I've got an IDE to SATA adapter that I use for my optical drive. I need to use one because I've still got a couple of IDE-based hard drives that I use, and those obviously connect through and utilise [that big fat thing of an] IDE cable.

The problem is, Win7 doesn't see my optical drive when I boot up my computer (it's visible in the BIOS as you will see). I've had this problem in the past with Vista as well. The only solution is to go through Device Manager and manually click the "Scan for hardware changes" button. It then starts to see my optical drive.

Now the question is, is there a way to automatically scan for hardware changes on startup?

Many thanks in advance.

EDIT 1: I have already updated my drivers, but still the problem persists. The motherboard in question is the Asus P5Q-E. The IDE-SATA adapter kinda looks like this. It didn't come with any driver CD of any sort, but it didn't need to since it looks to be designed to be sort of like plug and play (except that it require further steps in my case).

EDIT 2 I've had this problem in the past when I used the adapters on my HDDs. It was messing up my backup because it wouldn't detect my HDDs, thus leaving me to go to Device Manager and do a scan. I've since then decided to use the adapters on my ODD, allowing me to use the PATA cable to connect my HDDs.


There are a couple of things to try.

One option is to remove a couple of keys from the registry that potentially cause this problem. Don't forget to back-up your registry before deleting anything. Then take a look at this kb article:


Another potential fix for this problem is to install the Intel chipset drivers. You can fnd the appropriate chipset at at the following page:


If you use Hibernate or sleep, I've also seen this problem fixed by modifying the power options in Control Panel.

  • I've tried them both, but unfortunately they didn't solve the problem. – happy_soil Jul 5 '10 at 1:30
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    The only other way I can think of is by writing a batch file or a powershell script that calls the Devcon utility. Take a look at this support.microsoft.com/kb/311272 It does work with Windows 7 – Pulse Jul 5 '10 at 2:14
  • Fantastic! THIS is exactly what I'm looking for. Could you make this a post so I can set it as the answer? Thanks :) – happy_soil Jul 5 '10 at 9:21
  • No worries, I'm happy it worked for you :) – Pulse Jul 5 '10 at 10:17

Have you tried using the adapter with one of your PATA hard drives so you could use the PATA cable to connect your optical drive?

My experience with PATA to SATA adapters was that I had much better luck using the adapter to allow a PATA hard drive to use a SATA port than if I attempted to use a PATA optical drive with a SATA port. Sure, the adapaters always claimed that they supported ATAPI, but this seemed to be more along the lines of "it sorta works most of the time".

Of course, this was a few years ago so my perspective may be out of date.

EDIT 2 I've had this problem in the past when I used the adapters on my HDDs. It was messing up my backup because it wouldn't detect my HDDs,

Maybe you've just got a "bad" adapter? These adapters are pretty much a lowest manufacturing cost commodity item these days so I never have any idea how to differentiate them other than trial and error.

FWIW, my own personal preference has been for the more compact (IMO) dongle type such the one in the image below. Note: IMO you need to attach some form of electrical insulation so the exposed connectors on the back don't short out if they touch the metal of the drive case.

FWIW here are links to two supposedly different but probably identical (except for price/packaging) flavors of this dongle at one generic online retailer. Link 1 and Link 2.

alt text

yup, that's the one that I have.

Well, then I guess I've pretty much got nothing else useful to suggest dongle-wise. ;-)

Have you already tried different BIOS settings, IDE versus AHCI, for the SATA port(s)?

Windows 7 includes support for AHCI and I think that Win 7 will automagically install the AHCI drivers the first time you boot after setting AHCI in the BIOS. (If Win 7 doesn't figure it out and you don't want to waste time messing with it, just switch your BIOS back to IDE and you should be back where you were.)

I notice that there is apparently a setting in the Asus P5Q-E BIOS for IDE Detect Timeout. You might want to check to make sure this is set to the max (35 seconds). This is supposed to be the default, but never hurts to check again.

One other way you could probably get around this is to buy an inexpensive PATA or PATA/SATA combo PCI controller adapter. You could probably get a PATA one relatively cheap on eBay (or such). Things to keep in mind when going this route are:

  1. Not all PCI controllers allow booting from the device attached to them. You have to research this before you buy.
  2. It can take longer to boot. I have a Promise PATA/SATA combo PCI controller in my GA-965P-DS3. It takes maybe an extra 10 to 20 seconds for the PCI adapter to decide what devices are connected to it and whether or not it is going to install a BIOS extension.
  • Hi! Yes, I've tried those and remember having that exact same problem with my HDDs. I think that was the reason why I've chosen to use the adapters on my ODD because it was less inconvenient. – happy_soil Jul 5 '10 at 9:10
  • Some good tips there, and yup, that's the one that I have. – happy_soil Jul 5 '10 at 12:17

Make sure that you install needed drivers.

If you'll give us the model of the Mother Board, we can link you to the drivers. Anyway - you can always surf to the MB manufacturer site, put in the model in the driver section, and download everything you need.

  • It's an Asus P5Q-E. – happy_soil Jul 5 '10 at 1:25
  • Unfortuneatly, Asus prevent the option to copy links from their site, so I won't be able to link you directly to the driver download. this is their support page: support.asus.com/download/download.aspx You'll be able to download your drivers over there, just specify the exact model (Socket: LGA 775, Model: P5Q-E), the exact version of your Windows, and then download the Chipset driver. – Matan Eldan Jul 5 '10 at 7:09

Windows will normally check for new drives every boot; you don't need to change anything to have it do this. Is it possible that the adapter is just a little slow to initialize and isn't responding at first when Windows checks for it? I'm not sure if that's possible if it still shows up in your BIOS autodetection, (assuming you haven't hard set it in the BIOS). But if that was the case, I'd try slowing down the boot a little bit (for instance, by turning on the full memory check in the BIOS) to see if it makes a difference.

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