I am going to recycle my old Dell desktop computer from 2004 to use as an emergency back-up computer. It has a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (ST380013AS) HD that I want to replace, and then reinstall Windows XP. The old HD is SATA 1.5 Gb/s. Can I replace it with a Western Digital WD Blue (WD5000AAKX) SATA 6.0Gb/s? Will the old motherboard and hardware - and Windows XP - recognize this new drive? Will the new HD be recognized, but not operate at its rated potential? Any other suggestions for an inexpensive replacement HD for this system?
I've never heard of a sata hdd having backwards compatibility issues. It will not be slower. 1.5Gb/s = 192MB/s, I have that same model aakx and it tops out at ~120 MB/s (using sata 3 [6Gb/s] connection). Other 500gb 7200rpm hdds will be similar speeds.
If your old system has a VIA VT8237 SATA controller, for example, then it will not play with a 3Gbps or 6Gbps HDD unless that HDD can be restricted, either via jumper or firmware, to a SATA interface rate of 1.5Gbps.