Sata Hd?

I know nothing about SATA. I don’t understand what the difference is over IDE or anything else. But i’m looking to buy a new C drive and many of the options WD has (i only buy WD, don’t ask :)) are SATA.

So can you tell me…

1)-how do they physically attach ? (assuming not the IDE ribbon)
2)-will my Asus P4C800 support it?
3)-other than simply installing it phsically, is there anything else i have to do besides just going ahead and formatting and installing XP?
4)-will a SATA give me any advantages or disadvantages over a IDE with the same amount of cache and RPM?

And i’d like to hear anything else i should know that i haven’t considered. If all i have to do is phsically install it and format and install windows as usual then i’ll probably go with sata.

Your mobo has 2 SATA ports.

Thanks. I figured it probably did but i mostly wanna know if there is anything to it besides just plugging it into the sata port and installing XP because the manuals are alway too technical for my noob mind and i inevitably find tings i don’t understand. so i posted here looking for real human response. Before i buy one i just need to know i’m not going to run into any unforseen and confusing obstacles.

I think you have to select them as FIRST boot device in the BIOS too if you want to use them as bootdrive.
Only plug it using the sata cable and then with the power cable, that should be enough.


Cables: unless you still have your Asus’ box (which may include a set or you buy the new hard disk in a retail package, you’ll have to buy them seperately. The data cable is much narrower than an IDE ribbon-cable. The power cable is either already there on power suppply unit or you must use an adapter-cable (from 4-pin Molex to SATA). Some WD disks have legacy (Molex) power connectors on the drive itself, in that case you don’t need anything special for power.

Your Asus supports SATA I (SATA150), whereas most new drives you can buy meanwhile are SATA II (SATA300). You may have to set a jumper on a SATA II to run it as SATA I. The difference is the [I]peak[/I] data transfer rate: 150 Mb/sec vs. 300 Mb/sec. Your current IDE disk(s) can do either 100 or 133 Mb/s, so the difference in speed is not enormous, but it’s still noticeable.

For using it as your C:\ drive, you’ll have to select it as boot drive in BIOS as chef said.

That should get you started. :slight_smile:

Excellent. Thats everything i needed to know ! Thanks much.

You may need to get the txtsetup & driver files from your motherboard driver CD and stick them on a floppy disk, if you are doing a fresh install of winXP directly to a SATA drive, press F2 to load the driver.

WinXP may or may not detect the SATA controller otherwise.
(My Gigglebyte nforce4 board detects the SATA as a standard IDE controller, until it’s booted windows that it. However, my nforce 2 board had a non-chipset SATA controller that required drivers to detect the controller at setup).

On most boards (I have experience with Gigabyte, Soyo, and ASUS) if you disable the “SATA ROM” in the BIOS it will go in to a sort of “legacy” mode where any connected SATA devices will show up on a third, virtual IDE channel. This will allow you to install and use XP without worrying about SATA-specific drivers. While some people report performance differences I’ve never noticed anything and I’m definately what you would call a power user.