by   April 25 2012   
I upgraded my last IDE PATA system just over a year ago. What I mean, it was the last time I suggested any type of IDE PATA drive. You can upgrade to SATA I/II just fine using Silcone Image Controller cards or like cards. I'll show you the steps I took to clone and setup a 500Gb and 1TB 32Bit old IDE system. Now one is a small network storage unit and the other well the owner is liking the idea she doesn't have to upgrade for a another 2 years. (Sept 2014 XP Unsupported officially)

Time to upgrade that old IDE (PATA) drive with a SATA II before it's too late

We upgraded an old computer last week that was built around 2002 and one around 2005.

The system had the EIDE controller running the PATA hard drives.

The Bios in the older system allowed only the 320Gb drive to read it was non supported bios so no upgrades to read the larger 500Gb drives.

The IDE ATA (PATA) is for technicians officially off the upgrade parts list.

You can save that old desktop if it’s not limited to the number of hard drives you can install.

Well, actually, if you pull the DVD out cut a slot for power and the ribbon cable you could duct tape the DVD or CD on top of your old Dell if you only have one hard drive cage. But other than that you might be limited to what you can upgrade with the newer drives.

I was lucky on the last upgrade. It didn’t have a drive cage that would hold 2 3.5In drives but it did have enough space to bolt in one of those add-on cages.

The old drive was failing but had not stopped working. The steps are simple but they start with a specific controller card that will allow for you to boot your system from the SATA drive.

Now, we all know putting money into an old computer isn’t what we want to do and I looked high and low and tested a couple of controller cards finding only one that did everything I expected it to do the first time around.

The Silicon Image Sil3124 Serial ATA I/II 32Bit PCI 66Mhz is the model installed even in the Intel 68 system.

I also tested this card in some of my old 32Bit Xeon Servers and it’s holding up just fine. Not like my other SATA controllers but good enough for a small desktop.

What I found and what I did to upgrade the old IDE PATA drives to SATA drives.

What you will need to upgrade following this guide.

  1. SATA Drive
  2. Clonezilla Boot CD or DVD
  3. Spare drive IDE or SATA that will hold your clone. (Optional if I recall you can clone disk to disk but I ran a backup to my external drive.)
  4. SATA Controller card that will work in your system. (Sil3124 )
  5. Time.

Steps to get things rolling, you can mix the steps up to suite your needs but this is how I did my old system.

  1. Boot into your old computer and make sure everything is working correctly and check your device manager. A clean device manager is a happy computer driver.
  2. Shut down the system and unplug the power and disconnect your video VGA. (Its’ a ground you don’t need.)
  3. Insert / install your new SIl3124 controller card.
  4. Connect the VGA and Power.
  5. Boot your system and install the device drivers for your controller card on your old IDE drive (current drive)
  6. After you have the drivers installed and everything is working shut down the computer.
  7. Install your new SATA drive.
  8. Boot your system.
  9. Open Disk Manager and if it’s not showing up refresh or scan for it.
  10. You must initialize the drive (Basic) MBR
  11. Then you must format the drive. (Quick)
  12. After that you have the option now to insert your Clone software and clone the operating system after the next reboot. (What I did was to create a backup and then I removed the old IDE and replaced it with a second SATA then recovered from the backup clone. Saved time and took all the old slow drives offline.

Once you get your system cloned and ready to boot everything should go smooth as silk. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? You preinstalled the device drivers, setup the drives by cloning them. Anything else?

Oh yeah, the BIOS doesn’t know its boot order and I have to change the IDE drive settings. Ok, get that done and you should be good to go.

I upgraded my last IDE PATA system just over a year ago. What I mean, it was the last time I suggested any type of IDE PATA drive. You can upgrade to SATA I/II just fine using Silcone Image Controller cards or like cards. I'll show you the steps I took to clone and setup a 500Gb and 1TB 32Bit old IDE system. Now one is a small network storage unit and the other well the owner is liking the idea she doesn't have to upgrade for a another 2 years. (Sept 2014 XP Unsupported officially)