USB to SATA Conversion - Hit or Miss

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/BD Drives' started by Big C, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    I also posted this in the MKV forum so I could get as many solutions as possible. Instead of adapting the post, I copied and pasted it from the MakeMKV forum to save time. Here it is in quotes. "I'm sure some of you remember me from the Libre Drives section. I used an LG BE16NU50 USB drive for three years. Then two weeks ago, it quit reading UHD and FHD Blu-rays and is now only reading DVDs and CDs. I decided that none of the USB drives have the exact features I need. So I thought I'd give SATA to USB conversion a try. I ended up with the Prudent Way PWI-U3-IDSA. It's the only one I could find which stated 5GBS speeds, as opposed to 3GBS, and doesn't require an enclosure, especially since I'll be constantly switching between an LG WH16NS40 for ripping 4K/UHD Blu-rays, and a Pioneer BDR-212UBK for ripping everything else. My problem is sometimes Windows properly recognizes and installs the hardware, and other times it does not. When it works, it's great. But these hit-or-miss issues are getting on my nerves because it is so time consuming to finally get things working properly. I first tried connecting everything to my laptop's USB Type A port after Windows booted to the desktop, and my laptop would either freeze or else not properly recognize and install the hardware. When I power my laptop on after I connect everything to my laptop's USB port, my laptop doesn't boot to windows and I can't shut it off unless I hold the power button down. When I quickly plug and unplug from USB a few times while my laptop is booting to Windows, sometimes the hardware is properly recognized and installed, and other times it isn't. I even tried changing the boot order in my BIOS to first boot to USB CD/DVD ROM. My laptop still didn't boot to Windows, but I was able to turn it off the normal way. So I set my BIOS back to my previous settings. When using an additional adapter to connect to my Gen 2 Type C ports, it recognizes and installs everything properly, but then disconnects for a moment and reconnects again intermitently. It can't be my USB ports because they've been working with my USB drive since I got the laptop. I'm pretty sure I told you everything I tried and the several ways I tried it. So please let me know if I'm missing something or if I have a crappy SATA/USB conversion kit. Edit: This kit doesn't have an on/off switch. Could something be waiting to receive data which isn't receiving it at the right time? Other than that, isn't a commercially available USB drive just a SATA III drive with USB conversion and an on/off switch anyway? So if it's not resulting from a lack of an on/off switch, what's my problem here? Edit 2: My Prudent Way PWI-U3-IDSA has a one-touch autobackup button. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I also tried connecting the AC adapter before and after connected to the laptop before and after booting to Windows. I'm just posting as much info and things I tried as I think of such things so you guys can explore things I haven't tried or thought of yet. Edit 3: Before I got the Prudent Way PWI-U3-IDSA conversion kit, I tried an Other World Computing Mercury Pro enclosure for 5.25" optical drives. I even liked that one because it has an on/off switch and it's AC adapter is rated at 3 Amps for its DC output, as opposed to the 2 Amps on the one that came with the Prudent Way. However, I couldn't get the drive to fit securely in the metal chassis. So I wound up returning it and getting the Prudent Way conversion kit. Edit 4: The model number on that Other World Computing Mercury Pro enclosure is OWCMR3UKIT, in case it would help."
     
  2. eviltester

    eviltester Well-Known Member

    You didn't specify which OS you were using (Win10 or Win 7) but our clients purchased similar SATA -USB // SATA -IDE type adapters such as these:

    https://www.amazon.ca/StarTech-com-...+Adapter&qid=1581861670&s=electronics&sr=1-13
    https://www.amazon.ca/StarTech-com-...A+Adapter&qid=1581861923&s=electronics&sr=1-4

    They tried these & similar ones as yours with excellent results INITIALLY but after several windows updates, their computers started acting up & failed randomly to recognize the hardware. This problem was evident on both win7/10 so we simply reverted back to backups BEFORE those updates & then things worked again but as soon as the updates came back; things went intermittent again.

    I don't know what Microsoft is doing with their updates but it is apparent & irrefutable that the updates caused the issues. We have over 4700 clients in several countries & only a small handful still use windows products at home since decades ago we switched all companies over to Linux/Unix & those have had zero issues with anything since then.

    Word of caution, the built-in restore points that we reverted back to did not help solve the issue, we had to re-install windows from OEM disc & only allow updates till early 2017. It is the 2017 -2020 updates that definitively caused our issues.

    You may have other issues but I doubt that your hardware died that soon because you said it worked flawlessly several weeks ago. I know that you think it may be a long shot but you may want to try my suggestion just to see if it solves your issue :)

    Best of luck.
     
  3. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    Did you try it on an USB2 port? If yes: Does it then work properly with the exception being slow?

    This adapter is only advertised for hard drives? So it work also for optical drives? Besides the problems you tell above?

    Most likely the adapter needs a firmware upgrade. Had similar issues with an external USB BD drive. Let me know if you want to try the firmware update and I will send the files via PM.
     
  4. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    The user guide to my SATA/USB kit says it will work with optical drives. I attempted to attach its respective PDF so you could see. My laptop doesn't have any USB 2.0 ports. So we'll never know. Two ways to look at this. On one hand, I could just return the LG WH16NS40 and Pioneer BDR-212UBK SATA drives and the Prudent Way PWI-U3-IDSA SATA/USB kit within the 30-day time limit. While the pre-built USB ASUS might lack the ripping speed of the Pioneer, at least I'd have stability, be able to rip from all my disks all the time, and not have to worry about things not working half the time. On the other hand, a prebuilt USB drive is a SATA drive going through a USB adapter. So picking the drive I want and converting it to USB shouldn't be a big problem. So if I could find a SATA/USB kit which works with my SATA drives, I'd be able to have performance AND stability.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  5. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    Does it work on USB2 w/o problems? If yes, then it's the firmware issue I told you about.
     
  6. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    My laptop is so knew it doesn't have a USB 2.0 port on it. So we'll never know.
     
  7. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    Then you have to try it on a computer that has still USB2. Also because the firmware update utility only works with USB2.

    If that's not an option I suggest to return this SATA -> USB adapter and get a decent one. Yours is just a dirt cheap one. And get one that explicitly says that it works with optical drives.
     
    eviltester likes this.
  8. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    I thought the Other World Computing Mercury Pro enclosure/SATA/USB kit was more designed for these drives, but unless I was doing something wrong, I couldn't get the drive to stay in the metal chassis, so I returned it. It's a shame because I liked the electronics on it better. Also, since I plan on switching between the LG for ripping from UHD Blu-rays and the Pioneer for ripping from everything else, I don't know if constantly swapping drives in and out of an enclosure would be a good idea unless I get two enclosure/USB/SATA kits.
     
  9. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    You just need a better SATA -> USB adapter. Not an enclosure. These can have similar issues if the firmware for USB3 is not up-to-date.

    And why don't you want to try USB2 first to identify the problem? It's your choice. Send it back if you don't want to fumble with firmware upgrades and get something in the $25 area that says that optical drives are supported.
     
    eviltester likes this.
  10. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    I don't really have access to USB 2.0 laptops. So I guess returning my Prudent Way and getting a better kit will have to suffice.
     
    eviltester likes this.
  11. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    Good choice! Please report back when you have received the alternate adapter. Members in this forum are looking for suggestions regarding hardware that works flawlessly.
     
    eviltester likes this.
  12. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    In order to achieve good SATA-to-USB results, it would help all of us reading this if we could find out what specific SATA-to-USB hardware is in external USB drives such as the ASUS BW-16D1X-U and the LG BE16NU50 . In fact as long as mine is three years old and developed Blu-ray reading/recognition issues, I wonder if it would be good to disassemble it and see if there's a way to either pull the SATA-to-USB hardware from it or integrate one of my new SATA drives into/with it.
     
    eviltester likes this.
  13. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    Your problem sounded very similar to mine. This was based on a JMicron JMS539 chip. You can still try to update the firmware if you want to keep the adapter. Or try it before sending it back. If it's not a JMicron chip it will tell you and you can't do anything wrong.
     
    eviltester likes this.
  14. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    Good news. I decided to return the adapter. I found a successful solution. Since my LG BE16NU50 USB drive still reads DVDs but not HD or UHD Blu-rays, I thought I'd take it apart and see if it uses SATA/USB conversion hardware. Indeed it does. It turns out I'm able to recycle the enclosure and drive for parts while keeping the SATA/USB conversion hardware. It is easy to quickly attach and detach it so I can quickly switch between my two newly purchased SATA drives--my LG WH16NS40 for ripping 4K/UHD Blu-rays to my laptop's SSD, and my high performance Pioneer BDR-212UBK for ripping my HD Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate everyone's input and efforts to help me. I hope others find my solution useful.
     
    eviltester and Jaws_1 like this.
  15. Jaws_1

    Jaws_1 Well-Known Member

    That was almost certain that an enclosure that worked before will allso work with a new drive. Or several drives. But it seems that you are not so experienced regarding hardware. Anyway, you have a solution that works. And that counts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
    eviltester likes this.
  16. Big C

    Big C Active Member

    I have an eye condition which allows me to make out various colors and brightness levels, but I cannot read print unless it's blown up and my forehead touches the screen. I don't drive either. But anyway, before I became dependant on a laptop, I used to love those home theatre systems with the HDTVs, multichannel surround sound receivers and speaker systems, and settop Blu-ray players. I've learned almost all there was to learn about them. Now that I'm more dependant on a laptop, I enjoy taking on every challenge and obstical that/which comes my way, learning and contributing as much as I as I go. As long as I don't have to solder or work through layers of boards to get to something, I can (1) compare CPU speeds and screen and speaker quality, (2) erase a drive and perform a clean Windows installation, handpick drivers and software to reinstall, and configure settings, and (3) set up WiFi and WLAN networks. As you know, I'm currently taking on sagas concerning optical drives. You'll see me here and at the MakeMKV forum asking questions, getting answers, and contributing when I can as I go.
     
  17. jonghotti

    jonghotti Active Member

    BRCS likes this.