Alf58 20:23 02 Jan 2010

I need to replace the DVD writer on my computer which is around eight years old. I see the replcement units advertised as PATA or SATA. I am not sure what this means. Is it that the PATA is the older form of connection and is more likely to be suitable for my ageing machine? On the back of the old unit a broad ribbon cable connecttion is evident. An explanation would be most welcome!

  mgmcc 20:25 02 Jan 2010

You require a PATA drive to connect with the wide ribbon cable in your PC.

PATA uses a "parallel" connection; SATA uses a "serial" connection.

  MAJ 20:27 02 Jan 2010

The age of the computer and the description you give of the broad cable (ribbon cable) would suggest that you need a PATA drive rather than a SATA drive.
PATA = Parallel ATA
SATA = the newer Serial ATA interface.

  Technotiger 20:28 02 Jan 2010

I would guess you need an PATA/IDE replacement DVD ROM drive. SATA drives use a very narrow red ribbon cable and are only usable on the more modern motherboards which have SATA connections.

  Alf58 20:32 02 Jan 2010

Thank you for your informative replies. I will mark this as resolved.

  Technotiger 20:40 02 Jan 2010

It is possible to use SATA drives on older IDE/PATA motherboards using click here which could give you a wider choice when purchasing your new drive.

  Alf58 21:25 02 Jan 2010

Interesting idea but to buy one would add close to £20.00 to my "cheap" replacement. My machine is old so I dont really want to spend too much on it. I can get a decent DVD writer using PATA for around £25.Thnks for the idea, though.

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