Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Install SATA Hard Drive

How To Install and Troubleshoot Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Drives

Hard drives using SATA connectors are the next generation in hard drive technology and should replace hard drives using EIDE connectors within the next few years. SATA hard drives are the same size and shape as EIDE hard drives and are installed in exactly the same way with one big difference: one SATA port connects to one SATA hard drive, so there's no need to deal with the messy master and slave configuration scheme. It is not necessary to set any jumpers, terminators, or other settings on this drive for proper operation. The jumper block adjacent to the SATA interface connector is for factory use only.

With a Serial ATA interface, each disc drive has its own cable that connects directly to a Serial ATA host adapter or a Serial ATA port on your motherboard. Unlike Parallel ATA, there is no master-slave relationship between drives that use a Serial ATA interface.

You can use a Serial ATA drive in the same system with Parallel ATA drives as long as both interfaces are supported on the motherboard or with a host adapter. This makes it easy to add Serial ATA compatibility to your existing system without removing existing Parallel ATA disc drives.

What You Need

  • A Phillips screwdriver and four 6-32 UNC drive mounting screws.
  • A Serial ATA interface cable (sold separately). Maximum length is 39 inches (1 meter).
  • A Serial ATA-compatible power cable or adapter (sold separately).
  • A version of Windows with FAT32 or NTFS file system.
  • A system with a motherboard that has a Serial ATA connector on it, or a Serial ATA host adapter and available PCI slot in which to install the adapter.

Refer to your computer system documentation to see if your system supports Serial ATA on the motherboard and to locate the Serial ATA connector. If your system does not have a Serial ATA connector on the motherboard, you must purchase a Serial ATA host adapter that is compatible with your computer and operating system and install it with the appropriate device driver according to the host adapter manufacturer's installation instructions.

Handling Precautions

  • Disc drives are fragile. Do not drop or jar the drive. Handle the drive only by the edges or frame. Keep the drive in the protective anti-static container until you are ready to install it to minimize handling damage.
  • Drive electronics are extremely sensitive to static electricity. While installing the drive, wear a wrist strap and cable connected to ground.
  • Turn off the power to the host system during installation.
  • Do not disassemble the drive. Doing so voids the warranty.
  • Do not apply pressure or attach labels to the circuit board or to the top of the drive.

Attaching Cables and Mounting the Drive

1. Attach one end of the drive interface cable to the Serial ATA interface connector on your computer's motherboard or Serial ATA host adapter (see your computer manual for connector locations). Host adapter configuration is shown below.
Note: Serial ATA connectors are keyed to ensure correct orientation.

2. Attach the interface and power cables to the drive.

3. Secure the drive using four 6-32 UNC mounting screws in either the side-mounting or bottom-mounting holes. Insert the screws no more than 0.20 inches (5.08 mm) into the bottom-mounting holes and no more than 0.14 inches (3.55 mm) into the side-mounting holes.

Configuring the BIOS

Close your computer case and restart your computer. Your computer may automatically detect your new drive. If your computer does not automatically detect your new drive, follow the steps below.

1. Restart your computer. While the computer restarts, run the system setup program (sometimes called BIOS or CMOS setup). This is usually done by pressing a special key, such as DELETE, ESC, or F1 during the startup process.

2. Within the system setup program, instruct the system to auto detect your new drive.

3. Save the settings and exit the setup program. When your computer restarts, it should recognize your new drive. If your system still doesn't recognize your new drive, see the troubleshooting section on the back of this sheet.

Note: Serial ATA is a new interface type. Some older systems may see the drive and classify it as a SCSI device if you are using a Serial ATA host adapter. This is normal even though this is not a SCSI disc drive. This does not affect drive performance or capacity.

Partition SATA Hard Disk under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 and Windows server 2000/2003/2008

As we know, if you install a new drive and want to use it in Windows, you must partition the hard drive first! So how can you partition the SATA hard disk?

Most computer users know that Windows Disk Management itself or the install disk can partition the hard disk directly, while an easier or safer third party partition manager tool like EASEUS Partition Master may be much expected and welcome.

EASEUS Partition Master, comprehensive hard disk partition tool and system optimization software for Windows-based administration, enables you to easily partition the hard disk or change/extend partition without data loss under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 and Windows server 2000/2003/2008. It also offers some basic and advanced features like create, delete, resize/move, format, copy partition for better Windows hard disk management. More features…


If your drive is not working properly, these troubleshooting tips may help solve the problem.

1. Does the drive spin up? A spinning drive produces a faint whine and clicking noise. If your drive does not spin, check that the power connector and interface cable are securely attached.

2. Does the computer recognize the drive? Verify that the drive is enabled in the system CMOS or setup program. If not, select the autodetect option and enable it. If your drive has a problem, it may not be recognized by the system. If the operating system does not recognize the drive, you need to load your host adapter drivers.

3. Does FDISK detect the drive? Run the FDISK program located on your Windows startup diskette. Type fdisk/status to verify that your hard drive is present and recognized by the system.

4. I'm running Windows 98 and FDISK is not reporting the full capacity of my drive. Why? You need to upgrade your version of FDISK if you are using the diskettes or CD that came with your original Windows 95 or 98 operating system. Microsoft provides a free downloadable FDISK upgrade. See Microsoft Knowledgebase article number 263044 located at

5. Does Scandisk find the drive defect-free? Scandisk is a utility located on your Windows startup diskette that scans the drive for defects. If defects are detected, this may be an indication of a problem.

6. Why does my computer hang on startup? Verify that your system is Serial ATA compatible. You need either a Serial ATA 1.0 - compatible motherboard connector or Serial ATA host adapter to use this drive.

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