I have an old Dell desktop computer that I'm trying to turn into an Home Media Server. The original hard drive is only 80GB so I recently bought a second Hitachi 1TB Sata drive. I also bought a converter, but the bios is not picking up the new hard drive. Everything is connected correctly, I have checked and double checked.

The computer is Dell Dimension 2400, I'm not sure what type of motherboard it is, I don't see any make or model number on it.

I would appreciate any help, I'm not sure where to go next with this.

  • What type of converter? PCI card or one that connects to the back of the sata drive? The later are notorious for not working well at all. – Moab Nov 21 '11 at 21:15
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    Please provide details as to what you mean by "converter". – music2myear Nov 21 '11 at 22:02
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    If by converter you mean a cable adapter that converts between SATA and PATA, those are probably hit-or-miss as the two standards are very, very different. If you mean an add-in card which has SATA connectors, the questions are: Do you have a SATA power connector for the drive? And, did you install any windows drivers needed for the drive. If the SATA card uses the cheaper controllers, any drives connected to it may only be visible to the OS, not the BIOS. Personally, I'd recommend a minimally modified system for this setup. USB hard drive trays that accept SATA drives are relatively cheap. Yo – music2myear Nov 21 '11 at 22:07
  • Have you tried updating your BIOS? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 22 '11 at 1:40
  • Thanks for the response, the converter I have is: unitek-products.com/en/product_detail.php?id=61. It comes with all necessary cables. @music2myear: Thanks for the update, I might have to just use a NAS device. – Stephen Nov 22 '11 at 20:45

Personally, I'd recommend a minimally modified system for this setup. USB hard drive trays that accept SATA drives are relatively cheap. You'll be limited to USB speeds, but so long as it's USB2 it should be enough for local network streaming over all but the fastests networks. Then you're not dealing with adapters and connectors and specialised cards inside your system.

UPDATE w/ BIOS update info:

With adapters like that, you're really at the mercy of the BIOS. The download page for the latest DELL BIOS for this is: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails/DriverFileFormats?DriverId=R84098&FileId=2731130283

The page includes instructions on how to flash the BIOS. It's usually as simple as downloading the file to Windows and running the file just like an installer.

  • Thanks music2myear, sorry for the delay in coming back on this, I'll give it a go when I get some free time. – Stephen Jan 31 '12 at 12:01

Look for a compatibility switch on the drive. The system probably doesn't support the addressing method that allows for 1TB. If you can switch it to be compatible, you won't have the entire space available. I can't recall off-hand what the old limit was. Half a GiB or so?

  • 2400 bios allows for 48bit LBA, so its not that. – Moab Nov 21 '11 at 23:03
  • Brian, thanks for that, the in-laws are over this evening, so I'll check it out tomorrow and let you know. – Stephen Nov 22 '11 at 20:52

With my Dell machine, XPS Dimention, I have to select 'Press F6 to install 3rd party drivers' from a floppy disc during the XP O/S install otherwise I cannot see any of my SATA drives.

Check on the Dell website for your model to see if there are any RAID drivers available.

With Win7 I did not need the drivers.

Only other option I can think of is to buy a SATA enclosure and use it as an external drive.

Hope this is useful.

  • This answer only applies if the user is trying to install the OS on a newer harddrive. The OP specifically states he's installing the new larger drive as a secondary drive. Therefore this answer is inapplicable unless the OP clarifies his question to indicate this is the case. – music2myear Nov 21 '11 at 22:03
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    The OP also said " but the Bios is not picking up the new hard drive" if the bios does not see it no driver will help. – Moab Nov 21 '11 at 23:00

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