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Thread: Sata

  1. #1
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    Default Sata

    I'm totally unfamiliar with SATA. I've mostly only used SCSI, and rarely, IDE.

    I've got a Dell purchased new in early 2003 which came with an IDE hard drive. It also has SATA ports, but per the manual, you can only use either IDE or SATA, not both. In any case, I'm having data throughout issues and want to get a faster hard drive. So I might as well go SATA since that seems to be the way to go these days. I found that there are drives with 1.5Gb/s, 3.0Gb/s and 6.0Gb/s. I have to assume that the SATA interfaces in this machine are 1.5Gb/s. These drives are far more expensive than the other speeds. Can these other speed drives be used with this machine?

    Also, cabling comes in several different versions. What the heck do I actually need to connect a hard drive?

  2. #2
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    Yes, SATA drives are downward compatible in terms of speed.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Also, cabling comes in several different versions. What the heck do I actually need to connect a hard drive?
    Well as usual you need power and data. The data cable is standard. You can only put one SATA drive per connector so simple straight cable. Some drives come with legacy power connectors as well as SATA power connectors. You can use either power connector, but its important not to use both.

    Example WD info here:-

    https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebas...aspx?ID=982&s=

    I would try a cheap SSD
    Dave
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    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  4. #4
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    Default

    Alright, thanks both of you. I'll see what I come up with. I'll have to avoid the Chinese "version specific" cables.

    BTW this is going to be for temporary storage of large video files, being erased frequently. So I'm going to avoid SSDs.
    Last edited by KC9UDX; April 2nd, 2019 at 12:41 AM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    I'll have to avoid the Chinese "version specific" cables.
    When you see SATA 2/3 on a cable it means that it is certified to work at that speed. Only once in my life I've seen an early, obviously SATA 1 cable, that wouldn't work with a SATA 3 drive. So although the connection is the same, there might be issues with older cables. My experience is that if you buy new cables now (except maybe from the super cheap Chinese ones) they will all work with SATA 3 drives even if they don't explicitly mention it.

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    Surprisingly, contrary to everything I've read about this system, it runs with all 6 drives: Primary and secondary IDE and primary and secondary SATA.

    So fortunately, I don't have to reinstall Windows or any other such nonsense.

  7. #7
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    If the new drives are spinning disk, just watch the PSU loading
    Dave
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    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

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    I replaced a 1992 3" 4GB drive with a new 250GB 2" drive so it shouldn't be much different. I opted to not crowd things too much.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Yes, SATA drives are downward compatible in terms of speed.
    In theory, yes.

    In reality, no.

    There are various chipsets which have SATA compatibility issues, one of the most notable is the VIA 8237. It has an integrated SATA 1 controller and is not compatible with SATA 2 or 3 drives unless the drives have downshift mode to operate at SATA 1 specs. Older mechanical drives have a jumper to do this, newer ones usually don't and SSDs don't. Though sometimes SSDs have firmware configuration utilities which can switch the link speeds, but you have to do this on a computer that can read the drive.

  10. #10
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    The VIA 8237 is a known garbage controller. Recent versions of Linux don't even support it--the last version of Debian that did, I think was Etch. OpenBSD still does, but the VIA chipset was so buggy that support was just plain dropped in Linux.

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