Common hard disk drive (HDD) problems

Can I use an old IDE hard drive in my new PC that only supports SATA hard drives and CD/DVD drives?

Hard disk drive problem

I have an old high-capacity IDE hard drive that I would like to use to store backups and system images, but my new PC’s motherboard only provides ports for SATA dives. Does that mean that I’ll have to bin the IDE drive?


Most new PC motherboards don’t provide ports for IDE hard drive or CD/DVD writers because the IDE standard has been replaced by the SATA standard. Fortunately, this situation doesn’t mean that you can’t install IDE drives on the latest motherboards. There are two ways of installing them – 1. – you can buy a PCI or PCI Express IDE interface card (if the motherboard has a free slot of one of those standards) costing between £15 and £25 or 2. – you can buy an IDE-to-SATA adapter that is fitted to the back of the drive converting it from IDE to SATA. Then you just plug in an SATA data cable into the back of the adapter and to an SATA slot on the motherboard. These adapters often require a power connector from the PC’s power supply unit – usually a floppy-disk-drive power cable – such as the one provided here –… The white connector on the left is for a floppy-drive power connector and the black connector on the far right side of the device is the SATA connector.

About Eric Legge 269 Articles
I am an experienced PC technician who has been the owner and sole writer of the PC Buyer Beware! website since 2004. I am learning all the time in this very dynamic, ever-changing field.