Greg H. wrote to ask me about upgrading his hard drive in his computer.
I’m wanting to replace my ailing IDE hard drive (internal, desktop) with a new SATA drive. There are two SATA board connectors, one of which I am using for a backup drive. My question is this: if I buy a 2nd SATA drive and plug it into the mobo, will I be able to make it my C: boot drive?
I wrote back to Greg to tell him that the answer depends on his motherboard.
I would bet the answer is yes. Remember that, if you’re running Windows XP, you’ll have to install the SATA driver as one of the early steps in the Windows XP re-install — you get a screen where I think you press F6 to install SATA driver from floppy.
Yes, that’s "floppy drive" — floppy drives were still standard computer features when Windows XP was released. If you don’t have a floppy drive, you may be able to do it by copying the SATA driver to a CDROM.
Unless you’ve got a relatively new add-on SATA II card or a relatively new motherboard (which Greg probably doesn’t have since he’s just now planning to shift to SATA), don’t get a 2GB SATA II drive.
I put a 1.0GB SATA II drive into my old home theater PC, which had a five year old motherboard, which supported SATA II.
However, when I bought a 2.0GB SATA II drive and installed it, too, the computer could not boot. When I unplugged the 2GB drive, the computer booted just fine. The drive worked perfectly when I moved it to another computer.
I bought a SATA II PCI card to add to the computer. I moved the 2GB SATA II drive to it, and all was well. The computer ran perfectly.
The problem was apparently something in the motherboard’s BIOS programming that couldn’t handle the larger drive. The manufacturer did not have a later BIOS for the motherboard, so I had to solve the problem with a SATA II PCI Card.