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Extension modules

DiskSense system allows expanding its functionality via hardware extension modules.

How to plug an extension module

DiskSense system must be powered off before an extension module can be installed:

  1. Power off DiskSense system
  2. Plug extension module into Extension port
  3. Power on DiskSense system

SAS extension module

Technical specifications:

  • SAS interface: 6 Gbit/s
  • Max read/write speed: 500 MB/s
  • Hotplug for SAS drives is supported
  • Current sensing is supported
  • Short circuit and overvoltage protection is active

Atola Insight Forensic allows to run most operations for a SAS drive plugged into DiskSense system. There are a few functions that are not available for SAS drives by their nature: Host Protected Area (HPA), Device Configuration Overlay (DCO), Security Features, and SSD Trim. Firmware recovery is also not supported.

Connecting a SAS drive to DiskSense via SAS extension module
  1. Plug the mini SAS connector into the extension module
  2. Plug the molex power connector into the IDE source power socket
  3. Plug the SAS connector into the drive

10 Gbit Ethernet extension module

The module accelerates the following operations executed with image files: Imaging, File Recovery, Compare, Write from File. For optimum performance please follow these instructions:

  1. Update the 10GbE driver on the PC workstation to the latest version
  2. Link 10GbE Ethernet extension module and 10GbE PC workstation LAN adapter with a Cat6 ethernet cable
  3. Open Windows Network and Sharing Center
  4. Click 'Change adapter settings' link
  5. Locate 10GbE Ethernet card and open its Properties accessible via right mouse button
  6. Click 'Configure button'
  7. Select 'Advanced' tab
  8. Change 'Jumbo Packet' value to 9014

Note that PC motherboard quality can have an impact on the resulting network performance. Also, please ensure that the PC drive is able to read/write at speeds above 300 MB/s.

Thunderbolt extension module

With the help of Thunderbolt extension module Insight supports imaging, hash calculation and verification, comparing, media scan, file recovery, write protection on all MacBooks with FireWire, Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 interfaces.

Connecting MacBook via Thunderbolt extension module
  1. Connect MacBook to DiskSense unit with the help of Thunderbolt extension and the FireWire cable. Use adapters if needed (included).
  2. To boot MacBook in Target Disk Mode, start it up while holding down the T key until you see a Firewire or Thunderbolt icon displayed on screen signifying Target Disk Mode.
  3. Start DiskSense unit and launch Atola Insight Forensic on your computer.
  4. Select Identify device option in the pop-up window.
  5. In Source - Select MacBook Case window click Add new case button.


Apple PCIe SSD extension module

This module supports custom proprietary PCIe SSDs from Apple MacBooks (Mid 2013 - 2015).

Important: Drive hotplug is not supported yet. DiskSense system must be powered off before installing or replacing drives.

M.2 PCIe/SATA SSD extension module

Only M key interface drives are supported by this module.

Differences between M.2 SATA and M.2 PCIe support:

Features M.2 SATA M.2 PCIe
All Insight operations Partial (see below)
Drive hotplug
Power management

M.2 PCIe SSD features supported:

  • Max read/write speed: 500 MB/s
  • Damaged drive support
  • SSD Trim
  • Calculate hash
  • Comparison with pattern, image files or other drives
  • Media scan
  • Various device utilities: disk editor, media recovery, etc.
  • Write protection

Connecting an M.2 PCIe drive via extension module

Important: Drive hotplug is not supported yet. DiskSense system must be powered off before installing or replacing drives.

Connecting an M.2 SATA drive via extension module
  1. Connect the source eSATAp cable end to the extension
  2. Power off source SATA port in Atola Insight Forensic
  3. Plug M.2 SATA drive into the extension and fix it in place with the plastic latch

Drive hotplug is supported. Before replacing hard drives the SATA power must be turned off via the software Power button (for safety reasons).


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