Install Ultra ATA (not SATA) drive in Optiplex 745 - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

Install Ultra ATA (not SATA) drive in Optiplex 745


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Install Ultra ATA (not SATA) drive in Optiplex 745

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I have googled and searched this forum but cannot find the answer.

Is it possible to install a non-serial ATA drive (Maxtor DiamondMax 21 200GB PATA) in an Optiplex 745?

I realise all the standard connections are Serial ATA so different but is it possible to get a card/adpater that will take a standard ATA/IDE cable and will the BIOS etc allow this?

Thanks for your help!


All Replies
  • There are adapters that you can find being sold on eBay and else where.

    Hopefully somebody who has done this will chime in.


    my Dells:
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit / Linux Mint
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Precision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3

  • Most people put IDE drives a cheap external USB case.  Is there a reason that doesn't work for you?   If you aren't running Windows XP the options are limited.There are adapters to connect IDE to SATA, but you want to buy them from a place with a good returns policy as they tend to be all over the map in terms of compatibility.  Typically they can't be used to boot, don't support S.M.A.R.T. drive status tools, etc.  If you have a free PCI slot there are PCI cards with IDE interfaces.    Most of these cards also support RAID, but requires drivers that are generally only available for Win XP.   Also note that one reason for doing away with IDE drives is that those big ribbon cables interfere with airflow.   The IDE to SATA adapters generally fit on the back of a drive and use SATA cables.



  • Thanks both. I've been "beta-testing" buggy slow Windows Vista for the last 2 years and have got fed up of it - so now need to upgrade to a proper fully-working OS (i.e. Win7 -- should be free given my patience!!) -- I just dont have a lot of spare time to do so as I work hard! I was hoping to stick Win 7 64bit on a seperate disk and slowly migrate stuff over (after making sure 64bit Win 7 all works nicely) I guess my best bet is to buy a new SATA drive but still don't think there are all the necessary cables and plugs etc in the box - maybe just need a SATA cable with enough plugs.

    I may just wimp out and but a whole new PC cos I really dont have enough time for the downtime and hassle of upgrading.

    Any further advice appreciated :-) Dave

  • Setting up a new new Windows system can take way too much time and energy.  At work new systems arrive with a basic image, but each user is responsible for installing the apps they use, which often takes days by the time you figure out why some device (printer, scanner, etc.) doesn't work and either track down the drivers or replace the unit when you can't get drivers.    On of the problems with Windows is that there is a huge cottage industry churning out cheap widgets and writing drivers for XP, but many of these are only on the market for a short time and never get drivers for  new Windows versions.

    These days of cutthroat price competition most vendors (even Apple, far and away the best on average, has had duds) have significant numbers of DOA or only partly functioning deliveries, so if your machine has the capacity you need and is working properly upgrading is often less time wasted and fewer headaches than buying new.   Usually you can find reports from other users who have already upgraded, so you know if there are issues with the basic system and what performance to expect.   Then you need to check with vendor web sites for drivers for any external or add-on devices.  At work a bunch of people had the same all-in-one name-brand printer-scanner that came with drivers for WinXP but have not been able to use the scanner in XP SP3.   The vendor's forums confirm that this is a widely shared problem. We also had some USB DVD writers from a name-brand that no longer exists, so there are no drivers past WinXP.    

    The main reason for buying a new machine is so you can configure it at your own pace while continuing to use the old machine for your work.   New machines should get a week or two of "burn-in" time before you can trust them.   Migrate one app at time and us it to make sue things are working.   Often there are problems that only appear under your real workload and are never found by reviewers running standard benchmarks.   At work a bunch of Dell systems all did BSOD when we started using a mission critical app.   Once we saw the code it was easy to find the page on Dell's site that told us to update a driver from the vendor's (not Dell's) site. 


  • Thanks gnwii - i know that too well having had Windows boxes since v 3.1!

    I'm self employed and cannot afford downtime -- i would lose more in 1 day than price of a new PC.  I can't simply upgrade to win 7 64 -- needs a full resinstall.  I need 64 bit as i need the RAM.

    That is why I am looking at 2 options:

    1) buy a new Win 7 64 bit box, KVM switch them and migrate in my own time

    2) install a new drive and dual boot, and migrate in my own time.

    Hence the question about installing a reasonably new ultra ATA - but looks like thats out the question.

    So now its either buy a disk and Win 7 64 + 2GB RAM extra (which is going to be almost £300 in total ) or buy a new PC for £500 and hope to sell the old one for £100 or so -- so I don't really save too much do I?!

    Annoying constant upgrade caused purely by Microsoft releasing an incomplete and buggy OS which really should have lasted me longer.

    Maybe I should buy a Mac or install Ubuntu!  Bill's crowd have really annoyed a very long time user.


  • Well, most Apple computers ship within 24 business hours, unlike most Dell computers which ship in 30-45 calendar days. If you must have a new computer fast, you will certainly get a new computer from Apple faster. It's true Apple can really nickle and dime you, but unlike Dell, they provide excellent technical support.