I am trying to do a hard drive recovery, and want to know if I unplug and plug the hard drive back in, while the PC is on (running Windows 7). This is a secondary hard drive, not the primary one.

I know this is possible with eSATA, but I'm not sure it is with SATA, and don't want anything to go wrong.

So, the question is: can I connect a SATA hard drive to to my PC, while it is running?


If your computer supports AHCI, and the SillionImage SATA controller supports it, then yes. There are various hot swap utility out there, like 'HotSwap!', so use what ever that suits your need.

For the moment, the number of manifactures that provide AHCI support is limited. Check your SATA controller.

Some reading:




  • 1
    Probably very true in 2010. These days (2014) AHCI is almost the standard. – Hennes Apr 26 '14 at 8:29

While the SATA connectors are designed for hotplugging, and apparently SATA devices all support it, not all of the SATA controllers are. I would exercise caution. See for example here:


Hope this helps.

  • True. Some more information than just two sentences and a link which is can link rot would be nice though. – Hennes Apr 26 '14 at 8:30

open your run box, then type regedit and press enter. goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/services/ then find 'msahci' click on it and on the right side , right click on 'start' , click modify and change the value data to '0'. Restart your computer (important)! now you can 'safely remove' your SATA Internal Hard drive like you do so with External Hard drive!! :)

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