Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 29th Feb 2012 00:56 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Current computers use SATA disk drives. Pentium IV's and earlier computers used the IDE drive standards. How can you intermix SATA and IDE disk drives? This article discusses the options. It is the next in my series of articles on computer refurbishing.
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tl;dr version
by Laurence on Wed 29th Feb 2012 07:02 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

tl;dr version: buy a SATA/IDE converter for ~$3.

(I can't imagine anyone on here is in the dark about what IDE and SATA connectors look like)

Reply Score: 3

RE: tl;dr version
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 09:40 UTC in reply to "tl;dr version"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

You know what? This was my thought. Or buy a SATA card for older hardware. PCI or whatever. I have seen enough P4 era machines with both PATA (a.k.a. IDE or ATA if you are a Mac pedant) and SATA connectors (as CD Rom drives were VERY slow to embrace anything but IDE.) Anything older than that probably has PCI slots and you can buy a PCI SATA card for ~$3 too these days.

Reply Score: 2

RE: tl;dr version
by OSbunny on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:33 UTC in reply to "tl;dr version"
OSbunny Member since:
2009-05-23

Well you gotta pimp that affiliate link to amazon or whatever.

Reply Score: 2

RE: tl;dr version
by Underphil on Wed 29th Feb 2012 17:28 UTC in reply to "tl;dr version"
Underphil Member since:
2012-01-13

You wouldn't think so, but I guess it won't be long before there is a generation of computer enthusiasts (or non-enthusiastic IT professionals ;) ) who will take a step-back when they see a drive that _looks_ like current ones, but has 'this weird 40-pin connector' on it.

Personally, I can't wait to see the back of them. A lot of SATA connectors have their faults, but getting rid of ribbon cables was one of the best things that ever happened, for me.

(Although it just occured to me that an SATA -> IDE adapter would use SATA cables, so my point is a bit moot! ;) )

Edited 2012-02-29 17:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: tl;dr version
by Delgarde on Wed 29th Feb 2012 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE: tl;dr version"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

You wouldn't think so, but I guess it won't be long before there is a generation of computer enthusiasts (or non-enthusiastic IT professionals ;) ) who will take a step-back when they see a drive that _looks_ like current ones, but has 'this weird 40-pin connector' on it.


While I don't disagree, I suspect that those people also won't have much interest in re-using some ancient 100GB PATA drive they found somewhere.

Reply Score: 2

Good Article
by Pro-Competition on Wed 29th Feb 2012 17:46 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

I am fairly technically astute, but I still appreciate this article, because I want to upgrade an old machine, and the drive compatibility was my biggest question.

I was already aware of the little converters and the PCIe cards, but I hadn't even thought about the USB option (I'm not sure why). And I didn't have time to look into the alternative OS drivers for the cards, so I also appreciate that info.

For simplicity's sake, I will probably just go with either the converter or USB option, since performance isn't that important in this case.

Thanks again for the article, Howard. Keep the series coming!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good Article
by bassbeast on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 10:25 UTC in reply to "Good Article"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Frankly I don't see why anyone would use an old PATA drive for anything BUT a USB drive myself. Frankly the larger caches on the modern SATA drives means even when using an IDE-SATA converter they have so much better performance so why bother with the PATAs? the only thing I use the old PATA drives for is USB (if it is over 120Gb) and for throwing in some P4 (if its not) that I sell for cheap on Craigslist.

You can buy a USB enclosure for PATA drives for less than $7 off of Amazon and you pair a 200Gb full of DivX rips with a cheap $30 Nbox media tank and you have a dirt cheap media player for the bedroom or spare room. Makes a cheap way to have plenty of video entertainment in a room and better than hobbling a PC with a slow PATA drive IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

Further issues
by ingraham on Thu 1st Mar 2012 04:35 UTC
ingraham
Member since:
2006-05-20

First, thanks for the article. I found it very thorough and well written. Why anyone is complaining about a solid overview is beyond me.

Anyway, I have been working on this same problem recently and hit a snag that was not addressed. I have a new machine with SATA only. Occasionally I want to plug in old PATA drives, possibly even booting off of them. I have a removable rack in the front of the machine to make this easy.

I tried an IDE controller from Ultra and an IDE to SATA adapter similar to the Syba mentioned in the article. Both of them would lock up the system at boot time if there was no drive installed in the rack. It wasn't even an annoyingly long time out; they would NEVER allow the system to continue to boot. Anybody have any ideas?

Thanks,
James

Reply Score: 2

RE: Further issues
by Laurence on Thu 1st Mar 2012 08:40 UTC in reply to "Further issues"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

First, thanks for the article. I found it very thorough and well written. Why anyone is complaining about a solid overview is beyond me.

It was just a comment, not a complaint.


Anyway, I have been working on this same problem recently and hit a snag that was not addressed. I have a new machine with SATA only. Occasionally I want to plug in old PATA drives, possibly even booting off of them. I have a removable rack in the front of the machine to make this easy.

I tried an IDE controller from Ultra and an IDE to SATA adapter similar to the Syba mentioned in the article. Both of them would lock up the system at boot time if there was no drive installed in the rack. It wasn't even an annoyingly long time out; they would NEVER allow the system to continue to boot. Anybody have any ideas?

Thanks,
James

You have a dodgy converter. Replace it

Reply Score: 2

RE: Further issues
by benali72 on Thu 1st Mar 2012 09:49 UTC in reply to "Further issues"
benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

If the IDE/SATA adapter doesn't work, it's probably defective hardware. I'd try another one. Since this is supposed to be copmletely transparent it should work on any system.

The controller card is harder to diagnose. It could be anything causing the problem, but most common is software driver compatibility issues.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Further issues
by ingraham on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 03:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Further issues"
ingraham Member since:
2006-05-20

To benali72 and Laurence, I don't believe faulty hardware is the problem.The devices work.perfectly well IF A DRIVE IS PLUGGED IN. The failure condition is only when the system tries to boot with card / adapter powered and plugged in but with no drive attached. In the case of the PCI card by Ultra, tech support actually told me there was no way to make it work. It appears that the devices are not designed to deal with the scenario of booting without a drive connected. Before you say, "Why would anyone ever do such a stupid thing," believe me that I have a valid, reasonably frequent scenario where I normally boot without a drive but every once in a while boot from a PATA drive. It's in a business environment involving old but still-running machines using the QNX RTOS.

Thanks,
James

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Further issues
by benali72 on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 04:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Further issues"
benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

Oh, I understand the problem now. Thanks for your elaboration.

Yes, I can tell you the drive dongle products (like the Syba) aren't designed to work without a drive present. When you boot it does its initialization, and if there is no drive present it won't work.

The main thing I can think to do would be to try the USB approach the article outlines. That way you could add or remove the drive at will, since it's external. I don't know whether it would address your needs but it would work and it would give the flexibility to easily add or remove the drive. Just plug/unplug the drive into the USB connector prior to each boot.

If you use this approach on a regular basis you'll want to buy a drive enclosure for the external drive too (most the USB products exclude that part).

Best of luck.

BTW-- I used to love QNX.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by DOSguy
by DOSguy on Thu 1st Mar 2012 13:57 UTC
DOSguy
Member since:
2009-07-27

SATA became popular with the introduction of dual core computers five or six years ago. SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment


Hmm, that isn't entirely accurate. SATA predates consumer dual core processors by several years, and would have become 'popular' with or without the dual core processor.
I wouldn't use popular to describe the adoption rate of SATA either, because SATA is simply the successor to PATA, and after chipmakers decided to implement the standard ( before dual core procs ) and phase out PATA eventually, other device makers like motherboard and harddisk manufacturers had to adopt or die.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 1st Mar 2012 15:52 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

The chances are that IDE drive is fairly old. Do you really want to store your valuable data on it? I bought a few USB enclosures for my old IDE drives. I never use them for main storage though. I wouldn't trust them for backups either.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 1st Mar 2012 18:08 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Although a quick & simple google search answers these questions, I'm sure the piece was written with good intent and I can appreciate that.

To make it more interesting, maybe the author should expand it to cover storage device adapters in general:
SATA->IDE
IDE->SATA
SD(*)->SATA
SD(*)->USB
CF->IDE
CF->SATA

etc....

Reply Score: 2