Will an ATA HDD work on a SATA Motherboard?

  Jodakist 13:55 14 Apr 2010

Can anyone help, please?

I have a computer with a SATA HDD installed that might be faulty. I have an ATA HDD from my old computer that is in working order. Can I replace the SATA with the ATA HDD and if so, how?

  Batch 14:25 14 Apr 2010

Many mobos will support both SATA and ATA (aka IDE or PATA). This is especially the case as many DVD / CD drives are still ATA. In any event your mobo may have a spare ATA connector / controller.

So, if your DVD is ATA, you may well be able to connect the ATA HDD on the same cable (the standard cable supprts two devices). You will need to set the jumpers correctly (HDD as master and DVD as slave, or try the canle select [CS] option).

If you have a spare ATA connector on the mobo, you should be able to get another ATA cable and use that instead.

In any event. do you know what mobo it is?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:48 14 Apr 2010

"I have an ATA HDD from my old computer that is in working order"
The drive will work but, the windows installation on the old drive will not boot the new computer as the drivers will be wrong.

  Batch 09:30 05 May 2010

Just out of interest, I've just restored an Acronis Image of my system partition (which is from a SATA drive) to an old 80GB ATA drive (in the same machine).

Booted fine (with just the ATA drive connected), other than Windows went through the "recognised new hardware" process and presumably "installed" whatever drivers it felt necessary. Windows then suggested a reboot (to ensure "new" hardware works OK. All seemed fine.

  Jodakist 16:12 06 May 2010

Hello Batch and Fruit Bat,

I'm sorry for the very long delay in responding to your replies to my posting.

I did look inside the computer and saw that there were spare leads for the DVD/CD but the sockets/plugs would not have fitted onto the Drive. So in the end I just decided to give my old computer to my grandson, with the spare ATA HD. I now have a new computer with a three year guarantee, so at least I do now hopefully have a reliable computer and can use my other one as well until either the HDD finally packs in or the whole thing. Needless to say, I don't store anything important on it now!

Thank you both for taking the trouble to reply to my message, I am grateful even if I was not able to accomplish what I had hoped to.


ps. No I don't know what a mobo is!!!!

  old_codger 17:19 06 May 2010

mobo is short for motherboard. ATA also known IDE or EIDE or even PATA connectors on an older mobos are usually grey rectangular boxes with 40-pins (2-rows) that always connect to a similar connector on HDD by means of a wide flat grey ribbon cable.

Whereas, modern mobos have much smaller SATA connectors, typically orange, and grouped together. These connect to SATA HDD via a small thin cable, often in an outer sleeve. Most SATA mobos don't usually have an IDE connector as well, but they often support a 34-way connector for floppy drives.

HDDs & DVD drives are either SATA (small connector), or getting rarer, PATA (40-way wide ribbon) connector.
Does this help?

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