The Lian-Li EX50 eSata enclosure – how to use it with Snow Leopard

Well, this is a nice unit (beautifuly made and quiet), but there’s no mention of Mac support in the documentation — no big surprise! Apparently, it will soon be replaced by an eSATA-USB3 version, which will obviously be better. Still, let’s try to get this puppy to work with Mac OS:

First things first – install the eSATA PCI-express card (included) in a mini-PCI slot of your Mac Pro (or your hack). Then go over to Silicon Image, and get the 3132 Snow Leopard drivers — download the “non-RAID” version (link here). Alternatively, you can get them from MacGurus, like I did (link).

Run the .pkg installer, and you’ll see a SiliconImage3132.kext in /System/Library/Extensions. Unfortunately, this alone cannot recognize the eSATA card which is based on Sil3531, but a simple solution is as follows:

Enter terminal, and edit the Info.plist within the driver. I recommend to use “nano”, with the command

% sudo nano /System/Library/Extensions/SiliconImage3132.kext/Contents/Info.plist

Now, lets examine the file:

Look under the “IOPCIMatch” entry, and change “0x31321095” to “0x35311095” – be careful not to include the quotes. Now press Ctrl-X, and save the file, i.e. answer “Yes”.

Repair privileges with Disk Utility, attach the enclosure and reboot. You’ll be happy to see all disks on the desktop (fully hot-swapable, too!).

I believe the best setup for the enclosure is to select the “non-RAID” option for the dip switches in the back (i.e. put them all in the High/Up position), and then manage individual drives within MacOS. Keep in mind that the PCI-express controller that’s included is NOT a hardware RAID one, and the switches are meaningless on a Mac. Myself, I find the SoftRAID software very useful, albeit kind of expensive. That’s another story, however.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: RAID with LIAN LI ex-50 doesn't work -
  2. Maurizio
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 17:50:54

    I am interested too in the 3 bay Lian Li on a Mac, but one big question remains: does it work on the mac with its own RAID? I am asking because, say your mac goes (stolen, broken etc) can you then see the disk inside if they are RAIDed from the mac? I would guess not, and then how do you recover the stuff to your new machine? I would assume instead that if they are RAIDed in the box (as JBOX, for instance), they would be seen as one block also on another machine: right, or am I deluding myself? And if teh DIPs don’t work on Mac, how is it possible to configure the card to RAID the disks?


  3. lycabettus
    Dec 23, 2012 @ 18:44:44

    Mauricio, once OSX picks up individual disks (that’s what JBOD stands for), you can use Disk Utility to setup a RAID volume. Alternatively, you can use SoftRAID, like I did.


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