Adding a second hard drive to my computer?

How would I go about doing this?

I have a Dell Dimension E520 with an 80GB Drive, and have read on forums that its not that simple. I have to go into bios and change some settings around in integrated peripherals ...not too sure what that even means.

I have my primary hard drive running in sata 0 and DVD drive running in 1 . Apparently my mobo doesn't have sata 2 or 3, and sata 4 and 5 are disabled, assuming that I have to reactivate those in bios or something? How would I do that? Should I put my dvd drive in 4 and add the second drive onto 1?

Also, are SATA III hard drives backwards compatible with SATA II ports? I'm guessing that's what I have.
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  1. Best answer
    For the most part you should be able to simply buy the drive, physically mount it into your case, and connect the power and data cables to it. You should be able to connect the data cable into any SATA port on your motherboard.

    Some motherboards have two separate SATA controllers, each with two or more SATA connectors - if this is the case then the connectors for each controller usually have a different colour to differentiate them. It will make your life slightly easier if you connect the new drive to the same controller as the one that your existing HDD / DVD drives are connected to, but if that's not possible then you can connect them to the other controller.

    There are basically only two things you might have to worry about:

    1) If you connect the new drive to a second controller that hasn't been used for anything up to this point, you may have to go into the BIOS and enable it.

    2) If you had to enable the controller, then when you boot the system Windows may need to load a device driver to communicate with it. In most cases this happens automatically and you don't need to do anything yourself.

    SATA-II and SATA-III drives can be used with a motherboard that has SATA-II or SATA-III ports - the devices auto-negotiate and choose the fastest common protocol supported by both. For a hard drive it's irrelevant whether you're running at SATA-II or SATA-III speeds since the mechanics in the hard drive itself limit the data rates to much slower than even SATA-II. SATA-III is only needed for some of the faster Solid State Drives.
  2. Best answer selected by atomzdan.
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