Tutorial: using an IDE-to-SATA converter to install a second hard drive

the scenario: one day you stumble upon a box containing a brand new Maxtor 6Y080L0 IDE hard drive. You vaguely recall buying this in the year 2002 but it never got used for anything. You don’t really want give it away either, as it boasts a useful 80 gigabytes…so you decide to bite the bullet and attempt to install it in your PC. The only problem is, technology has moved on. You open your case and discover that your snazzy state-of-the-art motherboard sports a dizzying amount of SATA connectors – but only one IDE connector. That would be okay except for the fact that this connector is already occupied by your CD/DVD writer. Along with trying different jumper switches and drive combinations, daisy-chaining two IDE devices to this connector just won’t work.

the solution: rather than buying a new SATA harddrive and ebaying the old one, you purchase one of those handy little SATA converters for a fraction of the price. The plan is to attach it to that pesky IDE hard drive so that you can effortlessly hook it up to the SATA connectors on the motherboard.

another hitch… Even though you can tell by the little green light that the converter is working, you boot up and…nothing. The second hard drive still isn’t being recognised, because the BIOS needs to be told that it is connected to a full SATA drive. Normally the converter tells the motherboard that the drive attached to a converter is an IDE – even though it fits into a SATA connector. But attach more than one IDE drive at the same time and the motherboard starts complaining. So you need to set all your connectors to masquerade as SATA drives.

the instructions which work for the Phoenix AwardBIOS and may or may not help with other BIOSes too: Reboot your PC. When it starts up press the DEL key to enter your BIOS setup. You will get the following screen:
BIOS default screen

Go to menu item ‘Integrated Peripherals’ and press ENTER
BIOS screenshot 1

press ENTER again, selecting ‘OnChip IDE device’
BIOS screenshot 2

scroll down to On-Chip Serial ATA and make sure ‘enhanced mode’ is selected
BIOS screenshot 3

if not, press ENTER and select the correct mode
BIOS screenshot 4

Save and Exit out of the BIOS setup. Now when you reboot you can clearly see that not only the first hard drive shows up – here shown as IDE channel 1 Master – but also the second Maxtor drive:
BIOS reboot

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