Well, I don't have an eSATA plug so I cannot test why the NewIT uboot doesn't work with debian-installer, although I thought that this worked for other people. I'll wait for someone with an eSATA plug to figure out what u-boot works and then I'm happy to update my page. I'll then also fix the contradictions.
I reinstalled everything using your updated tutorial. I still get the same error message. The Sheeva does like my hard disk. I tested the ESIA installer and it worked (out of the box). The big difference is using another (older) uboot version (uboot-sata-090903.bin from NewIT). But with this version your installer won't work (I've already tried that).
Yeah you'll definitely need an uboot with SATA support. So you're saying that with uboot-sata-090903.bin the Debian installer doesn't work? What's the problem exactly?
If you're already running Debian on your eSATA SheevaPlug but you installed as a regular SheevaPlug to USB or SD and you'd like to use the eSATA, then make sure you're the latest kernel from Debian squeeze (apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade; flash-kernel), reboot and type this in u-boot:
setenv arcNumber 2678 saveenv reset
Your machine will then be recognized as an eSATA SheevaPlug