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Report on installing Newer eSATA extender cable

Update:11-30Source: network consolidation
Well I took the time to install the Newer eSATA extender cable and am zeroing the hard drive now in anticipation of Leopard arriving next week. It turns out that there is a glitch in the installation of the Newer extender and some Mac Pros. Mine was one of the problematic ones.
In order to install the cable you have to access the mother board behind the front fan unit. Basically that means taking out RAM boards, HDs. and a few screws. It should be pretty easy but the problem comes in from an assembly line error. On some Mac Pros two screws (located in the front edge of the RAM card bay) with tiny phillips heads which are screwed into extenders have been installed with Locktite rather than the extenders being installed with Locktite. That means that you almost inevitably strip those screw heads and the extenders spin. I had to use a tiny knife bladed file to hand cut a slot in each of the screws to get them out and then retighten the extenders with small nosed hemostats.
If the job went with no problems it is entirely do-able for someone reasonably handy (with the proper tools) and the Newer directions pamphlet is very well done. However, if you run into the Locktite problem the complexity of the job increases considerably. Overall, I think I'd suggest people without some electronic repair/modification experience use FireWire 800 for their Leopard Time Machine interface and avoid the potential difficulties I ran into.

The Best Answer

I would have to agree that getting both of the SATA cables on the motherboard is a pain if the screws have the Locktite issue as mine does. However, I found running a stock 24" internal SATA cable with a right angle on one end to one of the SATA motherboard connectors and using an Addonics AASA2SAP15C on the other end of the SATA cable outside the Mac Pro lets me easily connect an eSATA enclosure to the Mac Pro using the motherboard connector.
I use this cable converter:
and this enclosure ICY DOCK MB559US-1S External 3.5" eSATA/USB 2.0 Hard Drive Enclosure:
This provides a nice, quick mounting case that I can boot off of if needed using the internal SATA motherboard port. It provides much nicer performance than FW800 and is easy to setup.
Have fun!