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Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

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Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

Get the feeling I don't but should in my Dell. Hopefully someone who know hard disks (and maybe Dells) will know. First the facts:

- My machine is a Dimension 8300 and was specced with a 120GB SATA drive which was on the order documentation.

- In my BIOS, neither "SATA Primary Drive" or "Secondary" have anything there. Setting either to "Auto" finds nothing and bootup complains so I set it back.

- Looking at Device Manager, the harddrive model is "ST3120026A" which I take it is a
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus (seems to be an IDE drive - see
http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/marketing/detail/0,1081,580,00.html)

- Looking inside the PC, I understood SATA cables looked different. My drive is cabled using what I know as IDE cables and a normal (Molex?) power cable. Are SATA cables very subtely different? I thought not.

So, the obvious question, have I got SATA or not? I seem to think not in which case I want compensation.

So far the first email back from Dell said "you have a SATA drive, the order says so". Great, completely ignoring any of my points. Second reply after I made this clear said "it's a known BIOS problem fixed with A02". Well, I have A03 and have for some time. Of course support is now closed but I have little hope of getting anywhere tomorrow.....

Can anyone please either verify that my info (or some of it) shows that I don't have a SATA drive or give me a test to check. I'd be happy to post a digital picture of my PC innards if it helps.

Thanks,

Richard
5 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

Hi,

SATA cables are very different to IDE cables. Have a look here, the connectors are about a centimetre across, smaller than USB as opposed to the big ribbon cables you get with IDE.
N/A

Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

Thanks. I just had another look in the case and I can see a SATA0 and SATA1 on the motherboard - tiny little connectors about half an inch wide and with nothing plugged into them! I don't have SATA do I? Would you say the same about the harddrive (Barracuda 7200.7) I do have - it's not SATA is it?
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

If it is connected using a 40 pin grey (normally) ribbon cable (the same as used to connect your CD ROM/DVD drive) then it is using the IDE cable. But this does not necessarily mean it's not an SATA drive.

A SATA drive uses a much smaller 5 pin cable and plugs into the mobo using a similar connector to the one your CD ROM audio cable uses.

As well as the IDE cable connector and the power connector, does the drive have another connector socket?
N/A

Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

It may be worth losening the IDE cable and booking a callout (you are on a on-site warrentee?).

The engineer should spot it and fix it.

Show him the paper work and ask him to confirm the drive type.

Ask him at all if possible to use his powers to get it escalated, or if possible if he knows of a way to do so.

It isn't strickly legit, but its a sure fire way to get what ya need. Use sombody that knows what they are talking about.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Help: Do I have a SATA hard drive?

The SATA version of your drive is this ST3120026AS:

http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/marketing/detail/0,1081,586,00.html

If it does not have AS on the drive it's an IDE.