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mixing sata and ata drives

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  • Hard Drives
  • SATA
  • Storage
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Last response: in Storage
February 11, 2008 7:49:36 PM

I'm so new I'm not even sure this question is in the right place. I click on new topic and get 'submit your reply' form!
Anyway just in case there's somebody out there who sees this 'reply' which is really a question..
I have a Dell Dimension 4600 Pentium 4 with an 80GB ATA Maxtor drive which is nearly full.
I would like to transition everything to a new 500GB SATA (Seagate or W Digital) and keep the old 80GB as extra storage.
a) Can I mix & match an SATA drive and ATA drive on the same computer? The mother board does have two SATA connectors available.
b) The existing power supply has extra power cables but they are the same as the ATA power source. I thought SATA needed different power cabel connectors? (there is one extra power connector with 8 wires also but more squarish than rectangular (how non-technical can one get!!)
Keeping fingers crossed.
Dennis
dseisunh@hydrocolloid.com

More about : mixing sata ata drives

February 11, 2008 8:32:45 PM

It will work. You will need a molex to sata power adapter to get power.
February 11, 2008 8:47:59 PM

thank you rr. do these adapters usually come with the sata drive or do I have to order separately? in which case, where?
I've been reading about so many problems in moving stuff (including boot sequence) to a new hard disk, I'm really nervous.
Related resources
February 11, 2008 9:14:25 PM

Quick note: If this is below your level, I apologize. I don't know where you're at, so-to-speak.

If you're nervous about transferring your O/S and data... don't. The reasons for transferring are:
1) better performance. If you're happy on a P4, you probably aren't super-concerned about it.
2) reliability concerns. If this is an issue, consider getting a backup utility so that you can migrate the complete image over to your SATA drive.

But if there's no reason to move your O/S off of your 80 GB drive, then just leave it where it is. Move your data over (in particular, check your "My Documents" folder under c:\documents and settings\) to the new drive, and there you go.

Things to look out for:
1) You'll need to make sure that the motherboard and O/S think the new drive is just an IDE drive; or, you'll need to install device drivers for it. I'm guessing you don't want to mess around with device drivers, so when your computer boots go into the Setup (Fn-F2, or just F2, I think) and check whether there's anything about SATA mode, IDE vs. SATA, RAID, or AHCI. If one of the options is IDE, set it to that.
2) you may be able to use the IDE power connector you already have on the SATA drive. Some SATA drives have both connector types, some don't. My WDs have both.
3) Make sure you're running XP with SP2. With just XP, you may find that the O/S will only "see" 139 GB on your new drive.

A couple of other things you can do to make your system run faster once the new drive is on it:
1) move your pagefile (pagefile.sys) over to the new drive. To do this, you have to set the virtual memory pagefile size to 0 (do this by right-clicking My Computer, select properties. The settings in there), and then set it to be a reasonable size, but now on your D (or E, whichever it ends up being) drive, instead of your C drive. You'll have to reboot in the middle.
2) move your temp directory over to your new drive. To do this, make a new directory on your new drive (e.g. D:\TEMP). Then go to environment variables and point the TEMP and TMP environment variables at the new folder. There are both system- and user-level parameters for these, so don't forget to migrate both.

You'll have some reconfig work getting all of your programs to look at the new drive instead of the old... but the performance benefits will be worth it. Good luck!
February 11, 2008 9:15:10 PM

You may have to change to the jumper if the connector is 1.5. The hdd web site will tell you what the setting is if you have to change
February 11, 2008 10:27:56 PM

RR thank you for the link. I'll get one of these cables if the WDigital drive doesn't accept the standard power supply.
TMedia - thank you. Nothing is 'beneath my level'. I'll try & follow your instructions.
G-paw not sure which jumper and what connector could be 1.5 but will check hdd website when I get the hdd
February 11, 2008 10:33:48 PM

forgot to mention, I do have an external 250 gb drive I use for back-up. Could I use approx 80gb of that to make a 'ghost' image of my internal 80GB hdd and then migrate that to the new 500mb hdd?
Thanks for all your input.
February 11, 2008 11:22:25 PM

dseisun said:
RR thank you for the link. I'll get one of these cables if the WDigital drive doesn't accept the standard power supply.
TMedia - thank you. Nothing is 'beneath my level'. I'll try & follow your instructions.
G-paw not sure which jumper and what connector could be 1.5 but will check hdd website when I get the hdd


The connectors on the mobo could very well SATA 1.5 connector on the mobo and a new drive will be SATA 3.0, the jumper is just a little piece of plastic that fits over 1 pins. Acronis True Image 11 will do this but create a separate partition for it, at least I like to keep images on separate partition
February 12, 2008 6:34:02 PM

Thanks all for your help. Final question before I order a 500gb sata oem drive. Anybody know which brand may allow normal power supply vs needing to get an adapter cable. I think I read W. Digital somewhere but can't find it again.
February 12, 2008 6:51:28 PM

dseisun said:
Thanks all for your help. Final question before I order a 500gb sata oem drive. Anybody know which brand may allow normal power supply vs needing to get an adapter cable. I think I read W. Digital somewhere but can't find it again.


I am curious myself on that one…

I have never seen a SATA drive with the old Molex connector.
February 12, 2008 6:55:12 PM

If you get a higerend PSU it will have the right connections
February 12, 2008 7:02:34 PM

I think I found one the Western Digital Caviar se16
Found confirmation at
http://www.hothardware.com/articles/Western_Digital_WD5...
Ordered it on Amazon.com for $119.99 Seemed to have a pretty good write-up. Plus it seems like the boxed version & not oem.
Now for the scary part of installing it!!
February 12, 2008 7:06:31 PM

dseisun said:
Thanks all for your help. Final question before I order a 500gb sata oem drive. Anybody know which brand may allow normal power supply vs needing to get an adapter cable. I think I read W. Digital somewhere but can't find it again.


As far as I know all SATA drives use the same kind of power connector. If your PSU doesn't have one, you can get this. If your mobo doesn't come with SATA data cables and almost all of the new ones do, you'll need one of these as well
http://www.cyberguys.com/templates/SearchDetail.asp?pro...
http://www.cyberguys.com/templates/SearchDetail.asp?pro...