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Can someone help me with SATA drives?

By Joshiii-Kun · 6 replies
Apr 9, 2006
  1. Hello everyone.
    I'm saving money for a new harddisk at the moment, I'm planning to replace one of my IDE harddisks with a SATA drive.
    At the moment I have these harddisks:
    - Maxtor 30GB (pretty old, gonna replace this one)
    - Maxtor 120GB (should be fine)

    So, I was planning on getting a Maxtor or Western Digital 200GB SATA 300 hard disk. I was wondering about some stuff though...

    What setup would be best? Since I'm keeping my 120GB IDE drive, well, I think I should use that one mainly for storage, don't you think? It's a slower drive after all, and the SATA drive should be fast and big enough to store both Windows and games. Hmm.. then it would be best to put the page file on that drive too, I guess. Maybe it's better to make a separate partition on that SATA drive.
    Oh, and does the Windows XP setup support SATA drives? Would be a bummer if it wouldn't be able to detect it.
    Yeah, and lastly, what is better, Maxtor or Western Digital?

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    I'll ask the stupid question first, just to confirm.... ;)

    Your motherboard supports SATA drives right?

    As for whether or not windows will detect your drive, the quick answer is probably. I would do a search for your motherboard and see if you can find someone who is using the same one as you, and who has a SATA drive installed and working. Nice to confirm ahead of time.

    Maxtor or WD? If you have a high end system that can make use of the fast HDD speeds, you can get a 10,000 rpm raptor. But I am perfectly happy with my 7200rpm maxtor drives. Good prices and good speed for my needs. I did, however, go for 16mb cache.
  3. Joshiii-Kun

    Joshiii-Kun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yar, my motherboard supports SATA ;)
    I believe I can set the master drive in the BIOS. It has SATA settings and stuff, I think it should be able to boot to the SATA drive.
    Ha, I'm not going for that Raptor drive. Sure, it has nice speeds and all, but I don't really want to spend too much money.
    Hmmm, does 16MB or 8MB cache make a lot of difference? Because if so, I can better spend €15,- more and get a 250GB WD harddisk. With 16MB cache.
  4. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat TS Enthusiast Posts: 97

    are you planning a total reinstall of windows or just formatting the new SATA as storage? I know when you first go through the Windows install it tells you to press F6 to configure RAID. You hit that and it asks for a disk with drivers on it. You probably should check if your motherboard came with a diskette or else you'll have to make one cause most HDDs don't ship with one.
    as for partitioning, I am under the impression that it is best to create a separate partition for Windows, which would be C:. don't plan on storing anything on it, so 20GB should be fine. Then, format the rest of the drive and install everything on that other partition. This may just be an urban legend, but this is how I was taught to do it.
  5. Joshiii-Kun

    Joshiii-Kun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm going to reinstall Windows on the SATA drive, because my current Windows installation is kind of... screwed up, and I think my old harddisk is, well, too old.
    Hmmm, well, my motherboard didn't come with a driver CD, or well, just nForce 4 drivers and all. Can I download SATA drivers from, in this case, Asus' website?
    And about the partitioning, yeah that's what I was thinking :p 20GB and all. Should be fine.
  6. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat TS Enthusiast Posts: 97

    I think you should be able to get drivers and make yourself a disk. Mine came with it, so I actually haven't done it, but I know you need one for SATA. There might be an outside chance that your HDD comes with one, but I really doubt it. I would start at ASUS, then maybe the HDD maker if that is no good. It's really rather straightforward once you get the disk...good luck.
  7. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    not urban legend, well, it shouldnt be... most people who value their data have this type of setup, as well as those with dual boot setups.. mine: c:/windows =30gb (taking into account winupdates, users saveing of files on to the default directories), Apps/programs =40gb, data = the rest.. the idea being the first partition gives you faster recovery/install of winxp if something goes haywire, without the loss of data, second part'n so you dont loose program customisations etc, third for all data files etc, making spring cleaning much easyer..... of course, you have to consider backups incase the whole hdd fails..

    but partitions are up to your discresion. just dont forget to allow for expansions/updates, new progs and files etc..

    drivers for windows installer - you may get away with not using one if you dont plan on using any RAID configurations (as i did) or if your mobo cant use RAID, but again, that is dependant on your motherboard and what it can/cant do..

    the drivers are most comonly on the cd(s) you get with your motherboard, or yes you maybe able to download it..
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