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Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive

Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive - PCSTATS
Abstract: Installing a hard drive for the first time? Need to partition a current drive into smaller disks? You can do it, and we can show you how.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 22 2008   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Physically Installing a Serial ATA Hard Drive

SATA drives need much less preparation than IDE devices, since only a single drive can attach to a single SATA connector on the motherboard. Hence the word "serial" instead of "parallel" in the name. Each SATA hard drive uses a small 8mm wide data cable which are distinctively different from the cables used by older IDE drives. The picture below offers a good comparison. The SATA cable is in red.

SATA data cables plug into SATA connectors on your motherboard as pictured below. The actual connectors and cables will come in several different colours (not that it matters) and can vary in general shape, but inside each and every one will be the same "L" shaped 7-pin connector (see picture below).

If you come across any devices which support Serial ATA 2 (SATA-II), keep in mind that it is backwards compatible with first generation SATA devices. The only difference in the connectors is a little locking mechanism that SATA-II cables feature, but other than that the cables and motherboard connections are interchangeable.

Each SATA drive needs its own SATA data cable. Your motherboard should have come with at least one, otherwise they will be readily available at your local computer store. For power, SATA drives use either a 15-pin Serial ATA power connector (in black below) or the same 4-pin Molex connector (white) used by IDE hard disks and optical drives. If the SATA hard drive you have has both power connections, use only one.

You should be able to easily determine which by looking at the back of your SATA drive. If your drive uses the 15-pin SATA power connector (black), you may need to buy an adaptor to convert the molex (white) plug, depending on how new your computer's power supply is.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive
 Pg 2.  SATA and IDE Hard Drives
 Pg 3.  Physically Installing an IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 4.  Preparing an IDE Hard Drive For Installation
 Pg 5.  Physical Installation of a IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 6.  — Physically Installing a Serial ATA Hard Drive
 Pg 7.  Physical Installation of the SATA Hard Drive
 Pg 8.  Confirming the Installation of a Hard Drive
 Pg 9.  Partitioning and Formatting a Second drive in Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 10.  Partitioning and formatting for the Installation of Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 11.  Partitioning and formatting a Second Drive in Windows 9x/ME
 Pg 12.  FDISK Commands continued
 Pg 13.  Partitioning and Formatting a hard drive for Win9x/ME Installation
 Pg 14.  Troubleshooting hard drive installation

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