Tech Tip: Support SATA boot devices in Windows Server 2003

Find out how to support SATA boot devices.

A fast server is essential for any organization. For those IT shops that build their own servers, Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) can provide a speed boost over ATA/100 and ATA/133. The slowest SATA devices operate at speeds of 150 MBps.

Furthermore, SATA provides other benefits that might not be as apparent. For example, it offers better cooling because the cables are much smaller. In addition, many SATA adapters include the ability to support a RAID 0 (striped) or RAID 1 (mirrored) configuration, making it ideal for small servers for which hardware-based RAID is desirable.

At this point, no version of Windows—including Windows Server 2003—supports SATA directly out of the box. To use SATA, you need to either download the SATA drivers for your machine or use the drivers that came with the SATA-enabled motherboard or SATA adapter.

If you want to install Windows Server 2003 on a SATA-only system (i.e., no other ATA-based hard drives), you need to copy the appropriate SATA drivers to a floppy disk. During the Windows Server 2003 install, press [F6] when the system asks if you need to provide additional storage drivers. The Windows installer will prompt you for the disk during the installation.

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