Ptolemy 11:35 03 Apr 2009


I have 2 x HDD in my PC - 120 GB as main and 40 GB to backup music, photos etc. I want to increase the main drive to 250 GB HDD and use the 120 as back up, so I was thinking of just finding a bigger version, but do I need SATA or IDE or does it matter in anyway.

The 120 GB drive is a Maxtor 6L120PO which I think is IDE, how can I confirm this?

If anyone can explain the differences/advanatges of SATA vs IDE I would be very interested.


  MAJ 11:49 03 Apr 2009

A SATA (Serial ATA) drive is the newer interface and has a faster transfer rate than PATA (Parallel IDE) drives.

Your 6L120PO is a PATA (also called ide, eide, ata) drive. If your motherboard supports SATA drives, you can use either.

  MAJ 11:51 03 Apr 2009

PATA (Parallel ATA) drives.

  johndrew 11:55 03 Apr 2009

A lot depends on what your motherboard supports. If it supports SATA you can probably use either depending on what else you have connected.

To confirm whether you have IDE or SATA drives fitted, the easiest way is to look.

A SATA drive connections look like this diagram click here

An IDE drive connections look like this picture click here

Other than being slightly out of date, I think this post explains the differences/advantages of IDE vs SATA click here

  Ptolemy 12:58 03 Apr 2009

Thanks to you both.

A lot clearer. My mb has both SATA and IDE connections, so I can use either, but I now know I won't end up with the wrong type.

Thanks again.

  canarieslover 13:03 03 Apr 2009

If it is a fairly old motherboard I would stick with IDE as the motherboard will only support SATA 1. Although SATA is faster than an IDE drive you could have aggravation with getting it set up and if you are re-installing XP on it you will need an install disk with sp2 or sp3 on it, or the motherboard drivers for SATA on a floppy that you can load during the install of XP.

  Ptolemy 14:19 03 Apr 2009

canarieslover - thanks for tips. The mb isn't that old - but still very good to know as I was planning to clone/copy the partition with OS on, but would re-install XP eventually.

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