If you are installing a brand new hard drive then please read this!!!

By Rik
Oct 5, 2006
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. There are 2 basic types of hard drive that most people will want to install.

    They are 1 - Pata, also called ide and ata. Easy to recognise as they have a large 40pin socket and jumper settings.

    And 2 - Sata, both sata 1 and 2 are set up in the same way. They are easy to recognise as they don't have a 40 way socket but have a 4 way instead.

    There are also scsi hard drives but i doubt may people will be using them so i will not be dealing with them in this post!!


    Pata - Pata's will connect via a 40 way data cable that has 2 plugs on it excluding the one that plugs into the mobo.

    It is VERY VERY important to get the jumper settings correct or THEY WILL NOT WORK!!!!

    There are 3 basic jumper settings, cable select, master, and slave.
    The easiest way to set them up is to use cable select. The mobo itself will then assign master and slave as it sees fit. Usually it will set the drive on the end plug as master and the other one as a slave.

    If you are running more than 1 pata drive on the same cable then you must insure they are both set to cable select or that 1 is set to master and 1 is set to slave. Having both set to master WILL NOT WORK, and having both set to slave WILL NOT WORK.

    Once that is set correctly most mobo's will be happy and boot fine, if yours doesn't then you will need to check the bois settings. The instructions for doing this will be in your mobo manual!!!




    Sata - Only 1 device is catered for per cable so there is no need for jumper settings.

    Its just a case of making sure your bios picks it up correctly, again, you will need to refer to your mobo manual for instructions.



    If, after properly installing your hard drive and checking the bios out it still doesn't show up in windows then it probably requires formatting.

    For windows XP Pro, right click on your "my computer" and select manage, storage, then disk management. Locate your new drive on the right hand side and right click and use the format wizard.

    Once all that is done you should have a new hard drive installed and working properly!!! Enjoy!!


    P.S. I only have XP Pro so if anyone else can add the formatting procedure for other windows versions then please feel free to do so.
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    It may be worth mentioning 80-wire cables are used for ATA-66/100/133 (UDMA), which is identical to a 40 wire, 40-pin cable in physical dimensions, but do not always work interchangeably.

    Also, SATA drives may not be detected under Windows until you install your SATA drivers are installed. Make sure to get your SATA controller installed.

    And if you're installing Windows XP/2000 on a SATA drive, then you may need to have a floppy disk with your SATA drivers and your F6 key handy. :)

    Something else, many hard drives have additional jumper settings such as 32GB clip and multiple master settings (Master with slave & Single Master). Keep your eyes out for these while installing your drive.

    I would also discourage from using cable select. I've had too many problems with this in the past. It has improved much since ATA-66 and works fairly well these days, but its good to be explicit and define you master and slave... One less thing to go wrong.
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,282   +181

    One minor correction to avoid potential confusion. It's really a 40 pin, 80 wire cable. Most will know what you mean, however.
  4. Rik

    Rik Banned Topic Starter Posts: 4,985

    All valid points, but i have to say that i have set up plenty of pc's using cable select with no problems at all!!!!
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Oops. I'll fix that. :)
  6. kwspony

    kwspony TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 159

    What if you have a new system with no operating system in it and you can't format the drives? Do they need to be installed in another PC to be formatted first? I am having this problem with a PC I just built.

    ECS K8T890-a mobo
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+
    2 Plextor optical drives
    2 WD 160gb SATA drives
    400w Ultra power supply

    Tried flashing the BIOS, tried installed sata drivers during windows XP install too. Tried differant connectors on the drives. Nothing works. The BIOS won't see the sata's.
  7. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    usually the cd you get with the OS on it, for example the winxp cd, it has its own formatting software and does it automatically when you install the OS onto the machine..

    As for your problem, try to hear if its spinning up at all or put it into another PC and try it there to see if it works..
  8. kwspony

    kwspony TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 159

    I think I will plan on installing the sata in another PC. They do get warm so I assume the are spinning. As far as formatting, I don't get that far in the install proccess in xp to format the drives.
  9. kwspony

    kwspony TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 159

    Just got an email from ECS. They said to set my SATA2's to SATA1 specs(150mb/s) rather then the 300mb/s they are. We will see if that works. If it does I may have to get a controller card to get them back up to 300mb/s.
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    ... Not worth it, especially if your considering a 32-bit PCI controller. Your drives might sustain 60-70mb/sec each, which is only half that of 150 MB/sec (per port) and the burst rate is barely above 150 MB/sec - if at all - for most drives.

    With a run-of-the-mill PCI card, you're actually going to be bottlenecked by your PCI bus bandwidth (~130 MB/sec). If you do get a seperate card, this might be a good time to use one of those extra PCI express ports, if you've got one. ;)

    Drives do have problems operating at SATA 300 on occasion under certain circumstances, so it doesn't seem too far fetched. But I think the chances are slim.
  11. kwspony

    kwspony TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 159

    Well, dropping the speed to 150mb/s worked. My BIOS now see's the SATA's. The XP CD I have isn't going to work with my old product key so I am now in the market for a new OS. Thanks for the help guys.

    Oh, and can anyone recommend a PCI-E controller card? I may be in the market for one soon.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.