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Question about hooking up HDD's

By Slayer_ ·
I have been trying to search this but getting mixed results, some say it can't be done, some say it can, some say it can but with limitations.

Basically, my computer, has 2 HDD's in it, one is now 7 years old and is starting to produce high pitched sounds out of it. Sometimes it will suddenly get really loud than quiet down again. The other drive however, is only 6 years old and is running like it was new. That one is going to stay. But the old 120gig has got to go, or at least stop being my primary drive.

Both drives are IDE drives plugged into the single spot on the mother board.

My question is, can I install a SATA drive (Board supports a lot of Sata drives, it has 8 Sata plugs on it) and have them run along with my IDE drive.

My most likely setup will be my remaining 320 drive will be partitioned for duel or triple boot (haven't decided yet) and be the OS drive, while the new Sata will be my data drive.
However, I have heard that if I hook up a Sata, it is the only thing that will be recognized, others say the Sata has to be my primary boot drive, and my friend says his system refused to boot to the Sata if an IDE drive was plugged in.

My Current system setup is like this.
2 IDE HDD's plugged into board.
2 IDE CD drives plugged into (Cheap) RAID card to serve as an expansion card.
I believe 8 Free Sata ports. I currently have no Sata drives hooked up.

Could I go through with my plan? Or do I need to drop both drives for Sata, or what?

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All Answers

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Depends on your M'Board here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Question about hooking up ...

It may not actually support 8 SATA Drives as Single Drives but only as part of a RAID Array.

As for using one SATA Drive and an IDE this has some things that you need to understand.

The IDE Drive is always the Default Boot Drive at the Hardware Level so if you where to use a SATA Drive as a Boot which most M'Boards support the moment that you either remove or add another IDE Drive you'll be unable to boot the machine off the SATA Drive as the Primary Files needed to point the Hardware to the Boot Files will be either not there or will be pointing to the wrong drive if you add a second IDE Drive.

You'll also maybe need to load the SATA Driver if you want to boot off the drive so in XP that means pressing the F6 key when the first blue screen appears and waiting till you are prompted then insert a Floppy with the SATA Drivers copied to it's Root and pressing Enter.

However if you want to use the IDE Drive as a Boot Drive it shouldn't give any real problems other than the fact that it's older so it's run longer and is more likely to fail sooner than the newer SATA Drive/s.

As for connecting the SATA Drives to the M'Board generally you should use the Lowest SATA Port Number for the Primary Drive and work up the Chain for any subsequent drives that you add. So SATA Port 0 Should have the first drive connected to it and so on up the drive chain if you use more than 1 SATA Drive.

Also some M'Boards will not support the STA Drives being connected to the Higher SATA Ports so you really need to read the M'Board manual and see what is says about the SATA Connectors and how to use them.

It's doable easily and doesn't present many real problems while everything is working but if something fails it may cause you more work to rebuild the system when the IDE Drive fails.

Personally with the cost of SATA Drives these days I would dump all of the IDE Drives to external Cases for Backup Purposes and fit 2 decent sized new SATA Drives but that may be just me as it's easier to rebuild when required. But again that all depends on the M'Board being used here and what it actually supports.

Hope that's not too confusing. :^0


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Nah thats good

by Slayer_ In reply to Depends on your M'Board h ...

I like to trust the old drives, they show no signs of failure (the slightly younger one doesn't) so I would trust it more than a brand new drive.

How can I tell which is Sata0? trial and error?

There is 4 of them at the top of the board (Guessing CD's), and 4 more near the HDD bays.

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The SATA Ports should be numbered

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Nah thats good

If not on the actual M'Board in the Users Manual.

Actually in the Users Manual is generally easier to read/see.


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OK I gotta find that thing then

by Slayer_ In reply to The SATA Ports should be ...

Being a guy after all, I don't read or keep manuals handy :)

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Well most M'Boards have these Numbered

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to OK I gotta find that thin ...

But being Blind I keep the Manuals handy because it's just easier to look at them than to pull the M'Board out of the case so I can read it.

The reality is that I'm just LAZY and can't be bothered throwing them away. I have a pile of Manuals that I just have to rummage through when the need arises and these days it's more often than I care to admit.


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Maybe I don't understand, or I'm special

by JamesRL In reply to Depends on your M'Board h ...

My rig, a Dell Precision 470, came with a SATA drive, and I set it up as the boot drive. Later I added my IDEs from my old computer to assist in transfering files, and as a place to archive stuff.

Works fine for me.


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James your just "Special"

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Maybe I don't understand, ...

But actually some of the newest M'Boards treat SATA Drives as IDE Drives and they become interchangeable.

Doesn't happen on every M'Board so it's easier to say that things are important rather then run the risk that it doesn't make a difference with some M'Boards. Here it's all down to the BIOS and how it was configured.

But here I'm trying to be Nice and not confuse the hell out of people like that HAL Unit would.


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Which is one possiblity I heard

by Slayer_ In reply to Maybe I don't understand, ...

I would expect mine to behave this way. It is only a year and a half old now.

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This is more up to the BIOS

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Which is one possiblity I ...

Than anything else. If it doesn't work that way maybe Flashing the BIOS will make it.

But it all depends on which Chip Set is used and who makes it. the Intel Sets are the leaders here with the NVidia and SIS lagging behind considerably. Not sure about the AMD Chip Sets as I haven't had much chance to play with any of those.


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