How do I add another SATA Hard Drive??

My computer is about four years old and has run with two SATA hard drives in the past without any issues - until one of said hard drives failed... - I replaced this with a SATA II hard drive (my error not reading the ad properly,) installed via a USB adaptor...

Now I bought a second SATA Hard drive and plugged it in but nothing is recognised... I can't see the hard drive in the BIOS settings or anything.

I dont think there's any issue with the hard drive itself, I'm probably just missing out something important...


7 answers Last reply
More about sata hard drive
  1. Computer spec? Drive make & model etc...
  2. AMD Athlon 3500+ 64bit

    Windows XP Home (SP2)

    1024MB RAM
    1x 250GB SATA Maxtor HD
    1x 500GB SATAII Seagate HD (via USB adaptor)

    1x500GB SATA Seagate HD (trying to install)
  3. Ignore me, I just read through seller's ad again and everywhere except one point it describes the drive as SATA... but this one point, in the descriptive text (not the type or category or interface like common sense would figure,) it's marked as being SATAII...

    Does this mean I need a second USB adaptor, or is there another means to install these?

  4. Search Seagate's web site (using the model number) and see if you can Jumper it to SATA 1.5 Gig.
  5. First let me ask about your connection system, then I'll talk about Partitions and all.

    Since you had two SATA drives in the machine and one failed, why did you not simply replace it? Usually that would mean disconnecting the power and data cables, removing the old drive, mounting a new one inside the case and reconnecting the same cables. But you say you installed the replacement "via a USB Adapter". Does that mean you bought an "External Drive" in its own case that connected to your computer via a USB port? (It would have had a separate power supply, too, I expect.) Or, did you make such a unit by buying a case and a bared drive separately and assembling them? Or, did you buy a bare drive to mount inside your case, but use some sort of adapter and cable to plug into a USB port instead of a SATA port?

    Now you have a second SATA II drive. How does it connect yo your machine? Is it mounted inside and connected via a power supply and a data ribbon cable to a mobo SATA port? Or, is it also an external drive connecting through a second USB port?

    Within BIOS Setup screens generally you will NOT see drives connected to the USB ports as "drives". They will simply be USB devices to the BIOS.

    No matter which way your new drive is connected, almost ALL new drives need to have some preparation work done on them before Windows (or any other OS) can use them. Until you do this you will NOT "see" it in My Computer. But you can see it as a valid hardware device (just not yet usable as a disk) in a tool called "Disk Management", and ONLY in its LOWER RIGHT pane. That is where you can do the preparation steps, sometimes called "Initializing the Disk". The steps are to Create a Partition, and then to Format that Partition. This may be what you need to do.

    Fill in a few of the details above. If you need to know how to Partition and Format using Disk Management, post here. An alternative, though, MAY be available for you. IF your new unit is an external drive, it MAY have come with a CD of software which contains, among other things, a way to "prepare" the unit for use in Windows. Even if it did not, the manufacturer's website may have such a free utility you can download to use.

    Lets us know your situation and we can help further.
  6. Okay...

    I had attempted to simply replace the failed SATA drive with a new SATA drive, but since I hadn't read the advertisement properly I wound up buying a SATA II drive and being frustrated when the cables which appear to be exactly the same as with the SATA, didn't do a blasted thing - so in my wisdom at the time I had a local computer repair guy have a look and check the drive (not realising at this time that this was a SATA II drive, not a SATA.) He then told me that the reason it wouldn't work despite appearing to be physically connected properly was due to it being a SATA II drive and installed a SATA/IDE to USB cable... which now works without any complications - except of course for the repair guy suggesting that I disconnect and reconnect the drive before/after booting up... rather than simply disable the BIOS option to tr other boot devices... but *shrugs* what can you do...

    This second, and most recent SATA II drive was shown as being a Serial ATA drive/SATA drive and only once in the description portion of the ad as a SATA II drive. Which is annoing granted... but if it means I can just do the same thing... or if there's a 'tidier' way of connecting both without using a USB adapter cable... then that'd definitely be helpful - since we treasure our USB slots *grins*

    I am... slightly familiar with the Disk Management feature on Win XP; using it to locate an external drive also purchase recently... and to remove some unwanted partitions (no doubt using the long way around, but what the hell.)

  7. From the sound of this you MAY have an older machine with the original SATA drive controllers (1.5 Gb/s) that do not get along with the faster SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drives. But there usually is a SIMPLE way to deal with this built into the drive! First of all, drives and controllers are supposed to make this work automatically, but we all have seen that not work! For that reason, many drive makers have a way to force a new SATA II drive to drop back to slower older SATA communication speed. Seagate and WD both use a jumper on pins on the back edge of the drive for this. WARNING: if you start moving the jumpers on a SATA drive, be sure you keep track of what you are doing. On some drives, installing a jumper on the wrong pins can temporarily disable the drive! At one time, Seagate (maybe WD - I don't know) actually shipped their drives with the jumper installed to force the unit to the old slower speed. Anyone who KNOWS their controllers are SATA II is supposed to remove that jumper. So, whatever drive you have, IF you think you have this situation of SATA controller and SATA II drive, go to the manufacturer's website and look for instructions on how to limit the new drive to the old speed.

    Once that is done you ought to be able to mount the new SATA II drive inside your computer's case and connect two cables to it - one for power, and another (7 wires ribbon) to a SATA port on the mobo. Then you boot into the BIOS Setup screens and go looking for that SATA port. Make sure it is Enabled. See if the BIOS is detecting it. Now, very nearby look for the SATA Port Mode setting. IF you are using Win XP your simplest option is to set the port to IDE (or PATA) Emulation, because XP does not know how to deal with true SATA or AHCI devices. Save and Exit from here and let Windows boot up.

    You still won't see your drive in Windows, even if the BIOS was happy with it. Click on Start, then RIGHT-click on My Computer in the menu. From the mini-menu choose Manage. In the new window that opens, on the left, expand Storage if necessary to choose Disk Management. On the right now are two horizontal panes, each of which SCROLLS so you can see all the stuff. The upper one has drives already in use. The LOWER RIGHT pane has hardware devices including some Windows can't use yet, and your new drive ought to be there as a horizontal block. It should have a small block at the left end showing some name like "DISK_2", a size, and a couple other items. To the right it probably will simply be called Unallocated Space.

    RIGHT-click on that space and choose to Create a Primary Partition. Since you will use this for data, it does NOT need to be made bootable. Set the size you want, up to the full size of the HDD unit. If you see options for the Format part of this job, set them now. Choose the NTFS File System, and I suggest a Quick Format for a brand new drive with no reason to suspect bad sectors. (Choosing a Full Format will do all the work, BUT will also take MANY HOURS to exhaustively test the disk before proceeding.) Run this task. Now, IF there were no Format options as above, then that is done as a second step. In this case, RIGHT-click again on the Partition you just created and choose to do the Format step, then set the options and run it.

    When this is all done your drive should have a Partition with a letter name, a size, a File System, etc. Back out of Disk Management and reboot your machine so Windows can recognized it. It should be there ready to use in My Computer.
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives SATA Computer Storage