SATA Hard Drive questions

Looking into venturing into the realm of SATA hard drives for the first time in my life. My question is I’m not interested in using them in a Raid environment. I have an Abit AI7 (Intel 865E chipset) motherboard. If I just buy one SATA hard drive (either going for a 160 or 200 gigabyte drive…) can I remove all my IDE hard drives, install XP on it, etc and have it act just like an IDE hard drive? How do these drives work in comparison to IDE in this respect? I’d just like to keep my IDE bus for cd/dvd burners and my hard drives on the S-ATA bus. :slight_smile:

SATA drives are just like IDE drives but for the faster interface. Yes you can use just one SATA drive without using any other IDE drives.

Performance is great. Especially if you are video capturing. Even games load up much faster. In my experience I have found them to be much quieter.

SATA drives are also good for you case cooling since they use really thin cables instead of the thick IDE cables.

Thanks, Asid! :smiley: I’m just waiting for some reason and don’t know why really. sigh hehe.

The only real world difference between P-ATA and S-ATA is the interface, the speed is dictated by factors such as spindle rotation speed, cache memory, seek time, if you were to compare two drives that were identical apart from one being S-ATA and one being P-ATA the difference would be minute.

SATA HD’s may appear faster as they all have 8MB caches.
Most PATA HD’s have only 2MB cache.
Premium PATA HD’s came with 8MB cache.

If your system is pre-built, you most likely belong to the 2MB cache populous & you will notice a good increase in speed moving to SATA.
If however, you’ve been doing your own puchasing/building & have spent a little more for the premium drives, then you will notice no speed increase whatsoever.

Also keep in mind that SATA drives are a newer generation, and each successive generation of HD’s is slightly faster than the previous, due to higher density of bits.

Be warned, you WILL need your SATA drivers on floppy disk when installing to a SATA (or raid for that matter) HD directly, otherwise windows XP will not know how to communicate with the SATA controller & hence will not detect the HD.

When you have made the disc, make sure you keep it safe. It’s embarassing having to go to a friends place to get some drivers copied from a cd onto floppy so you can recover your system :wink:


I just read your post and have a really dumb question. I have the SATA 8mb 250 HD. This has already been installed on my system and works great. You mentioned to be warned, you will need your SATA drivers on a floppy disk. I am running XP. My dumb question is this, how do I get the drivers to a floppy disk. I do have the installation disk from MaxBlast 3. I also have the application accelerator 3.0 raid driver on floppy. Is there anything else I need to do. If so, how?

I am a 60 year old Great-Grandmother and wish to stay up with technology if possible, but am struggling at it. I have another post regarding my granddaughter’s computer that perhaps you can assist me with as well.

Thanks In Advance, Happy New Year!

You do not need a SATA Driver Disk to install XP if your board is using an Intel Chipset and on-board Intel SATA contoller. The bios controls SATA drives in the same fashion as PATA. Boards with ATI, SIS, and even some Intel boards use SI, Promise, or other controllers that do require the driver disk for XP to see the drive…

Hi pkoontz, and welcome to the forums.

First of all, your question isn’t dumb at all.

You can get the drivers from your motherboard manufacturer’s website.

You can PM me with the question regarding your granddaughter’s computer if you like, or post again on the forums!

Do be aware that a lot of these drives run very hot. Make sure you allow for adequate cooling.

Depending on your machine, you may not need a driver disk at all. (Refer to previous post). If you are using an AMD board with SATA (or any board that may require a driver disk at install) there will probably be a SATA directory on the driver disk that came with the machine. Just copy the contents of that directory to a floppy and verify that a “TXTSETUP.OEM” file exist in the root of that floppy. :wink: :wink: Should be all ya need…