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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Tech Help » ATA/SATA/SATA-II harddrive?

Default ATA/SATA/SATA-II harddrive?

February 19th, 2007, 19:14
Hi,

I've recently bought a SATA-II harddrive for my 6-7 year old computer (I have a newer), but it seems the motherboard doesn't support SATA-II, because I can't seem to find any way to connect it.
So my question is if it is possible to make a SATA-II harddrive work on such an old computer?
I have the ability to return it and receive full repayment and would that be better, but if, then which harddrive interface should I buy? Is ATA the old one with IDE connectivity?

On forehand thanks! :)

Regards Asbjřrn
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February 19th, 2007, 22:39
I can think of two ways, neither of which is very practical. You could get a SATA enclosure with a USB connector, and use it as an external drive, or you could buy a PCI RAID controller card. The latter is more of a theoretical exercise since it'll certainly cost more than a new low-end motherboard and CPU, give you all kinds of configuration grief, and there's no point in using one with just a single drive anyway.

IOW, I say exchange it (or go the whole hog and upgrade your entire system).

If you want to exchange, you'll want an IDE/ATA/PATA drive — these are all synonyms. SATA and SATA 2 have the same connectors, and with current drive transfer rates, there's no practical advantage to SATA 2 (although it certainly has more room for growth — for example, with an all-Flash drive, the interface becomes the bottleneck).
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February 19th, 2007, 23:03
Ok, thanks for the reply. Well, I'm going to exchange it for a ATA harddrive then. It'll be a lot easier and cheaper.
The computer is only used for Word processing and internet, so a full upgrade is unnecessary.

I use SATA-II for my other computer, though I didn't know it practically wasn't better at this point, but it wasn't more expensive as other harddrives, so I bought it anyway.

Thanks again.

Regards Asbjørn
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February 20th, 2007, 09:50
I'm bit confused by your question.

SATA II (aka SATA/300) disks are backward compatible with SATA I (aka SATA/150). So if you have SATA II disk and SATA I enabled motherboard, it should work just fine.

Now I believe SATA was first introduced around 2003, so your 5/6 years old motherboard should not have it. So aren't you talking about IDE, that would make sense. 5 - 6 years ago IDE was standard in the area of normal home computers.

As for SATA II being better than SATA I. In fact it should theoreticaly be twice as fast (1.5 Gbit/s versus 3 Gbit/s). Also in reality it should mean a difference for IO critical tasks (even thought the practical difference is far from doubling the speed). What is important for SATA II is that you need both disk and motherboard that supports it, otherwise you will simply (and without even noticing it) use SATA I. One year ago when I was choosing my computer, there weren't many montherboard/disk combinations you could use for this. Even my Hitachi' SATA II capability had to be enabled by special utility that switched it to SATA II mode.

Read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SATA
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February 20th, 2007, 11:25
Yes you are right. My motherboard is even too old to support SATA-I, so I will exchange my harddrive for an ATA harddrive with IDE connectivity. I didn't know this before I bought my harddrive but we all become wiser though I ought to have researched it.

I will read the article about SATA today.

Regards Asbjørn
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February 20th, 2007, 14:23
You should also make sure the mainboard can really handle the HDD size you want to buy. It´s quite possible an old motherboard needs a BIOS update to support more than 80 GB or 160 GB.
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February 20th, 2007, 16:13
Okay. Well, that was also the reason why I had to buy a new computer, because the old one only supported a processor running at max 2,8 Ghz or something similar. And if all the parts were to be replaced, then there really wasn't any effort in upgrading it. So I bought a new instead and can use the potential of two computers now.
Well, my old harddrive went kaput and it had 80 GB and I'm just planning to buy the same or perhaps less, because I don't use it for music or games any longer.

Regard Asbjørn
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February 20th, 2007, 17:00
You might want to be sure your power supply can handle it as well if you have upgraded any other aspects of that computer.

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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February 20th, 2007, 18:18
Just get a cheap SATA PCI add in card….should cost 25 bucks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc…82E16839333002

This gives you the advantage that you can still use the SATAII HD when you decide to upgrade the other machine. Better than being left with an old ata HD, the ATA interface is not even supported on some chipsets now and will probably be completely removed in the next couple of years due to cost reasons.

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February 20th, 2007, 19:30
You might as well get the whole story. I will make it short.

I bought my computer 6 years ago and it was high-end of its time (or at least I thought so).
It had these specifications:

AMD Athlon 2000+
512 MB RAM
Nvidia Geforce 3, 128 MB RAM
80 GB harddrive ATA
19" CRT screen (whether or not it is relevant)

I decided last year that it was time to upgrade my computer. Most importantly because I wanted to be able to play Oblivion. So I began to plan my upgrade.

I quickly realised that my motherboard was too old to support the processor I wanted and my PSU was also too old to support the graphics processor I wanted. A full upgrade was therefore necessary.
I was only left with my cabinet as something useable, so I would rather have two computers and also not be troubled with the upgrade of my computer.
So I bought a new with these specifications:

AMD Athlon64 3200+
1 GB RAM
Nvidia Geforce 6800GS, 256 MB RAM
120 GB harddrive SATA-II
19" TFT screen (whatever relevanse that has)

Now a year later I decided it was time to upgrade my new computer so I would be able to play Two Worlds and Gothic 3 when properly patched. I needed more ram and storage. But the old computer's harddrive had also stopped functioning, so I would need a new harddrive for it too. The reason for it not functioning began with dust but that is another story.

I have just bought this then:

1 GB RAM
120 GB harddrive SATA-II (for the new one)
80 GB hardrive SATA-II (for the old one)

I didn't know that the old computer didn't support SATA-II or SATA-I for that sake and I admittedly hadn't researched because I thought it didn't matter. But with your help I realised it wasn't possible for me to use the SATA-II harddrive.
So today I have sent it back because of a 14-day "returnright". So I will now buy an ATA harddrive because it is cheaper and easier to install. I don't need future prospects for the old computer, because it is supposed to die out eventually.

So finally for today's question.

My new computer's harddrive (120 GB) has been installed but it somehow needs activation. I bought the harddrive as bulk, so I didn't get any manuals or the like with the package. How do I activate it because it isn't shown in "This computer" but it is shown in "Unit management" but listed as uninitialised? Though it is possible to deactivate it, where I would think it should have been able to activate it?

I hope you managed to get it read. I somehow needed to tell it as a basis for further help (at least I thought so). But if you have managed to read it you have my gratitude. :)

Regards Asbjørn
Last edited by Asbjoern; February 20th, 2007 at 20:22.
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February 20th, 2007, 20:09
Once you have it setup in bios and assuming you can get into windows you need to do the following:

Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management

Inside that application on the lefthand window you need to select "storage -> disk Management". You should get a list of available drives on the right hand window and you can then right click on the drive you want to do anything with.

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February 20th, 2007, 23:09
ok, thanks. I've gotten it to work now.

Thanks to all.

Regards Asbjørn
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