A SoftRaid setup in OSX Lion, using the Sharkoon eSATA enclosure

Another very nice enclosure: the Sharkoon 5-bay eSATA/USB box. It is compact, quiet and stylish, plus: the disks can be swapped without the use of special tools/frames, which makes it very convenient.

It’s attached to my HackPro via a two-port Sonnet Tempo E2P (mini PCIe) card, so some of the information in this post will be specific to this (Silicon Image 3132-based) card. Apparently, even the ExpressCard3/4 variants of the Si3132 chip, which are widely available, work quite well with the latest drivers from Sonnet – last updated on November 29, 2011. Based on my (limited) research, this archaic chip from Silicon Image provides much better functionality – e.g. port multiplication, hot swapping – as well as stability, compared to the newer 6Gb/s offerings from other manufacturers. Granted, there are some glitches (my MacBook Pro kernel occasionaly panics with the ExpressCard on boot up), but data reliability is not jeopardized as with other chipsets. The OSX86 machine runs beautifuly, with many weeks’ work of uptime, albeit with some trouble which I’ve managed to troubleshoot (see below). More