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View Full Version : How do I determine if my motherboard can handle ATA Ultra?


ssimak
02-02-2003, 11:29 PM
Hello,

I have a four year old Dell Precision 210 workstation with a SCSI controller and two EIDE ports. I am currently running a SCSI hard disk and want to add a second EIDE hard drive.

How do I determine if my motherboard can handle the newer ATA ULTRA EIDE drives?

Thanks

Steve

danhua76
02-03-2003, 10:22 PM
the newer ultra ata drives are backwards compatible. they'll work on the ide connections but probably not at the speed it is rated at. the dell probably has ata66 or ata100 ide on it. if you get an ata133 drive, it will only be as fast as the connection it's on.

also, ide hard drives in my experience always becomes the default boot up drive. but i could be wrong. it's just what i experienced when i installed an ide hard drive to a scsi hard drive system.

GregHess
02-04-2003, 12:47 AM
dan,

Though the drives are backwards compatible, they still require motherboard support.

For example, you can't throw a 40 gig harddrive on many pentium II systems, it just won't work, it doesn't have the required hardware support. However you can slap on a controller card to get the support for the drive.

Best place for finding out what drive size your system supports is actually going to dell.com, to the support section, and entering your ticket # and checking the upgrades and downloads section.

ssimak
02-04-2003, 03:52 AM
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies. Dell confirmed that my sysem will support ATA 133 and lower. As far as booting off a system with both SCSI and EIDE, I did a little research on this.

There is a setting in the BIOS which essentially defines Boot Priority - so I can lock in the SCSI as the boot drive over the EIDE. I haven't tried it yet - but it seems pretty straight forward and should work.

Thanks for bringing this issue up. It's a big one to be aware of.

Best,

Steve

danhua76
02-04-2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
dan,

Though the drives are backwards compatible, they still require motherboard support.

For example, you can't throw a 40 gig harddrive on many pentium II systems, it just won't work, it doesn't have the required hardware support. However you can slap on a controller card to get the support for the drive.

Best place for finding out what drive size your system supports is actually going to dell.com, to the support section, and entering your ticket # and checking the upgrades and downloads section.

thanks for the clarification greg, i didn't know that some of the older pentium II boards had this limitation. my old system had a supermicro dbe 440bx mobo and it handled large drives just fine with its built in ide connections. learn something new (about older stuff) everday. :D

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