HD IDE Cable - New XPS Gen 3

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Doug Miannay, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Doug Miannay

    Doug Miannay Guest

    Quick question... I just purchased a new XPS Gen 3 (3.6) with a single 74GB
    10,000 RPM HD. I did not get a second drive since I already have some large
    drives here that I planned to add. Problem is since I only ordered the
    computer with one drive, the primary IDE cable for the HD only has a single
    connector. Is this typical? Can I just pick up a standard two-connector
    IDE cable in order to add the second drive?

    TIA for your suggestions!

    Doug Miannay, Nov 18, 2004
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  2. Doug Miannay

    WSZsr Guest

    Are you talking about the IDE cable or the SATA cable. The 74GB drive is
    not an IDE drive. It is a SATA drive and it requires a SATA cable. If you
    order the retail version of the drive, it will come with a SATA cable.
    WSZsr, Nov 18, 2004
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  3. Doug Miannay

    Doug Miannay Guest

    I guess that in my ignorance I ordered a configuration where I can't add an
    IDE drive to the same cable as the SATA drive. Am I correct? That poses a
    problem for me... I'm going to have to find some other solution to allow me
    to use the 160GB IDE drive I have all my data on from the computer the XPS
    is replacing.
    Doug Miannay, Nov 19, 2004
  4. Doug Miannay

    Tom Scales Guest

    If you only have one optical drive, the IDE drive can go on that. If it
    only has one connector, then, yes, a cable with two connectors is all you

    Tom Scales, Nov 19, 2004
  5. Doug Miannay

    Fixer Guest

    plus you could also by an external usb2 HDD enclosure
    Fixer, Nov 19, 2004
  6. Doug Miannay

    WSZsr Guest

    I installed my spare IDE drive in a $27 USB2 external hard drive enclosure.
    Works great!
    WSZsr, Nov 19, 2004
  7. There are adapters made by several manufacturers that
    will convert between PATA and SATA. You could use
    one of those to connect your PATA drive to the SATA
    controller. If your PC's PCI Express bus is backward
    compatible with PCI, another alternative is to get a PCI
    card with an ATA controller on it. You can get those
    from Promise, SIIG, HighPoint, etc.

    Timothy Daniels, Nov 19, 2004
  8. My Dimension XPS (Gen 2, almost a year old), was ordered and shipped
    with a single SATA drive.

    I added two "old" IDE drives (which, along with CD and DVD burners,
    makes a total of 4 IDE devices). And since I have a drawer-full of
    old IDE drives, I installed one of those removeable drive ports, so I
    can swap them in and out.

    And, as I recall, there is still a second SATA receptacle on the
    mother board, so I could add a second SATA drive, giving 4 internal

    Doesn't your Gen 3 have two IDE channels?

    --John W. Wells
    John W. Wells, Nov 19, 2004
  9. Doug Miannay

    WSZsr Guest

    NO, four SATA and one PATA.

    WSZsr, Nov 20, 2004
  10. Doug Miannay

    Doug Miannay Guest

    Thanks everyone for the valuable comments. My choices are clear:

    1. Get an SATA to PATA adapter PCI board, or
    2. Pick up a new SATA HDD drive (which includes the cable).

    I believe choice # 2 is the way to go since a new HDD will increase the
    overall storage I have on our home network. The IDE drive I wanted to
    install in the new XPS Gen3 can just stay in my older Dimension 8250 since
    it's on the network anyway. I really just need a second larger drive in the
    XPS so I can get all my data off the primary partition (74GB WD HDD).
    Drives are pretty cheap so adding more storage space is the right way to go

    Again, thanks for all the responses.

    Doug Miannay, Nov 20, 2004
  11. Doug Miannay

    tellme Guest

    I had the same problem with the 8400. I had a brand new IDE drive
    waiting to install into the new computer when I got it. NO GO. I got
    an external Maxtor and love it.

    Recently my old computer went down. I reinstalled windows and had all
    the docs backed up on the external drive along with other info that
    was very pertinent. Hooked the drive to the USB port and restored it
    all. Great way to go.
    tellme, Nov 20, 2004

  12. For the record, the SATA/PATA adapters are not necessarily
    PCI boards (those contain the entire IDE controller), but rather
    are cards measuring somewhere around 1 1/2 in. by 2 in.
    and they plug directly into the PATA hard drive. Here is
    one sold by Kingwin:

    Here are current prices for the unit:

    Timothy Daniels, Nov 20, 2004
  13. Doug Miannay

    Doug Miannay Guest

    I guess my biggest issue would be any performance degredation due to having
    to go through an adapter. Is the performance degraded much? Would an
    equivalently sized SATA drive connected directly to the MB perform better
    than and IDE drive connected via an adapter?

    Thanks again for all your help with this!

    Doug Miannay, Nov 22, 2004
  14. I'm not an electrical engineer, but my educated guess would be that
    the speeds would be *virtually* identical for hard drives having the
    same rated speed - not enough to justify a difference in cost. Of more
    concern might be the increase in circuitry to go wrong and another
    set of connectors to get corroded. If you want to use that PATA
    hard drive in your new machine, the adapter would be a cheap
    way to go. But if you have another use for it, and you can afford to
    buy a SATA drive, go ahead and keep your new machine "clean" by
    going with a SATA hard drive. For now, though, with the currently
    available SATA drives, there is no real speed difference and no
    performance "hit" by using a PATA drive with an adapter.

    Timothy Daniels, Nov 23, 2004
  15. Doug Miannay

    Doug Miannay Guest

    Thanks folks! Excellent discussion and clear choices on which way to

    Thanks, and happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate!

    Doug Miannay, Nov 23, 2004
  16. Doug Miannay

    Doug Miannay Guest

    Oh, and the final follow-up. I purchased a Western Digital 120GB SATA drive
    for the new Dell XPS Gen3 and when I went to install it I was stopped
    because the new HD drive had the old style 4-pin power connector, which was
    clearly not compatible with the new SATA-style 15 pin power connector cables
    from the motherboard. I went to a local computer store to find an adapter
    cable to go from the SATA power cable to the 4-pin HDD power connector but
    couldn't find one with the proper male-female arrangement. I ended up
    getting am=n ols style 4-pin "Y" splitter power cable and branched off the
    DVD-RW 4-pin power connnector cable and now all is well.

    You know, it really does pay to do the research BEFORE heading to the store!
    I'm disappointed I didn't do more research first... ah, but you live and

    Happy Thanksgiving again to all the USA readers!

    Doug Miannay, Nov 25, 2004
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