Will mobo handle both sata and ide drives?

By PeteSete · 6 replies
Aug 12, 2007
  1. Hi everyone,

    I've just inherited a 2 or 3 year old Dimension 8400
    Pentium® 4 Processor 540 with HT Technology (3.20GHz, 800 FSB), Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional from my brother.

    It came with a sata drive, but I want to install 2 IDE hard drives from my old computer. The mobo has a 40 pin connector that looks suitable for IDE ribbon cable, but my bro says its for an optical drive. Will it depend on whether there is a proper controller card installed to run my IDE drives? Is it OK to run both a SATA and IDE drive in same machine?

    I'm afraid to just plug in my IDE drives to see what happens. I don't know the model number for this mobo.

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Yes the Dell Dimension 8400 will handle both SATa and EIDE drives, if the EIDE drives have the ATA133 80 conductor 40 connector cables, and the SATA cables are high quality. The EIDE Sockets will work with either. Just set your BIOS Boot order accordingly... and be sure your EIDE drives are jumpered correctly.
    In any case, running both on the 8400 will harm nothing.
    We have huge numbers of clients who use the 8400, and several have both 750 GB SATA drives and 320 EIDE drives humming along side by side.
  3. PeteSete

    PeteSete TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I plan to leave the PATA drives pinned for cable select. I guess I'll want to boot from the SATA drive.

    Thanks for your help.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    This discussion has been held ad nauseum for several years now on techspot. While most motherboards will work ok with both types of drives, some won't - particularly older boards. In addition, windows can crash and get confused as to which is the primary drive. Some will disagree with me on this.

    I have argued for some time now that I do not recommend using both types of drives on a system. But if you do decide to take the risk, bear in mind it may work, and work fine for a while.... until you get a system crash...

    So error on the side of safety and use one type or the other. You can always convert the older IDE drives to external USB drives.
  5. PeteSete

    PeteSete TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your advice on this issue.
    I have decided to forgo installing my PATA drives, but for a different reason. There is only one EIDE socket on the mobo and I want to install a DVD drive. A long time ago I tried to run a hard drive and optical drive on the same ribbon and didn't have any luck with that.

    I will buy a USB enclosure for my old drives and stay with the lone 360GB SATA inside. Problem solved. Thanks for your help, Tedster.
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    that's what I'm here for.
  7. PeteSete

    PeteSete TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Just to put the finishing touch on this story—a lightning strike to my sister's house caused her to need a new computer and now I have the SATA H/drive from her old machine and she gifted me an enclosure for helping her. Smiles all around!

    I appreciate your help.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...