Dell Dimension 3000 and SATA HDD

By jasonemmg ·
Can I install a SATA HDD into my
Dell Dimension 3000?

I asked Dell they said "no" even if I were to purchase a SATA control card for an open PCI expansion slot.

This doesn't make sense to me? I'm thinking of replacing my current 80GB IDE drive with a new 160GB SATA HDD and installing XP Home on my new drive from my recovery/reinstall CD's.

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Here I would assume that the Dell Help Desk

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Dell Dimension 3000 and S ...

Was trying to say that you can not fit a SATA HDD to this system because there is no SATA Controller built onto the M'Board.

However if you buy a suitable plug in Card with a SATA Controller and have a spare socket to plug it into Yes you can fit a SATA HDD.

However it's not going to perform at the same level as it would on a M'Board with it's own Dedicated SATA Controller. The PCI Buss Speeds are not as fast as the SATA M'Boards allow between the Drive and the various bits that have Data transfered to them.

Now for your real problem when you fit a SATA Controller Card and try to boot an OS from it you need to install the Cards Drivers. As your Recovery Disc doesn't have the necessary Drivers for the Controller Card you will not be able to install the OS to the SATA Drive connected to the Plug In Card from the Recovery Disc unless you have a Floppy Drive present. They you'll need to press the F6 Key when the first blue Screen first appears and wait till you are prompted to insert a Floppy with the Driver/s for the Plug In Card copied to the Root of the Floppy. The system will be asking for SCSI Drivers but here you'll need to load the PCI Card Drivers so that you can get the system to load.

Or you could try Slipstreaming the Driver to a Install Disc with something like nLite available free here


If you chose to use nLite don't forget to read the Directions for use on their Web Site here


As I've never attempted to Slipstream Drivers to a Dell Recovery Disc I'm not sure how well this would work but there shouldn't be a problem.


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My problem now

by jasonemmg In reply to Here I would assume that ...

That's what I was thinking..Install a SATA control card into an open PCI-slot. As far as using F6, I do no have a floppy drive, Dell stopped shipping with them before I bought this PC.

Guess I'll have to settle for a 160GB IDE drive internal or maybe reformat my original 80GB drive and purchase an external 250GB
Seagate FreeAgent Go HDD for $60 at MicroCenter.

Can I add a 3rd internal drive? but then I may risk overheating so then another expense of more powerful fan...

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Well you could still fit a Large SATA Drive through

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to My problem now

A Controller Card but retain the 80 Gig HDD to boot off.

That would only require installing the controller card and drivers after you have the OS running on the IDE Drive.


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My decision

by jasonemmg In reply to Well you could still fit ...

I have 2 HDD already in the PC and don't know how well 3 HDD would be handled heat wise,etc..

I decided to buy a 160 GB IDE drive to replace my 80 GB with. This way I will always have my original drive if anything should go bad with the new.

Now its a matter of doing one last full backup using Acronis Home before pulling the drive...

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Good Luck Then NT

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to My decision
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SATA controller with IDE emulation mode

by oldbaritone In reply to Dell Dimension 3000 and S ...

I've done this a couple of times, and it works just fine. The SATA controller is put into IDE mode for boot - which is really what won't work on the older machines. BIOS won't boot from SATA because it doesn't know about it. If the controller has an IDE mode, that will get the boot started from BIOS, and then Windows loads the manufacturer's SATA drivers and switches modes during boot-up.

For the install, be sure to "Press F6 to install additional drivers" and install the disk from the controller manufacturer.

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