Last year, I bought three 4-drive eSATA enclosures from SANS. They each come with their own PCI-E eSATA controller card with a Sil3132 Silicon Image controller.
So far, this is the only SATA controller I have ever found that can recognize multiple drives in this enclosure.
The list of the controllers I tested that failed is long :
- Intel ICH9R built-in to my GA-P35-DS3R motherboard
- Promise TX4302
- VIA VT6422 PCI card (technically SATA, not eSATA)
- Gigabyte / J-Micron
And now I can add the AMD SB850 built-in to my GA-890GPA-UD3H motherboard.
What's interesting about this latest controller is that AMD claims port multiplier support with this chip.
And indeed, the BIOS can see multiple drives if I boot with the enclosure connected.
But after the OS boots up (Win7), it only recognizes the first drive in the enclosure.
Very frustrating. I hope someone at AMD is listening. I am using the AMD AHCI compatible driver version 1.2.296 dated 4/15/2011, under Win7 x64.
I tried designating the port as "ESP" in the BIOS, but the only difference that makes is showing the "Eject" icon in Windows. It doesn't help recognize the extra drives in the enclosure.