August 30, 2006

The quest for a SATA enclosure...

What started out as a simple task has snowballed into a major endeavor. The job was simple, buy an external enclosure that I could put a spare Serial ATA drive into, and plug it into my Mac via Firewire or USB. Unfortunately, Serial ATA has a hidden gotcha called Spread Spectrum Clocking that a lot of SATA gear just doesn't support.

A number of SATA drives on the market don't even have this feature available, it's primary purpose is to reduce EMI emissions in multi-drive systems (RAIDs and such), so typically only higher end drives would feature this. Of the drives that do have this feature, a select few apparently have a jumper setting to enable/disable the function, but most drives don't have a way for the user to change this preset setting. And of course, as it happens, the drive I had intended to use had SSC enabled, as it was from an Xserve G5.

One of the main goals in purchasing the enclosure was so that I could perform data recovery, backup, etc, on a separate system that didn't have SATA built in, I could just move the drive to my enclosure, do my work, and get the drive back where it needed to go. So because I don't know what type of drives I'd be working with, and because it's likely I'll be needing to work with Xserve drives, I obviously NEED to have SSC support.

I've already spoken with several enclosure manufacturers, so far, none have had a model that supported SSC. The search continues...

Posted by Jim at 10:03 AM | TrackBack

August 11, 2006


This afternoon, I finally broke down and installed a webmail application here to read mail when away from our usual machines, after scouring the web for info, I finally settled on SquirrelMail, a well rounded package for doing email via the web.

Installation was a snap, the online info on installing under Mac OS X 10.1 still worked fine even though the mail server here is 10.4, and aren't really any different than a standard install, so I'm kind of missing the point of having separate install instructions... I'll put this through its paces over the next few weeks and will report back if any signifigant issues are uncovered.

Posted by Jim at 3:19 PM | TrackBack