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Dimension 4600 - run solely with a SATA hard drive - HOW do I do it?

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September 15, 2012 10:27:08 PM

I have an old Dimension 4600 I want to use for some video copying tasks so as not to burden my main PC.

There are two SATA slots on the 4600 motherboard, but no SATA power cable. I know you can use a SATA to PATA cable to run a SATA hard drive off an IDE hard drive with the SATA hard drive being a slave.

However, my IDE hard drives have failed, new IDE hard drives are pricey and I have a lot of spare SATA drives. Accordingly, I would like to run this 4600 with just a SATA drive.

I've found a Avolusion SATA to IDE Hard Drive Adapter (Covert SATA Hard Drive to IDE hard Drive) on Amazon which I assume would do the job.

My questions about this adapter, and which I hope forum members can answer for me, are as follows:

a) have any forum members had any experience with this adapter in either the 4600 or other IDE configured Dell Dimension machines )using only SATA hard drives)?

b) Will I need to buy any other cables or cards to make this adapter work like a SATA controller card (if so any suggestions on a card)?

c) what jumper settings do I have to change or set on 1) the 4600 motherboard 2) the SATA hard drive 3) the Avolusion adapter?

I thank forum members for their help and advice in advance.

I very much appreciate any help you can give me.
a c 104 G Storage
September 16, 2012 3:22:38 AM

Hello,
The Dell 4600 has the listed connectors on the MB for internal drives:

Primary IDE channel
40-pin connector on PCI local bus

Secondary IDE channel
40-pin connector on PCI local bus

Floppy drive
34-pin connector

Serial ATA
two 7-pin connectors

Since you have several SATA HDD's available, and two SATA data connectors, just connect two SATA drives directly, and forget about the IDE HDD's and converters. One of the Primary IDE channels should be used for your CD/DVD.

The power connector is easy. Buy a molex to dual sata power connector for < $2.00 on Amazon, and you are all done.

http://www.amazon.com/Connectland-CL-CAB40021-Molex-Pow...

If both the IDE drives have failed, then you will need to reinstall (with CD disks) the OS (probably Win-XP and the associated drivers.

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September 16, 2012 12:58:46 PM

Thanks for the advice.

What I don't understand is: what do I plug the IDE end of the molex to dual sata power connector into. I can't see how I can connect it to the 4600 power unit. Is there a slot on the mother board that I plug the molex connector into?

Thanks for your suggestion. I very much appreciate it. If you could just answer the above question, I'll be up and running.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 16, 2012 6:06:56 PM

gak1952 said:
Thanks for the advice.

What I don't understand is: what do I plug the IDE end of the molex to dual sata power connector into. I can't see how I can connect it to the 4600 power unit. Is there a slot on the mother board that I plug the molex connector into?

Thanks for your suggestion. I very much appreciate it. If you could just answer the above question, I'll be up and running.


There are two connectors you need for a HDD.

The power connector (Molex) coming from the power supply. For IDE they are 4 wires 4 pins. For SATA they are 4 wires 15 pins. If you don't have a SATA power connector coming from the PSU, you need to buy a short converter connector with a Molex 4 pin male on one end, and a 15 pin female on the othe end. Since you need power for 2 SATA drives, you purchase a "Y" connector with two 15 pin female pins. Check the image out of the "Y" connector I listed previously.

The data cables for SATA drives are each separate, not both on the same ribbon. Each have 7 pins on each end, and come in different lengths, 8", 12", 18", 36". You need one for each SATA drive, with one end plugging into the MB, and the other end into the SATA drive. You have 2 conncetors on your motherboard available for them.

Hope that clears up the confusion!
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September 16, 2012 10:44:12 PM

I get it now. Thanks for your advice. I very much appreciate it.

Have a great day.
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September 27, 2012 3:38:01 PM

Best answer selected by gak1952.
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