Don't mix IDE and SATA on same system

By Tedster
Dec 28, 2006
  1. Folks- I've ran into about 4 or 5 people that are having issues when their system crashes due to two types of hard drives on their systems. I never recommend using IDE and SATA on the same computer. Use one type or the other. While most people will be able to get both up and running and perhaps not have any problems, when there is a crash or serious system error, XP will default to IDE and write OS data to the IDE drive. This is turn, renders the computer unbootable as XP "sees" two OSes on the same system on 2 different drives and gets confused where to seek data.

    solution: easy - use one type of drive or the other or make your IDE external. Take your IDE drives and make them portable USB drives. While this is a costly solution, it is much better than having to go through the headache of file recovery and reformatting drives.

    I've gone through this issue myself and it is a royal headache. Most of the time it is damn near impossible to access your data again as the file tables get jacked.
  2. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    This sounds like a legitimate concern, but I've been mixing IDE and SATA on the same system for years now. It's been over 2 since I got my Raptor, and it's been my boot drive ever since. I've never had a problem like this, so I don't think it applies to everyone, but people would still be wise to back up important files regularly.
  3. SteveAK

    SteveAK TS Rookie

    Could it just be that some people are placing both their PATA and SATA drives on the same channel? I've had problems before with using on-board PATA controllers and additional PATA controllers provided by a PCI card. I would think you'd need to change you BIOS settings to make sure the computer is connecting to the right drives through the right controllers. Maybe some are using auto detect settings which is why the computer gets confused?
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Topic Starter Posts: 6,000   +15

    These are all legitimate reasons that all come to the same problem. There are just too many variables involved that can cause hang ups and crashes when mixing drive types. So in order to avoid potential headaches and heartaches, don't mix 'em!
  5. TangoTrolly

    TangoTrolly TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I have a mix, but Windows XP resides on the IDE (PATA) drive. If the above condition occurs, I should be fine. What do you say Tedster?

  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Topic Starter Posts: 6,000   +15

    It's a better setup, but still you can run into channel conflict issues.
  7. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    There should be no problem with running both IDE and SATA conencted HDD's in the 1 PC. The only problem I can see perhaps is that if you start installing and running programs from one or the other ... but in general give me one good reason why that type of set-up would cause problems?
  8. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Tedster- Can you please link a credible source supporting your claim?

    I've got 4 machines with mixed drives. All of them have dumped, and all of them have BSODed. Three have the OS on the SATA, one on the PATA. All of them recovered fine.

    Well, machine #5 didn't recover, but that wasn't due to the harddrive, that was due to the magical blue cloud that comes from a PSU crapping itself.

    I'm willing to take into consideration your advice, but I really need some credible evidence supporting it given the strong evidence against your claims.
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Topic Starter Posts: 6,000   +15

    absolutely - look at all the threads on this website with people having mixed systems and issues. There's quite a few.
    Also I have had this problem myself.
    Like I said, and I will repeat myself again.... it WILL work, but it is not advisable. It's just a bad idea that sooner or later will run into issues. It's just not a wise thing to do.
  10. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    That other people have a problem does NOT mean that it's a SATA/PATA conflict.

    Please provide a link which explicitly provides information as to what causes the problems, what resolution options are available, and in what scenarios these symptoms exist. Otherwise, it's a very unscientific claim. It's kind of like saying my car won't start because I own a truck as well- a red herring. At best, it says that you don't know how to maintain your system.

    Please provide a link, any link, with more technical information than "Just look!". You say sooner or later will run into issues.. how long is that? I've got some good time under my servers now without any such conflict, and I have yet to know anyone who had it themselves either.

    I'll be willing to consider the claim, if you can provide some technical reasoning behind it, and cite your sources.
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