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How to upgrade the hard drive on a PC with a SATA 1 motherboard

Add in an internal PCI SATA 2 card

A reader wanted to know why the 1TB SATA 2 hard drive he was attempting to install in his PC wasn't being recognised. Unfortunately his PC's motherboard is SATA 1: but that doesn't mean you can't upgrade the hard drive on an old PC - here's how.

QUESTION My Windows XP PC has a 320GB Seagate 7,200rpm SATA 2 hard drive and an Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard. I want to upgrade to a 1TB Seagate 7,200rpm SATA 3 drive, but the Bios won't recognise it even after I set the drive jumpers to run at SATA 1 speeds. It works perfectly when attached in an enclosure and connected via USB, however. I have updated the Bios, but updating the SATA driver caused the system to crash and was immediately rolled back. Clive Mansell

HELPROOM ANSWER This is largely because your motherboard is getting rather old (it was released in 2005) and won't support hard drives larger than 500GB in capacity. Using the drive in an external enclosure is an exception, since the SATA controller is contained within the enclosure. You should also note that the SATA interface version on your motherboard is SATA 150 (SATA 1, in essence).

You could purchase an internal PCI SATA 2 card for around £35 and fit that to run the drive from. If you do, disable your onboard SATA in the Bios. The PCI SATA card will then handle the input/output to the drive for you. Note that you should ensure the model of SATA card you purchase has Windows XP drivers available.

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