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how to install SATA HD into desktop to replace bad IDE HD

Discussion in 'General Hardware Issues' started by BAD, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. BAD

    BAD Techie7 New Member

    I'm helping a friend who's older PC desktop's IDE HD died. I have a good SATA HD I would like to install into the old IEA desktop to replace the bad IDE HD. But I'm having trouble and need help.

    The desktop seems to only have a connection cord that will plug into an IDE HD. Is there some type on adapter I can get so I can plug the SATA HD into the power and mother board??

    I've replaced HD's before, but never one with a different type of HD.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    There are several adapters but none are really ideal if the motherboard does not provide SATA support. The best option is to replace the old IDE drive with another IDE drive. I realize the goal here is to save some money by using parts already on hand, but headaches down the road may negate that.

    There are PCI to SATA Interface Adapters and SATA Power Adapters, but then you need to deal the drivers for the SATA interface.

    That is not a problem with Windows Vista and later versions. But SATA was not around when XP was designed so SATA support is not built into XP. And since that support must be added very early in the boot process (so the chipset and operating system knows how to access the new SATA boot drive), adding support to an existing XP system can be a real challenge - and is typically done during (in the middle of) a fresh OS install, or sometimes during a Windows Repair Install.

    You did not state the version of Windows in use here, but since SATA has been supported by motherboards for many years, my guess is your friend is using XP.

    So again, and especially if using XP, I would suggest looking for an inexpensive IDE (PATA) drive to put in there.
  3. BAD

    BAD Techie7 New Member

    Thank you very much for your comments. The operating system is XP. So I will try to find an IDE drive at Fry's.

  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You might actually try a local computer repair shop. They may have some perfectly good, but not very used drives cheaper than what you may find at Fry's. I see Fry's online has several "refurbished" models at reasonable prices.
  5. BAD

    BAD Techie7 New Member

    The IDE disc that failed was about 160GB. My local Fry's has a refurbished Western Digital 250GB for $50. Do you think the increased size will be a problem? I'm thinking of just buying it for her and installing it. She wants to continue using XP.

  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    It shouldn't be a problem at all.

    A couple hints to make it easier, and safer. Refurbished typically means it was returned, checked out and it worked, but the opened box prevents full-price resell. So in most cases, the item is new or barely used. However, in the case of returned hard drives (SSDs too), you cannot trust the drive was not connected to an infected system long enough to pick up some malware. So if me, I would connect that drive as a secondary (not boot) drive in one of my computers (or in an enclosure attached to one of my computers), then do a full format, then a full "wipe" of the drive to ensure it was clean and most importantly, safe. If you have CCleaner, it has a Disk Wiper, or you can use Eraser.

    Then to make it easier, since this is an IDE drive, make sure the new drive uses the same Master/Slave (MA/SL) setting as the old. Inspect the jumper on the back of the old drive to determine how to set the new drive. The default is normally the auto option, "CS" for Cable Select and there's a good chance you will not need to change anything. But it could have been changed on your friend's computer, often when a CD/DVD drive is attached to the same cable. Or the original owner could have changed the refurbished drive jumper. There may be several jumpers, and different drives use different pins to set the Master/Slave jumper so use the labels on each drive as guides BEFORE installing the drive in the bay.

    Also, I would try to determine as much information about the old hardware as possible first - then visit makers websites for the latest drivers for that hardware. Start with the PC brand and model number, or motherboard brand and model number, if custom built. If using a graphics card, you will need to visit the card maker's site.

    If the XP installation disk does not include SP3, I recommend you download and install Service Pack 3 (SP3) via the Network Installation Package for IT Professionals (but anyone can use it) from here. Then run Windows Update to make sure XP is fully updated before doing anything else.

    Also, since it can take hours to setup a computer after a fresh install, I would take the computer to my house and do it there. While total time is hours, most of that is waiting for the next prompt.