Adding a SATA drive to an old Dimension 4600 - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

Adding a SATA drive to an old Dimension 4600

Disk Drives

Disk Drives
Disk Drives (Floppy, USB, HDD, CD/DVD/BD) discussion

Adding a SATA drive to an old Dimension 4600

This question is not answered

Hello all,


I know there have been posts around this area but not quite answering what I was hoping.

I have an old 4600 to which I would like to add a new 1TB SATA drive e.g. those 7200 rpm Raptors or similar. I have a couple of questions:

- I believe this should be possible on a 4600 but I'm not 100% certain - can anyone confirm or does it depend on the model of 4600? I have also heard there are SATA II drives - does the 4600 support this or is it a software issue, i.e. ....

- Will I need a BIOS upgrade?

- Will the power supply handle it?

- I would like to add it as a second drive but then do a full complete install of Windows (rather than ghosting my current installation which badly needs a rebuild). Can anyone point me to guides on how to achieve this? I mean configuring the BIOS to boot off it first, when to format it etc.

- Any recommendations for 1TB 7200rpm drives that work with the 4600?

Many thanks for any responses!


All Replies
  • Hi, Colm:

    Yes, what you want to do should be no problem. The 4600 supports both IDE and SATA hard drives. However, if you have an SATA drive, that must be the system drive, so in order to install the SATA drive, you'll need to install XP. There is no problem using the stock power supply, but you should update the BIOS to the current version.

  • Colm,

    The things that help me was to run BELARC on my PC and it listed most of the hardware.

    Then in support you may want to search on, 'dimension 4600 specifications'

    The BIOS should be updated no matter what you doing which is listed in the Support | Drivers section.

    When you restart your PC watch the BIOS screen for the current version.

    Open your PC and read the MOBO model, serial #, etc. and DL the latest drivers, sata drivers, etc from the Vendor website

  • Or you can buy a SATA to IDE Bridge and do it that way.  Not really necessary for the 4600 as it has SATA on the motherboard.

    You will have to buy a Sata power cable and Sata Data cable.  DO NOT HOOK 4 pin Molex AND SATA power to a drive that has both

    connections as this will damage the drive.



    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
    Contact USA Technical Support

    Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro

  • Many thanks to all for the responses - had to shelve the project for a few months but got back to it last week and had no problems. Some additional points for anyone else doing this:

    - I bought a WD Caviar Blue 1TB SATAII - also a data cable and molex converter

    - no changes needed to the jumpers (I was using it as the new master)

    - I simply disconnected my old IDE boot disk and connected the new drive up to SATA 0

    - I upgraded BIOS to A12 and it took one or two reboots before it saw the SATA drive - I think I had to disable the IDE drive?

    - After this I booted from the XP installation disk and pretty much followed Tweakhound's instructions as linked below

    - XP was the old version supplied with the Dell originally - I set up a temporary wiored connection to my router (as suggested below - good advice: the USB wifi adapter was shafted at SP1) and DL'd SP2 etc etc. Took a little while but the machine came up a lot happier once all the updates were applied and I was able to reenable my USB wifi adapter.

    - Have yet to reconnect my old IDE so that I can clear it down and use it for something else - I am expecting problems and confusion as usual...

    Some useful links:

    Tweakhound: Installing XP:

    Western Digital SATA connection intro: