News Archive for: Friday July 27, 2007 (later added items first)
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Latest Express34 Card Feedback (SATA and Firewire/USB)
Here's the first replies to an earlier request today:

"I have a Firmtek SeriTek/2SM2-E expresscard SATA adapter that is used with a first generation 15" Macbook Pro Core Duo 2.16 GHz (OSX 10.4.10). Currently have firmware version 5.2.0 (Nov 0506 build) installed on the expresscard. My drive setup: Two 500 GB Maxtor MaxLine Pro (7H500F0) SATA drives in 3.0 Gbps mode. JBOD setup in Firmtek Seritek/2EN2 dual bay eSATA enclosure.

I had a semi-recurrent problem of kernel panics when the laptop went to sleep with the expresscard installed. After updating the the firmware to version 5.2.0 the kernel panics stopped.

However, I seem to have replaced the kernel panics with OSX lockups (non-responsive). Not sure what the issue is but it is at least reproducible. Inserting the expresscard with the external drives powered seems to be a no no.
Inserting the card, waiting for the expresscard to be recognized, followed by powering on the drives seems to work fine. At the very least this makes sense to me. Due to the aforementioned problem, hot plugging drives is out of the question.

Have not tried firmware update 5.2.6 yet. Apparently this firmware update resolves the expresscard recognition problem. Will have to test it tonight.
Hope this helps,

Update: Chris later wrote the 5.2.6 firmware update seems to have solved his problems.

"I use an APIOTEK EXTREME Express34 SATA I/II 2-Port Card
purchased from OWC (for $45) to run a pair of Seagate 750GB drives in OWC Mercury Elite-AL Quad Interface cases ... no problems with sleep at all.
I had originally used a Firmtek (SeriTek/2SM2-E?) eSATA card, and it did not like to sleep, even when the drives were turned off. With the APIOTEX card I do _not_ dismount the drives or anything ... just put the computer to sleep.

2nd Gen (Core 2 Duo) MacBook Pro, 2.33, 15-inch, running 10.4.10 at the moment, but it worked just as well under 10.4.9.
-Dennis J."

Another postive report on an Apiotek card, although I asked why he needed more FW400/USB 2.0 ports:

"I have a combo FW400/USB2 express card (APIOTEK COMBO Dual 1394+USB 2.0 Express Card 34 Adapter)
The only problem that I have had with it is the fact that an external power supply is necessary, but wasn't sold with the product ($15 @ radio shack).
I highly recommend it for anyone that has a 1st Gen Macbook Pro.
(For the record I asked about OS version, Ext. Drives used, etc.))
OS Version: 10.4.10
Drives: two ATA/133 in a FW 800 enclosure (coolgear 2 HD enclosure) and a FW400 - FW800 cable (1 drive for iTunes - 22,431 songs, 91Gig & 1 for Data - way too many external Poser runtimes & Data backup).

No sleep issues so far. The only issue I had was the fact that the card was recognized, but I couldn't push data until I got an external power adapter.

The 1gen Macbook Pro I have only has 1 FW 400 port, which has my iPod. This was the key issue. If I had a FW 400 enclosure, I would have just daisy-chained everything.
-Harry B."

"I had the two port Firmtek SATA ExpressCard (SeriTek/2SM2-E?), I sent it back - kernal panics all around. Tech support was nice, but that doesn't fix buggy software. Plus what I had with the 2bay solution was kinda cumbersome. Two sets of cables was messy.
(he later wrote)
The KP's were mostly when you mounted the card or when you bumped the cable (card was very loose in the slot and could be pulled out). They did send a few updates and a utility called FSCAPP_Tiger. I gave it a shot for week or so, but it just wasn't stable. This was when it first came out so it may be better now.
The drives where WD's I believe I ended up putting them in my Xserve later. The enclosure was the Firmtek 2 bay. Like I said it may be better now, but for the price I expected more.
-Jason B."

Per Chris' comments, the later firmware definitely addresses some previous issues.
If you're using an Expresscard in your MacBook Pro, let me know if you've seen any issues and are satisfied with it (value/price/performance, etc.). Please include details on the card brand/model, any driver/versions used, info on external drive(s) and OS version you're using. Thanks.

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Wanted: ExpressCard (SATA or FW800) Feedback from MacBook Pro users
Looking for the current feedback from MacBook Pro owners using an ExpressCard (SATA or FW800) with external drives in either OS X 10.4.10 or 10.4.9. In the past several MacBook Pro owners have reported problems with sleep when using Express/34 cards (SATA or Firewire) even when connected drives were unmounted. If you're using an Expresscard, let me know if you've seen any issues and are satisfied with the performance.
Please include info on the card brand/model, any driver/versions used, info on external drive(s) and OS version you're using. Thanks.
(Update - see later posts above for inital feedback from readers today.)
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Transintl sale on 4GB FBDimms for Mac Pros
(from site sponsor Transintl)

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    More feedback on MacBook/Pro Superdrive Firmware Update 2.1
    I've updated the page of Info/Feedback on Superdrive Firmware Update 2.1 for MacBook/Pros with another report on drive problems after the update.
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