Can I Add a SATA Drive as 2nd Drive to D8300?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by gary, May 6, 2006.

  1. gary

    gary Guest

    Have a Dimension 8300 with only one hard drive, the original
    factory installed ST 120GB ATA/100 drive. I need to add a
    2nd hard drive for additional storage, and can choose from
    another Seagate ATA/100, which is easy to hook up.

    But can I add a Seagate SATA drive, as the 2nd drive? I've
    spent the last 2 hours reading Dell Talk messages, and some
    indicate you cannot (both drives must be the same) while
    others report they have successfully, and easily installed a
    SATA drive as a 2nd drive.

    If this can be done, just have a few questions.

    1. Was planning to connect the SATA drive to the SATA 0
    connector on the MOBO, connect power, etc. (drive comes with
    all cables). On boot-up, in SETUP, set Primary SATA to
    (AUTO). QUESTION: Do you set the Secondary SATA to AUTO as

    2. What about jumpers? Currently, the ST ATA/100 factory
    drive is set to CABLE SELECT?. Do I also set the SATA drive
    to CABLE SELECT? Or do I need to do a MASTER/SLAVE, since I
    need to keep the original factory ATA/100 as the primary
    boot drive.

    3. Once the above is done, I understand I go to Disk
    Management, and format and partition the drive (unless the
    SATA drive has it's own software, haven't opened the box yet).

    Thanks for any help/advice.
    gary, May 6, 2006
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  2. Hi!
    Yes, you should be able to do so without issues. I've had "conventional"
    parallel ATA drives in my Dimension 8300 alongside two SATA drives and never
    had any trouble with them.
    If you only have the one SATA drive, then primary is the only setting you
    need to change. Leave the other one set the way it is...otherwise the
    computer will complain.

    If anything needs to be adjusted, it might be the boot order. I'm not sure
    whether SATA or the conventional "PATA" connectors have precedence at boot
    If the SATA drive lets you select a "CABLE SELECT" setting, leave it there.
    I've never seen a "master/slave" (e.g. two devices on one SATA port/cable)
    so I'm not sure this will be an issue for you.

    There shouldn't be any need to do anything with master or slave settings on
    either drive. They're "similar but separate", in a manner of speaking. Both
    are ATA devices, although each connects to the motherboard differently. Most
    software won't know the does not have to.
    Most drives come with can use it if you want to (this may be
    the best way if you're not familiar with installing a new hard disk). If
    you'd rather not do that, then the "Computer Management" (look in Control
    Panel > Classic View (under XP) > Administrative Tools > Computer
    Management) tool in Windows is for will help you get your drive
    partitioned, formatted and all that.

    William R. Walsh, May 7, 2006
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  3. gary

    gary Guest

    Thanks for the replies. I understand you CAN combine a SATA
    and an IDE drive, but I need the IDE drive to REMAIN the
    boot drive, and just use the SATA drive for storage.

    I've read messages where the SATA will automatically become
    the boot drive, and messages where it won't. Very confusing.

    Can anyone please clarify? Does anyone know the real
    answer? Maybe it depends on the BIOS version you have.
    I've got the latest BIOS for the D-8300. Some messages were
    from people with older BIOS.

    Thanks for any clarification on this. Not even going to
    bother calling Dell tech support. They don't know 10% of
    what people on this newsgroup know.

    gary, May 7, 2006
  4. gary

    S.Lewis Guest

    Gary -

    It should work fine, though I'm currently using only older IDE drives in my
    8300. I don't think it will become ticklish as long as you're leaving the
    original IDE drive as your boot/OS disk.

    As a strong guess, the 8300 will leave the IDE drive as the primary drive
    because SATA was only emerging as a choice when the 8300 was offered. In
    fact, I can't recall ever having seen that model with SATA from the factory.

    I'd simply add the drive, have a look at the jumpering underneath and try it
    with default position first. Connect the cable to the "0" SATA
    controller/connector on the mb (it may be blue in color, the other should be

    Boot into BIOS and arrow down to drives and be sure that SATA 0 is set to
    "on" or "auto". Check the boot devices list and be sure that it indicates
    the IDE hard disk is listed before the new SATA drive.

    It should be good to go.....

    Post back. I'm interested in the results as I might be doing this soon

    S.Lewis, May 7, 2006
  5. Hi!

    Well, there's at least one. :)

    When I was configuring my D8300, I had the choice of either a PATA 80GB
    drive or a 160GB SATA drive. (There were other choices, but I don't remember
    what they were.) I chose the SATA drive primarily for capacity reasons.

    In a way I wish I hadn't done that. For whatever reason, using the SATA hard
    drives under Win2000 SP4 is awfully slow...even though the proper chipset
    drivers are loaded and there are no issues with viruses or other naughty

    William R. Walsh, May 7, 2006
  6. gary

    S.Lewis Guest

    Fair enough. The next model (Dim8400) had no primary IDE controller
    whatsoever. The 8300 is nice in that one has a choice.

    S.Lewis, May 7, 2006
  7. I would be interested in seeing a reply from someone who has actually
    installed a SATA drive in an 8300 already containing a PATA drive as
    the boot drive AND has been successful in having it continue to boot
    from the PATA drive.

    Kenneth J. Harris, May 8, 2006
  8. gary

    Jay B Guest

    see my reply in the other thread dated today.

    i did not leave the pata drive in the system, but thought i saw an
    option in the bios that would allow me to do so.
    Jay B, May 8, 2006
  9. Jay B said something like:
    That's just it----you haven't actually done it, and it seems that some
    people are having a great deal of difficulty with it.
    Thomas G. Marshall, May 8, 2006
  10. gary said something like:

    Well, perhaps this will help. Version mumble07 (the latest) of the Dim-8300
    BIOS claims to have fixed something in the volume assignment. I don't know
    if that's what you (and I) are going to need, but it's worth a try.

    I've seen this a few times--Don't make this mistake:

    Dwight: "This thing is wildly available."
    Smedly: "Did you mean wildly, or /widely/ ?"
    Dwight: "Both!", said while nodding emphatically.

    Dwight was exposed to have made a grammatical
    error and tries to cover it up by thinking
    fast. This is so painfully obvious that he
    only succeeds in looking worse.
    Thomas G. Marshall, Jul 31, 2006
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