Installing SATA HD on old PATA\IDE Desktop


Can anyone recommend an inexpensive method of installing a SATA drive as a storage only drive on my old ATA\IDE computer?


My very old ATA/IDE desktop computer needs more storage space. I’d prefer to spend my money on a SATA HD because it will be more useful when I get a new computer.

I’d like to buy the Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB WD5000AAKS.

However, I’ve seen conflicting info as to whether I can use a SATA drive the way I need to use it.

I currently have one (partitioned) 80 gig ATA HD connected to a “PCI ata 133 controller card”. It is capable of running four HDs. (Two primary and two secondary.) I also have the original, slower mother board HD connections available.

I absolutely need to leave the current ATA 80 gig HD exactly as it is now; with the OS, programs etc installed on it and then use the WD SATA HD only for data storage. – Mainly music, plus a little video.

There are a lot of inexpensive “SATA to PATA\IDE Hard Drive Interface Adapters” that allow SATA drives to be used on older ATA\IDE machines. – However, I’ve read that many (maybe all) need to be installed as the primary HD and therefore may not ( ? ) work as a storage only drive.

I’m not really certain of the intricacies involved in this part of this undertaking and I don’t want to order the new HD unless I know everything will work as I intend.

Again, Can anyone recommend an inexpensive method to accomplish installing the SATA drive as a storage only drive on my old ATA\IDE computer?

Many thanks!


Do you have SATA ports on your motherboard?  If not, then you will need to purchase a SATA controller card, anyway.  That would be the best way to go.  Remember, your BIOS will be looking for the drive with the boot loader.  Or, you can set the boot order in the BIOS to hit the drive you want.

If budget is a problem, there are also some IDE/SATA adapter cards (which you just plug into the IDE port of the motherboard and connect a SATA hd to it).


I’ve got myself one for testing purposes.

The good side of them is that they don’t eat up a PCI slot, they don’t need drivers, your SATA disk is recognised directly by the motherboard as an IDE drive, and they’re cheaper than most PCI Sata cards.

The bad side is that they’re rarely compatible with SATA 1.5 disks and I’m not sure about their lifespan.