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In Linux is there a way to distinguish between two connected hard drives and tell which one is eSATA through shell or anyother way?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically, there is no way to distinguish between Sata and eSata. The SATA specs tell you that the only difference between the two is a physical connector. The protocol is the same.

On another note, technically an OS can't even tell the difference between a physical drive and a virtual drive. The BIOS and chipset can tell the OS whatever it wants and the OS won't be the wiser. This is the basics of abstraction.

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Type in the following command:

hdparm -I /dev/sda


sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda

Simply replace /dev/sda with whatever your two device addresses are.

This will give you full specifications of the attached hard drive, and then just take the "model number" that it throws out and google to check if it's a SATA or ESATA drive.

You can also tell if it's running at its correct speed checking the information at the bottom of the report.

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is there anyway without searching? – MA1 Jul 20 '11 at 13:44
I'm sure there's some way of finding out. Run hdparm on both drives and compare the differences and update us on here. It'd be interesting to see if the simple information report will allow you to differenciate between the interfaces. – akseli Jul 20 '11 at 13:51
You can stick a SATA drive inside an external enclosure that connects over eSATA; the model # will be that of the SATA drive inside. – Darth Android Jul 20 '11 at 18:32
Yup, thanks to the magic of abstraction. – surfasb Jul 21 '11 at 23:46
I personally don't agree with this downvote. It may not be an infallible method of finding out, but at least it gives you an opportunity to distinguish model numbers if you're lucky enough that your external eSATA drive has a recognizable id number. – akseli Jul 22 '11 at 7:13

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