PATA Hard Drive Swap - Do I have to match data transfer modes?

jdana
jdana used Ask the Experts™
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Take a look at the table titled Features introduced with each ATA revision on the following Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_ATA#EIDE_and_ATA-2

If I'm swapping out one PATA drive for another, how much effort do I need to put into matching the ATA standard (data transfer mode) of the old drive with the replacement drive?
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This isn't normally something you should need to worry about unless there is a very special circumstance involved - like if the computer is so old and doesn't support anything higher than ATA2 (which would be a computer circa 1995), or the BIOS is so old that it doesn't support the size of hard disk you are putting in (e.g. limited to 137GB).

Modern IDE hard disks can operate at any UltraDMA level, or even PIO mode if necessary. They are reasonably backwards compatible.

Compatibility issues I would think are isolated to the capacity of the disk - which needs to be supported by the motherboard. Anything else would be a very rare circumstances only applicable to a really old system.

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Commented:
Frosty555,

"Compatibility issues I would think are isolated to the capacity of the disk - which needs to be supported by the motherboard. Anything else would be a very rare circumstances only applicable to a really old system."

Is the capacity issue associated with addressing technologies? Can you point me to a link that explains the issue?
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
the limit is 127 (or128) GB, and is caused by the bios, which should have the 48-bit LBA enabled :
here a full info on the disk size limits  http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/hard_drive_size_barriers.htm

Author

Commented:
Great articles. Thanks!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
glad to help

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