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November 4, 2007

Installing A SATA Hard Drive

Installing a Serial ATA hard disk drive is generally easier than an IDE drive, as it is not necessary to configure jumpers. While physically installing the hard drive in the machine is similar, the SATA drives require less configuration and planning. The hard drive will have jumpers at the rear of the drive, but they are used for power management and have nothing to do with Master, Slave and Cable Select as the IDE drives use.
HDD Handling Precautions

1. Turn off and unplug the computer.
2. Wear an anti-static wrist band or make sure you are properly grounded.
3. Do not put stickers or lables on the drive.
4. Do not touch the electronics on the hard drive.
Installing The HDD

You can mount the SATA drive in the computer any way you want (flat, upright, upside down) provided you use the screw mounts on the side or top of the drive. Mount the drive where you will have good air flow and be sure to use the SATA cable that ships with the drive or one that is less than 39 inches, which is within the SATA specification. You can connect the serial cable to a SATA controller on the motherboard, or a controller card if the motherboard does not have an on-board SATA controller.

Next, connect power to the drive using the SATA power connector or the legacy Molex connector. Do not use both at the same time, as this could hurt the hard drive.
Installing a SATA drive is a good idea if you are building a new computer, as they are better at power consumption, have the potential for improvements in speed and have a thin cable, which improves air-flow throughout the case.

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