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What’s the difference between SATA and SATA-II (3.0 GB)?

I'm looking to replace my hard disk, which is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB.

My friend told me to get a SATA HDD, not a SATA-II. What is the difference between the two? And is my old HDD a SATA or SATA-II?

The new HDD I'm looking at is a Seagate 7200.12 ST3500418AS, which the store assistant told me is a SATA-II. However, the Seagate website labels both as SATA only.

I'm afraid that I'll buy a HDD which is incompatible with my system, especially since I'm going to install Windows 7 on it and I previously had the problem of Windows (Vista) setup not recognizing my hard drive. Would the new HDD be compatible?

Thank you.

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marked as duplicate by random Apr 9 '10 at 9:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

possible duplicate:… –  quack quixote Apr 9 '10 at 2:13

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Both drives you mention use SATA 3Gbit/s, which is sometimes called SATA Revision 2 (or SATA-II). SATA 3GBit/s should be backwards compatible with earlier SATA 1.5GBit/s hardware, but most hard drives also have a jumper to force the drive to use the earlier standard (PDF, see page 28). The problem could also be that Windows Vista did not by default have the correct driver for your SATA controller - this should be provided by your motherboard manufacturer.

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Right on. Your answer should be accepted :) –  wazoox Apr 8 '10 at 11:34
Even if you wanted to buy a SATA Revision 1 hard drive, I don't think you'd be able to, unless you found someone with "new old stock" 250 GB drives from 4 or 5 years ago. –  coneslayer Apr 8 '10 at 12:14
Thank you for all the replies. The jumper has indeed been set on my old HDD, and it looks like a small block fitted over 2 pins. If my new HDD comes without the jumper set, and I do need to set it, can I just (carefully) remove the "block" from the old HDD and fit it over the 2 pins on the new HDD? Also, I think my problem with the Windows Vista installation was solved after I set the SATA drives to AHCI in the BIOS before installation. Sorry if my questions seem to easy for the exterts here, but I have absolutely no experience in hardware at all. :) –  Rayne Apr 9 '10 at 8:30
@Rayne Yes, the jumper from the old drive should work on the new drive. The new drive appears to have the same arrangement for forcing SATA 1.5Gbit/s:… –  sblair Apr 9 '10 at 9:22

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