Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have to replace a dead hard drive in a friends computer. It's a pretty old machine with a parallel ATA100 interface on the motherboard. Will currently available PATA drives be compatible?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, any Pata drive will be compatible. There could be a bios limitation of 128-137gb though.

If the bios does not have 48bit Large Block Addressing support, you should stick with a 120gb or smaller drive.


share|improve this answer
Thats great thanks. I'll look for a <=120GB then. They seem pretty pricey compared to their SATA equivalents on the usual retailers. I guess I'll try ebay. – UpTheCreek Jan 13 '11 at 20:38
Yes price has gone up for the old Pata drives, soon to be extinct. – Moab Jan 13 '11 at 22:57
Microcenter has good…; – Moab Jan 13 '11 at 22:59

You could also get a PCI sata controller board and get a smaller SATA drive if the prices worked out as worth it. Even get a SSD for the previous posters size limitations

share|improve this answer

How about a SATA to PATA adaptor which lets you fit SATA drives to PATA interfaces (and vice versa) - well less than £10 on Ebay etc.

share|improve this answer
I did this in an old Athlon XP, and it works fine. – Marco van de Voort Feb 24 '12 at 15:36

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.