Is sata 3 backwards compatible with sata 1?

I have a Tyan Thunder S2885 Opteron motherboard fitted with IDE/PATA drives and recently decided to add a 1 Tb Seagate ST31000524AS SATA 3 (6 Gbit/s) disk to the SiL 3114 SATA controller. The 3114 BIOS recognises the drive and then the system hangs at this point.

Maybe SATA 3 disks cannot be used with SATA 1 (150 Mbits/s) controllers?

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  1. All sata is backward compatible. Some disks have jumpers to force a slower speed in case the auto speed detection isn't working properly on the controller.
  2. I've tried three brand-new Seagate ST31000524AS disks in this system (with and without all IDE drives disconnected) and all hang the SiL 3114 controller. I guess it may be the disk is too large for the BIOS?
  3. Best answer
    Check for a firmware update for the Sil 3114.
  4. Very unlikely (maybe possible) the HDD is too large. ALL SATA HDD's and controllers include support for 48-bit LBA, which is what's necessary for HDD's over 137 GB. The more likely scenario with an older SATA 1.5 Gb/s controller chip is that it cannot negotiate the communication speed with the new HDD. The SATA specs say it should, but some fail in this initiation task. For that situation, many HDD's can be forced to run at the 1.5 Gb/s speed by the addition of a jumper on a pair of pins on the back of the drive. Check the HDD maker's website for details.
  5. Make sure the Sil-3114's BIOS is SATA LINK not RAID
  6. Problem solved! Adding the jumper to force the disk to negotiate a 1.5 Gbit/s connection didn't work but the latest available BIOS update from Tyan, which also updates the SiL-3114 firmware, did the trick.

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.

  7. Best answer selected by andyt22.
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