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SATA to replace IDE

  • Hard Drives
  • SATA
  • Windows Vista
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
December 20, 2007 1:07:13 PM

My operating system (Vista) is on my IDE drive. I've since bought a SATA-3 drive, and use it for storage. A friend told me I'm "bottle-necking" my system by not reinstalling my operating system on the SATA drive. I was considering transferring the system over, but he told me that you can't do that with Vista (which I find hard to believe). I was informed that I had to do a complete reinstall, which I'm not willing to do unless there is some great performance benefit.

First of all, is it correct that I can't just do a disk to disk copy of the entire system, to allow my SATA to be the boot drive?

Secondly, by doing this am I gaining that much in boot up, loads, and overall performance?


More about : sata replace ide

December 20, 2007 2:11:45 PM

The answer to your performance question will by a maybe. First off i don't believe SATA-3 is out yet so your newer drive is probably SATA-300 (or SATA-2). With the later IDE drives the interface was capable of handling 133MB/s which is still more than the mechanical hard drives can do. I guess maybe in some burst situations you could be limited but that would be it. Now that being said the newer hard drives typically perform better and better each generation so most likely it would be faster. How much you would notice I can not tell you. You may want to take a look at some of Tom's disk benchmarks and then bench your current drive against it. There is free software called HDTach from simplisoftware that will test access, sustained and burst rates. Keep in mind these would be purely synthetic but may halp you gauge where you current drive is at.

As for just doing a disk copy it is a little more involved than that. Just doing a strait copy will not work you will need to use a imagings or disk copy software. There are a whole bunch of them out there. Also your new hard drive may of come with a utility to do this.
December 20, 2007 2:42:08 PM

If you just copy from one disk to another- even using imagings - isn't there a problem with drive numbers since the new drive has a different drive number - or is that handled automatically when you set it as the boot drive?
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December 20, 2007 3:02:30 PM

Sorry, I'm new to this whole "SATA" thing...took me a while to jump on. It is a SATA-300.

Thanks for the info though...I will research my software that came with the drive and see if there is a utility that will do it for me.

I'm still not too convinced though that I should go through the trouble. Especially since I've messed around and installed the Vista SP1-RC, which I'm not to happy about. Word of advice, once installed do not try and uninstall it, as it screws up your system even more. I had to reinstall, and it craps out a select few of my games (frame stuttering).
December 20, 2007 3:31:51 PM

good to know, i was just about ready to try the sp1 RC as I am having some issues I am hoping it resolves. Ah I may try it any way it seems lately I reinstall my box once a month.
December 20, 2007 3:53:08 PM

It's helped the system perform better "overall", but I've noticed the stuttering (both video and sound) in a few games (Tombraider Anniversary). You will definetely need to reinstall the sound and videocard drivers after the SP.

I'm thinking that maybe, perhaps, it's a driver conflict with SP1, as I am using the beta drivers from Nvidia, but who knows.

I will say that my home networking runs much better now (no more connection problems with other computers in my home running WinXP). I'm looking forward to the final release, which requires you to uninstall the RC before installing it, but who knows when that will be released.
December 20, 2007 4:34:11 PM

Well in fact even if you go to a SATA drive you're still "bottle necking" your system... hard / optical drives will be for the forseeable future the slowest part in any system.

It would be a hard stretch for you to notice the difference from IDE to Sata unless you are transferring alot of large files... IE video, graphics files etc. on a regular basis.

The only time your system would slow is during drive access, that said there is no program or game that would be greatly affected by IDE / Sata differences... except for maybe editing HiDef/ 3d animation video, but in such a case you would likely need Raid anyways.

playing games or anything else would likely go unnoticed by you or anyone else.

Stuttering [video and or sound] is more likely a bad driver or disruptive sound card or slow video card. HardDrive speed has little to do with this.

a c 217 G Storage
December 20, 2007 4:38:32 PM

if you look here you will see there is no diference in performance

The fastest drives are only sata because they companies are ditching IDE

Look at some others and you will see that any 2 drives with a sata and ide version perform the same, Its all down the the mechanical drive....thats the limiting factor.

I do recommend Sata for multi disk systems as each drive has it own channel. Dual channel IDE can degrade performance when working from one drive to the other on the same channel(but this depends on how often both drives are reading and/or writing at the same time).

I know all kinds of ohhhh sata is faster people. Hell i have an 120gig IDE thats a fair bit faster then its sata its all up how new the drive is more then what the interface is....
December 20, 2007 6:30:31 PM

Great, thanks for all the valuable info.

Also, I did not associate my video/sound stutters with the IDE/SATA drive issue. That problem came along when I installed the Vista SP1-RC. I reinstalled the Nvidia Beta drivers (169.21), and it corrected the problem to some extent. I still get sound and video "hiccups" in Tomb Raider: Anniversary, just not as bad. Nvidia just released their WHQL drivers for XP, so I'm hoping that the Vista ones are soon to follow.

So I think I will leave my drives alone. I use my 250GB SATA to store video files and pictures, and it seems to work great. Thanks!
a c 217 G Storage
December 20, 2007 8:27:18 PM

Note to self, go finish off TRA.....yup i am on it.....
December 21, 2007 12:36:29 PM

Beat it yesterday finally. Can't wait for the new one.

Just an update, TRA and Bioshock are the two games that apparently do not like Vista SP1-RC. In TRA, I got occasional freeze-frame effects (freeze for 3-5 seconds and continue) and sound cracking.

In Bioshock, when the game is loading, the most annoying sound comes out of the speakers (high pitch crackling) that makes my dogs run for cover. Once the game loads, the in-game sound is fine. It's the strangest thing.

I've tested several other games (Hitman, Half Life 2, NFS) and there are no sound or video issues.

I've downloaded and installed the WHQL drivers for Vista (just released last night) and I have not tested out the games to see if it corrected the issues.