Ports because the OS-Driver is far more intelligent then the Option ROM which loads during BIOS POST.
Here's a few more facts...
- You can't do a RAID array between Marvell SATA ports, and Intel P55 chipset SATA ports.
- When in RAID mode, single drives are basically working in AHCI mode and some drives might not support that mode very well.
- Loose SATA cables can cause a huge amount of issues, including nearly everything I read above. Remember, a solid SATA connection is not just feeling solid in the socket... but the actual pins on the connector are making contact.
- If you have 6 or less drives on internal SATA connectors... just use the Black PCH SATA ports. Just use Marvell for eSATA on the back panel.
- Be sure you are using the latest Marvell OS drivers.
Hope that helps,
Edwin, since you didn't have time to read the last post, let me summarize that a workaround has already been found (at least it worked for me): Move optical drives off the internal blue Marvell controller over to a black Intel SATA port.
Your list combines facts from existing documentation with what sounds like hard-earned experience, so it may help the OP or others. Thanks.
The point I'm concerned about (directed at Intel and Marvell, not you) is: " If you have 6 or less drives on internal SATA connectors... just use the Black PCH SATA ports. Just use Marvell for eSATA on the back panel." Well first, on the DP55KG there are only a total of 6 black Intel SATA ports, so if you have 6 drives on there already, you're out of luck for this workaround. But the main point is, I have not seen this mentioned in product documentation and Intel support didn't seem to be aware that optical drives attached to the blue Marvell SATA ports potentially interfere with eSATA. At the very least, this should be added to the readme file under known issues. If Intel engineers ever become aware of the issue, they can investigate various combinations of internal and external devices on the Marvel controller.