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Learning the Differences between a SATA and a PATA Hard Drive

By Edited Mar 1, 2016 0 0

There are times in a person’s life that may cause discomfort and pain. These times will make a person jump right out of the window or throw their computer against the wall. The most frustrating thing that can happen to a person’s computer is when their Hard Drive goes out. When this happens you will either get a black screen or the dreaded blue screen of death! How can this happen to me you say to yourself while you are staring at a blank screen you begin to think about all those important files, folders and pictures you had. You remember your significant other asking you more than once to save all those documents and pictures into an external hard drive but you never found the time to do it and now it’s gone forever!

This likely scenario happens all the time to people everywhere. It can become frustrating when this happens because of all the work you had in that machine is gone never to return. People forget that computers are machines and just like machines they tend to break down at the worse possible moment.

Hard drives are the most important part of the computer there is where data is saved and retrieved. It is important to be aware when your hard drive starts to act up. Usually you will notice it making noise or not being able to find a file or the dreaded blue screen of death! Unfortunately there is not much you can do about it once it dies you will have to replace it with a new one.

I will explain how to do this. A person with decent computer knowledge could be able do this type of project. At first it may seem daunting but in the end you may have learned something valuable. Now you need to know what type of hard drive to buy that is compatible with your desktop.

Word of advice! Before you do this you will need to have your Windows Operating System CD or your manufacturer’s drivers CD and windows CD in order for you to do this. Hard drives do not come preinstalled with windows or drivers.

Types of Hard Drives

First you will need to remove your hard drive from your computer. You will need to open the computer to access the inside and pull out the hard drive. What does the hard drive look like? Well right now there are two types which are in the majority of computers today those are PATA hard drives and SATA hard drives.

How do you know which one you have? Well the PATA hard drive has a wide gray ribbon cable attached to it and it goes all the way down to the mother board. The other connector supplies power to the hard drive.

The SATA hard drive has a thin colored cable attached to it which also attaches to the motherboard and it also has another thin cable which is used to power the hard drive. Also by looking at the hard drives you could tell if the machine is older or a cheaper machine by the hard drives it carries.

An Internal PATA Hard Drive
What is a PATA Hard Drive

The PATA drives were the earliest forms of drives which served to store data for home users. It was designed to be inexpensive and common technology which is why if you look at most computers mainly computers that are a few years old nine out ten times it will have a PATA hard drive. The PATA hard drives were made by Western Digital in 1986 to provide a common drive interface technology. PATA hard drives were made to serve as a permanent data storage device which could hold all data within the computer system like programs, system files and media

The transfer speeds of a PATA drive are 133 mb/s and they come in standard sizes of 2.5 and 3.5 inches internal devices. They also use a ribbon like connector to connect to the motherboard.

An Internal SATA Hard Drive
What Is a SATA Hard Drive?

A SATA hard drive is a newer form of hard drive set to replace the PATA in the future. The SATA hard drive is just about the same as a PATA hard drive. The only differences between the two are that the SATA hard drive has a faster transfer speed than the PATA hard drive. The other difference is that unlike the PATA hard drive the SATA hard drive is smaller. By being a smaller hard drive it will allow computer manufacturers to design smaller and more compact computers.

Transfer speeds for these types of hard drives can range from 1.5 GB up to 6 GB per second. These speeds will continue to rise as the technology gets better and better. They use thinner cables to provide them with power and access to the mother board. These cables also have a notch in them so there is no mistake in connecting them.

The Mother Board Will Decide.

You may be limited in what you can use because the hard drives connect straight to the mother board. Most computers today will either have one connection for a PATA hard drive or SATA hard drive and will not have a connection for both. Maybe the more expensive computers may have this feature but I have not seen or heard of any as of now. You may want to upgrade if you want but then you are getting way to technical and you may need a professional to do it which means the costs may be high. I always say keep it simple! If it has a PATA connector then that’s what you need to use the same goes for a SATA hard drive.

Once you have put the hard drive back into your computer and have re-installed your Operating System and drivers your computer will be good as new again. As long as you maintain it your computer could last another few years!

Please feel free to comment if you have any questions.

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