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My motherboard has SATAI and I was wondering if I could buy SATAII hard drives and use it with it. I expect SATA I transfer speeds, but I wanted to make sure to see if that is okay to buy a new hard drive.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes. SATA II interfaces are backwards compatible with SATA I on both host and drive.

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To add more detail, SATAII drives will downscale to SATAI speeds. – BinaryMisfit Oct 21 '10 at 19:01
    
This this apply to SATAIII too? SATAIII will downscale to I/II? – Doug Oct 21 '10 at 20:31
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As far as I know, all SATA 1.5/3/6 drives are supposed to work with SATA 1.5/3/6 hosts (at the smaller maximum supported speed, of course). However there can be compatibility issues; for example I've known SATA 3 drives that only worked on SATA 1.5 hosts if you added a jumper. – Gilles Oct 21 '10 at 20:57

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