Using SATA SSD with an IDE adapter

I keep reading about how SSD drives are either being run in IDE or AHCI "mode". Is this a setting of the drive itself or is this just a motherboard (or CMOS, or BIOS, or whatever) setting?

My situation: I have a Plextor M5S SSD drive that I'd like to use in an older model VOIP system (3com NBX 100) that needs an IDE hard drive with a bidirectional IDE <=> SATA adapter.

The drive is imaged with the contents of the original disk but when I put it in the machine it's not recognized.

Furthermore I tried putting this concoction into an old desktop computer (since the NBX isn't very forthcoming with useful output), and in this desktop it's recognized by BOIS on the secondary IDE port but not on the primary.

My question is, why am I insane?
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More about using sata adapter
  1. A modern sata ssd looks exactly like any other sata hard drive with the exception that it is much faster.
    In fact, this speed is the only thing that alerts windows to the fact that it is a ssd, and that defragging should be turned off.

    It should run happily on a sata connection in IDE mode.
    The sata mode is an option in the bios which sets the mode to IDE, AHCI, or perhaps raid.
    It takes AHCI to be able to transmit the "trim" command to the ssd.
    That lets the ssd update a free block without a read/rewrite cycle.
    If your ssd has plenty of free space, like 20%, then using a ssd will not miss trim much.

    What I think your system needs is a IDE connected ssd. There are not many around, mostly older models. Check ebay.
    Here is one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kingspec-64GB-2-5-PATA-IDE-SSD-Drives-For-Notebook-Hard-Drive-HDD-/251231697621?pt=US_Solid_State_Drives&hash=item3a7e937ad5

    Possibly, you could find an add in card with such a ide to sata adapter, but it might not be bootable.
  2. The add in card isn't an option, because this NBX box doesn't have any slots to plug anything like that into - I should have mentioned that from the word go.

    I really appreciate the straightforward information you provided otherwise, and as a matter of fact it never occurred to me that I might be able to find an IDE connected SSD.

    Great stuff - thanks for your response!
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