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SATA Slave Drive Jumper Setting

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
November 27, 2010 1:16:09 PM

Hello, I have a Dell Optiplex GX270, and it has a factory 80gb IDE Hard Drive, I have just recieved a 160GB Western Digital 1600AAJS SATA Hard Drive, can anyone instruct me on how setup the SATA to work as a primary slave drive ? Thank You.
a b G Storage
November 29, 2010 11:02:56 AM

SATA does not have jumpers for master/slave settings. Just install the drive and tell us what is the result.
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a c 342 G Storage
November 30, 2010 5:18:28 PM

In fact, do NOT change any jumper that is on your SATA drive. On WD units there is one jumper setting that makes your drive appear completely dead, and you do not want to do that by mistake. As house70 said, there is NO need to change any SATA unit jumper.

Your drive will not be a "Primary Slave". The terms "Primary" and "Secondary" are used to label the two possible IDE ports on a mobo, but you are working with SATA instead. The terms "Master" and "Slave" are labels for the two possible devices that can share one IDE port and ribbon cable; again, you are not using IDE. There is no single "Master" drive in a machine, nor any "Slaves" of it. A machine DOES have one Boot Drive (normally only one), and may have one or more additional drives for data.

It IS possible that your system's BIOS could use those terms, though. Some early BIOS' that had both IDE and SATA ports used words like those to describe the SATA ports, even though they should not.

There may be a setting in BIOS for you to set, depending on your OS. Up to all versions of Win XP, Windows did NOT know how to use SATA drives by itself. Technically, it needs you to install a SATA or AHCI device driver in it so it can use such a device. That was a problem if you were trying to install Win XP on a SATA drive to use as the boot device, so most BIOS makers created a neat escape. IF you are using Win XP (even if this is just a data disk and not your boot drive), when you install the drive go into BIOS Setup and look where you Enable the SATA port. Near there should be a line for setting the SATA Port Mode. If you set this to IDE (or PATA) Emulation, the BIOS will intervene and fool Win XP into thinking it is dealing with a plain IDE device (even though it's really SATA) that it already understands, and it will work with no trouble. HOWEVER, if your OS is Vista or Win 7, do NOT do it this way. Set this Mode to AHCI (or to Native SATA if there is no AHCI choice) because these newer OS's do have drivers for such devices "built in".
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