Adding a SATA drive to an IDE setup

I have an old ATX desktop which I am intending to set up as a server. The mother board is a Microstar MS-7061 still running WIN 2K (which may not remain).
Having downloaded the manual for the motherboard I noticed that it had 2 SATA connections so bought a SATA drive. However when I opened it up, although the board is marked with the place that the SATA connections should be, no actual connectors were mounted.
My question is, what would be the best way of installing said SATA drive. a SATA to IDE adaptor or a SATA to USB cable? Is there anything else I should be aware of?
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  1. Best answer
    You can install a SATA PCI card provided there's a spare PCI slot available. That's the best way to go.
  2. Try using a PCIe IDE to SATA card. Here's an example of one:
  3. yea a addin PCI card is best. One thing you have to pay attention to on those manuals is a lot of older motherboards were all based the same but had different but similar model numbers that had different features but they still just make one manual for like 3 or 4 models. So next time double check. But a PCI Sata card is the best and easiest way to go. 1) You can't install to a USB drive plus USB is WAYY Slower than even First Generation SATA and 2) IDE to SATA adapters are iffy. I had a SATA to IDE adapter and that was always so so with me.
  4. Thanks guys for the advice.
    After posting this, I noticed somewhere else the advice was to use a PCI SATA card. I think I also saw something about BIOS possibly not recognising the drive.
    Is this a possibility? I should add that I am retaining the original PATA/IDE drive so the new one will be only for data. I don't know if this makes any difference.
  5. It's just as well there be no SATA connectors on the motherboard since the SATA ports are defective on that motherboard, thanks a design flaw in its VIA VT8237 south bridge chip. The chip will not recognize any drive configured for SATA II or III speeds, meaning the vast majority of drives sold in the past 5 years will not work, unless they can be reconfigured to stay at or below SATA I speed (1.5Gbps). That can be done with all Seagate drives and most WD drives, through a jumper, while other brands require running a utility that flashes the drive's firmware.

    The best solution is a SATA controller card, and since the MS-7061 motherboard does not have PCI-E slots, you'll need a PCI card. Almost all PCI SATA controllers, generic or brand name, are based on either a Silicon Image or VIA chip, and the former is more favored, but either is fine, provided the VIA is the VT6421A and not an older version (VT6421, VT6421L), which has the same design flaw as the VT8237. The VT6421A and all the Silicon Image SATA chips ever made support all speeds.
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