in general you will need to have the BIOS SATA options set to the same settings that were in effect when the drives were set up. most often there are limited settings and people just toggle through them until they hit the correct one and can read their drive. unless they were running raid on two drives and one drive failed or they setup on raid but the raid controller failed then basically it is hard to recover your data.
You can not always assume that correct or best settings were made on the initial install. I have seen raid setup on a single drives . I would just make the setting and attempt to boot. if it fails got to the next option and try it until you run through all the modes and find a fix or they all fail and you have to do a repair and reinstall with a known configuration.