Warning on some PCIe-ExpressCard adapters: Not hot-swappable at DVinfo.net

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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old December 30th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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Warning on some PCIe-ExpressCard adapters: Not hot-swappable

I bought both of these adapters from a local store:

(1) SIIG PCIe to ExpressCard Adapter (Part #: JJ-000072-S1)
(2) SIIG PCIe to ExpressCard Bay (Part #: JJ-000082-S1)

But the manuals for both state that PCI Express-type devices are not hot-plug/hot-swappable, only USB-type devices are. This means SxS cards (which are PCI Express-type cards) will only work if you insert the card BEFORE turning on the PC.

This is misleading because on the outside box/packaging it only says "Hot-plug support allows you to connect/detach devices without turning off your system".

I tried (1) and installed the adapter and the Sony SxS driver just out of curiosity and it is indeed non-hot-swapable. When I removed one card and inserted another one, I get an error message when I try to access the other card. By the way, copying a 1G file took about 20 seconds -- which translates to about 10X (27 minutes of video = 2.7 minutes of copying). Also, the adapter has a separate USB connnector which you connect to the motherboard -- but this is only required if you will use USB-type cards/devices.

I did not bother to install (2). I don't know if the cards from other manufacturers are the same but unless someone confirms otherwise, I'll stick to the Sony USB reader/writer (which I don't have yet).
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Old December 30th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #2
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Well, if they are not hot swappable, that will put a real damper on your workflow....
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Old December 31st, 2007, 04:01 AM   #3
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silly question, but did you try to "eject" / "unmount" the card before removing it ?
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Old December 31st, 2007, 05:18 AM   #4
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Another question comes to mind: PC or Mac?
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Old December 31st, 2007, 06:58 AM   #5
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From the manual:

Gently slide the the ExpressCard into the slot until the locking mechanism clicks.
To remove the card, gently press the ExpressCard to unlock, then pull it out.


I installed it on a PC (Windows Vista).

Unlike other devices where Windows let you 'Safely Remove Hardware', the SxS card does not appear in the list of hardware you can 'remove' (at least on these particular adapters), even though it appears in the "Devices with Removable Storage" in Windows Explorer:
http://www.palsomedia.com/ex1_test/sxs_drive.jpg
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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:26 PM   #6
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These adapters may not be hot swapable, but they are quite useful and very cheap. You can get it to recognize the card by doing a "scan for hardware change" function in the device manager. Just put a shortcut to the device manager on the desktop. Once inside the device manager, right click on the computer and click scan for hardware changes and the sxs card will mount.

I was kind of disappointed by this as well, but it is a $60 option versus the $200 sony option which is only usb. The transfer time with this adapter is amazing. I transfered about 5 gig in less than 2 minutes, that's fast.

Chris
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Old December 31st, 2007, 08:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swartz View Post
You can get it to recognize the card by doing a "scan for hardware change" function in the device manager.
I tried this but it doesn't seem to work on my PC (Vista).
I even tried 'Uninstall' the SxS device in the device manager, then did a "scan for hardware change".
I also experimented with the "Plug and Play Operating System (yes/no)" setting in the BIOS and no luck.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 10:12 PM   #8
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I'm using XP here and the device manager trick is all I had to use. Sorry to hear about your problems. I don't have much experience with Vista so I'm at a loss. Have you tried any other expresscard devices to see if they work, and do you have the latest sxs drivers installed?

Chris
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Old December 31st, 2007, 11:13 PM   #9
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I've also tried the Startech PEX2EC with the same (unsuccesful) result.
I'm using the latest SxS driver (the one that comes packaged in a zip file with Clip Browser 1.1).
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Old January 1st, 2008, 11:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bernard Racelis View Post
I've also tried the Startech PEX2EC with the same (unsuccesful) result.
I'm using the latest SxS driver (the one that comes packaged in a zip file with Clip Browser 1.1).
This is all bad news! I was planning on getting a XpressCard-PCI-E solutiuon for my AVID to get maximum import speed. USB is really slow! I am surpriced that this is not a "hotter" topic for people on this group. Maybe it's because not very many cameras have shipped yet. Anyway - the grand price goes to anyone who can find a solution that is hot swapable... Keep this thread alive!

/ola
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Old January 1st, 2008, 12:52 PM   #11
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Hey - how about this one?

http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...-drive_03.html

What do you think? They don't mention that you cannot hot swap PCI-E-devices and they even have a link to the SxS-drivers...
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Old January 1st, 2008, 03:11 PM   #12
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Ola,

Are you using XP or Vista? If you are using Avid then I'm sure you're using XP, so It isn't really a problem. You don't get hot swap, but with a few clicks the card mounts and downloads incredibly fast. I have not had any problems yet using this adapter except that it does not autodetect the new hardware.

Process is
1. put in SxS card
2. go to device manager and scan for new hardware
3. open clip browser and look at footage. (move or rewrap to MXF)
4. pull the card out when done transferring. (you don't even have to remove safely)
5. If you remove the card, it will still be seen as mounted so just head back to the device manager and rescan for hardware changes and the drive disappears.

Works just fine in XP, I don't know what is going on in Vista.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 04:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swartz View Post
Ola,

Are you using XP or Vista? If you are using Avid then I'm sure you're using XP, so It isn't really a problem. You don't get hot swap, but with a few clicks the card mounts and downloads incredibly fast. I have not had any problems yet using this adapter except that it does not autodetect the new hardware.

Process is
1. put in SxS card
2. go to device manager and scan for new hardware
3. open clip browser and look at footage. (move or rewrap to MXF)
4. pull the card out when done transferring. (you don't even have to remove safely)
5. If you remove the card, it will still be seen as mounted so just head back to the device manager and rescan for hardware changes and the drive disappears.

Works just fine in XP, I don't know what is going on in Vista.
You are right. I am using XP and your method seems fine. However, Avid is supposed to go Vista sooner or later and if there is an adapter that supports hot swapping I'd prefer that. Anyway, thanks for your advice. The adapter is so cheap I might go for it anyway. Does anyone know where to find the SIIG-adapter in europe. SIIG wants $130 (!!!) to send one to Sweden.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 06:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swartz View Post
These adapters may not be hot swapable, but they are quite useful and very cheap. You can get it to recognize the card by doing a "scan for hardware change" function in the device manager. Just put a shortcut to the device manager on the desktop. .... snip
Hi Chris,

I don't think you can create a shortcut the device manager. Do you mean a shortcut to the Control Panel/System icon and from there open Device Manager instead? I am wondering if somewhere there is a script available somewhere that would just invoke "scan for hardware change" at a click of a button?

Thanks for the tip.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 09:18 AM   #15
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Clicking on the device manager actually runs this command:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\mmc.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\devmgmt.msc

So you can create a shortcut and specify the above command.
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