MY desktop is 20 months old and has a PATA HDD:
Western Digital WD3200AAJS PATA HDD which has bad blocks and needs to be replaced before it dies. Other forums tell me that the 3200 is susceptible to this type of failure. I need to replace it. There are only a limited number of models of PATA drives available on the market.
Question: Can I switch to using a SATA HDD? If so, what hardware & software, if any, do I need in addition to the SATA HDD?
To switch to a SATA drive you need to confirm that your motherboard supports SATA and has the appropriate ports. If it does support SATA you simply need to purchase an appropriate drive and connect is using a SATA cable and power.