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Is a SATA-300 Hard Drive backward-compatible for an original SATA motherboard connection?

Posted on 2007-04-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I own a Dell Dimension 8300 desktop which I bought when SATA drives where first starting to come out and it has a port on it for a SATA connection. I was hoping to buy the following hard drive:

"Western Digital / Caviar SE16 / 500GB / 7200 / 16MB / SATA-300 / OEM / Hard Drive"

And I first need to make sure that it is compatible with my motherboard. Does anyone know whether this drive will connect and function properly with my old motherboard SATA port? BTW, please describe to me the solution and don't just send me links to figure it out myself.

Question by:jerrykobes
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 18865189
SATA II or SATA 300 will be limited by jumper setting, use that configuration and it should be fine with your system. But you can also use it without any configure need it on your system as well. In case you want to use full functions of SATA 300, you might need update bios to it.

Author Comment

ID: 18865644
So does that mean that SATA is backward compatible with ALL previous versions? You mentioned both SATA II and SATA-300, but are there any versions before those two. There is a good chace that may motherboard may outdate both of those. In which case would the hard drive still work in my machine.

Also, will I run into any problems since I have four IDE hard drives already connected? Can I still connect an additional SATA drive?
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18866306
Yes.  The only thing you may need to do is jumper pins 5 and 6 on WD SATA drive to reduce transsfer rate to 150MB/sec.  Try it first without jumper.  If drive is recognized in BIOS, you should be home free.  If not, install jumper.
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Author Comment

ID: 18866774
Thanks. One last thing, is there any hope that I will be able to get my old SATA port to function at the higher speed if I upgrade the BIOS or is it hopeless in this case and will only function at the speed it was originally designed to when first built?
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 18867422
Flash bios is very last option when really needed. If your system is now working just fine, then be it that way. Add sata drive and enjoy. Of course, update bios will have you more support on hardware, but my opinion is not to.

Author Comment

ID: 18867775
Right... but what I'm asking is whether there is a possibility of it supporting SATA-300 after updating the BIOS, not whether or not it is a good idea to update it.
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

willcomp earned 750 total points
ID: 18867829
No.  A BIOS update will not upgrade SATA capability.  That is a hardware limitation.  

Your drive will not exceed the 150MB/sec throughput of SATA I spec on sustained read/writes and may not even in burst mode.  Sustained read/write is <60MB/sec.

Assisted Solution

Comply earned 750 total points
ID: 18870389
The drive is not going to reach that to start with. SATA, SATAII, SATA-300

I hear to much about 150mb and 300mb, The fact is that 150mb is where it maxs out no matter the setting.

Your drive will work just fine in the Dell as long as it supports and has a SATA connection. Make sure in the bios its turned on.

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