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Old 2007-07-06, 10:01   Link #1
raideralan
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About SATA harddrives

I have a question I'm planning on using a SATA hard drive instead of regular ATA, but i was wondering is it true that you need a special driver to install the SATA hard drive? Or is it just like a ATA which you just plug it into the mobo.
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Old 2007-07-06, 10:17   Link #2
Sides
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Well you need to install the sata driver, which you probably already have,
if you mainboard has sata connectors.
If you planning to get a sata (pci) card,
you'll have to install the drivers for the card.
To get straight to you question,
- no, you don't need to install drivers for a sata hdd,
if you already have a OS installed and you want
to use the sata disc as an expansion.

-however, if you want to install an OS onto the sata drive,
in that case you need a floppy and put the driver of your sata card onto it,
same way you would do if a HDD is installed on a PCI IDE or SCSI card.
It is not a special driver, just the driver for the bus.
That only true for M$ OS up to XP, no clue about vista,
for linux check the distro.
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Old 2007-07-06, 10:56   Link #3
SeijiSensei
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Computers more than a couple of years old don't have SATA connectors on the motherboard. You'll need to buy a controller card that fits into a PCI slot.

I tried installing WinXP Pro SP1a onto a SATA machine the other day, and it didn't recognize the hard drive. I believe you need at least Service Pack 2 for XP, or Vista. Modern Linux distributions all support SATA.
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Old 2007-07-06, 11:25   Link #4
raideralan
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I am trying to install an OS into my operating system. Where would i get the driver and what steps would i take to install it?
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Old 2007-07-06, 11:52   Link #5
xris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raideralan View Post
I am trying to install an OS into my operating system.
Errrr, what

Are you trying to install a SATA drive as your boot disc,
or,
are you trying to install a SATA as a data disc to an existing system?

And please, people are not mind-readers, what OS do you have. Does your motherboard have on-board SATA or are you using a separate SATA controller to connect the drive?

Help us to help you.
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Old 2007-07-06, 11:55   Link #6
SeijiSensei
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xris beat me to it, but I'll ask these questions anyway.

OK, let's take a couple of steps back here, shall we?

First an "OS" is an "operating system," so I'm not sure what you're trying to do. What OS are you running now, if any? What are you installing?

Have you already installed the SATA drive? When you boot the machine, hit the key to take you into setup (before Windows or any other OS boots) and check to make sure the computer sees the drive. If you're using a fairly recent version of Windows or Linux it should see the SATA drive without any additional drivers. What do you see after the computer boots up? In Windows, for instance, is there a new drive letter like E: or F: perhaps?
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Old 2007-07-06, 13:27   Link #7
raideralan
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Sorry about the typo I meant install OS(winxp sp2 i think) onto my Sata drive. The drive will be my master drive. I keep reading somewhere that no matter what version of windows you would need a driver. Is this true?
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Old 2007-07-06, 17:24   Link #8
tatewaki
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umm it's not the linux distro that support SATA it's the linux kernel, but i guess you can call it a distro many of them got there own kernel patch set like gentoo
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Old 2007-07-06, 17:31   Link #9
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raideralan View Post
Sorry about the typo I meant install OS(winxp sp2 i think) onto my Sata drive. The drive will be my master drive. I keep reading somewhere that no matter what version of windows you would need a driver. Is this true?
As SeijiSensei mentioned, Windows XP SP2 has native support for SATA. If you're trying to install with SP1 or plain XP (no service packs), you're probably going to be out of luck.

Did you have a question about the hardware aspects of SATA? A SATA plug is completely different from a standard ATA plug.
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Old 2007-07-06, 17:54   Link #10
raideralan
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O i see so my winxp sp2 should be fine.
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Old 2007-07-07, 00:23   Link #11
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatewaki View Post
umm it's not the linux distro that support SATA it's the linux kernel, but i guess you can call it a distro many of them got there own kernel patch set like gentoo
Of course, but there aren't any modern distros that distribute a kernel much older than 2.6.20 or so, which includes SATA support. All the main binary desktop distros like Ubuntu or Fedora support SATA. Since someone choosing to install Linux would be installing a distribution, not a kernel per se, it makes more sense to me to talk about which distros support SATA.

By the way, it's not a "kernel patch set," it's part of the standard kernel source itself. See, for instance, the Kconfig file in the drivers/ata directory of a kernel source tree.
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Old 2007-07-07, 02:53   Link #12
Sides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
As SeijiSensei mentioned, Windows XP SP2 has native support for SATA. If you're trying to install with SP1 or plain XP (no service packs), you're probably going to be out of luck.
Well that is not true, is it.
During the installation of any Windows OS,
it ask you if you want to add in an additional Controller card (SCSI, IDE or Sata).
You just need to hit the F6 button when it asks you
and all you need to do is to put the floppy, with the drivers, into the drive.
It is no big deal.
XP Sp2, X64 Sp1 and vista only have the driver integrated into the disc
and automatically detects it for you,
which you can do by manipulating a standard XP disk yourself,
by adding the driver and editing some conifg files, if you want.

The driver for sata controller can be found on the
homepage of your mainboard, controller card or
installation disc supplied with your mainboard or controller card.

But since you have the lastest Xp disc, it is all good, untill it breaks.

Well i'm running 2k from my sata drive, no problem here.
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Old 2007-07-07, 03:30   Link #13
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sides View Post
You just need to hit the F6 button when it asks you
and all you need to do is to put the floppy, with the drivers, into the drive.
It is no big deal.
All very good until your PC doesn't have a floppy drive...
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Old 2007-07-07, 06:49   Link #14
Wervy
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Its weird but I have built two computers for myself in the past and only the older one needed to do the f6 thing to install drivers for SATA. With the newer of the two, the windows xp installer picked up the drive right off the bat. Maybe because the installation already had the proper SATA driver on hand.
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Old 2007-07-07, 10:08   Link #15
SeijiSensei
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I'd bet the different results occurred because the installation image contained some SATA drivers, but not all. For instance, when SATA first arrived in Linux we had to be careful to buy computers with Silicon Image controllers on the motherboard because that was the only brand that was well-supported at the time.
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Old 2007-07-07, 12:45   Link #16
WanderingKnight
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Maybe I'm wrong, but the last installation of Windows XP Service Pack 2 I did asked me for drivers when trying to recognize my SATA HD. So I'd certainly recommend the OP to download the drivers anyways and put them in a floppy disk--better safe than sorry, right?
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Old 2007-07-07, 12:51   Link #17
Ledgem
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It may just depend on the hardware that's being worked with, particularly SATA I vs. SATA II type issues.
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Old 2007-07-08, 16:45   Link #18
raideralan
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I see very helpful information hopefully I don't need that F6 function sounds very confusing and annoying. I still have no idea. Do I get the driver on another computer or at the same time when I'm installing the OS?
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Old 2007-07-08, 18:56   Link #19
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
I see very helpful information hopefully I don't need that F6 function sounds very confusing and annoying. I still have no idea. Do I get the driver on another computer or at the same time when I'm installing the OS?
It's not as confusing as it sounds. Before doing anything, download the SATA drivers. There should be an executable file called "Makedisk" or something like that in the files you downloaded. Insert a floppy disk and run that executable (double click), it will copy the drivers to the disk.

When you want to install the OS, pop the XP CD into the drive and reboot (remember to remove the floppy disk with the drivers you just copied). When the blue installation screen appears, insert the floppy back. After some while, there should appear in the bottom of the screen a message saying "Press F6 to load SCSI drivers" or something like that. Do so. After loading a bit more stuff, it will ask you to load the SCSI drivers (SCSI drivers = SATA drivers). I can't remember exactly what was the process to follow, but it's nothing too complicated. At any rate, read whatever pops up in the screen and follow the instructions.
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Old 2007-07-08, 20:05   Link #20
raideralan
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I see you do make it sound so simple wanderingknight. But I would have to wait two weeks for my parts to come in. (Still prays that I can avoid the F6 thing)
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