How do I change the hard-drive on my Dell E520 from ATA to SATA?

I have had to replace the hard-drive in my Dell E520. The existing one works but has become impossible to reformat. Any attempt to do so fails. So instead I have a brand new SATA drive I would like to use, but the E520 won't recognise it. I cannot seem to access the BIOS. F2 and Delete are not working. But also I do not know the procedure for doing so. I'm not a computer tech. Can someone talk me through the full normal procedure for doing this.? Do I need a bootable MS Dos disc? Anything else? How do I proceed?


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  1. When the computer is booting up it will tell you want to press to enter setup.
    it should be F2 unless you have an old Dell the it might be Ctrl-Alt- Enter
    but if that works then you probably do not have a sata port to attach that new drive to.

    ok, according to Dell's website you do have 4 sata ports and you do enter setup by pressing F2.

    Put the new drive in place of the old one. Boot from your restore cd (watch the screen, it should prompt you to press a key to boot from the cd). Follow the prompts to restore your computer - It should format your new drive and install your OS for you.

    If it will not boot from your restore cd then press F12 repeatedly as soon as you see the Dell logo use the arrow keys to go to Bootfropm CD or Boot from DVD (whichever you have)

    F12 changes the boot order for "this boot only".
    You can go into setup using F2 to make a permanent change in the Boot Sequence section but if you are not familiar with changing you bios settings I do not recomeend you do this without supervision from someone more familiar with it.
  2. Thanks for reply.

    I'm not sure that it helped though. For some inexplicable reason, both F2 and DEL refuse to work.

    F12 does work. The PC is already set to boot from a CD first, if available.

    But when I put in the new drive, I get a black screen with some short text followed by a flashing cursor ... and nothing else happens.

    I did read something about it having to the the right kind of hard drive. The E520 ships with an ATA drive. I have a replacement SATA drive. This is why I wanted to access BIOS via F2 - to change the settings to SATA (I read somewhere on the Internet that this is necessary). But since F2 and DEL do not work, I cannot do this. And besides, do I have to? I don't know...

    Any further help (and answers to the above) you can give will be great.

    Thank you.

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