Looking or info on my computer hardware

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Was going to replace the failing hard drive, and bought an IDE replacement
on the advice of someone I can no longer remember.  Now it doesn't look like
the drive that is in there.  It has what looks like a 40-pin SCSI connector,
and the drive in my Compaq SR1522X has a small connector that fits over an
edge connector about the size of a USB port.  Looks like it has 10 or 12
contacts on the top and bottom of the edge connector.  Is this a SATA
device?  How can I find out what I am actually trying to replace?  Used to
repair mini-systems in a business environment, and PCs are a whole new
experience for me.  My background and strength is electronics, but I am
willing to takle anything.  Would greatly appreciate any advice or
assistance anyone has to offer.

Many thanks,


Re: Looking or info on my computer hardware

On 6/29/2012 3:11 PM, Dave wrote:
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Your machine has a SATA Hard Drive not IDE.

Re: Looking or info on my computer hardware

Oh, man.  THANK YOU.  What did we do before the Internet?  Thank you so


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Re: Looking or info on my computer hardware

Dave wrote:

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If you cannot return the IDE hard disk, and if your motherboard doesn't
have an IDE header, you can use an IDE-to-SATA adapter on the device
(IDE side to the IDE drive's connector, SATA side via cable to the SATA
header on the motherboard).


That's just one example of such an adapter.  In an old host, I had an
Abit Serillel adapter to go from IDE to SATA (I think it came bundled
with my old Abit motherboard).  For a description of it, see:

Overall picture of Serillel adapter:
IDE side (plugs into IDE drive):
SATA side (SATA and power cables go to this side):
Wiring diagram:

SATA is configured one drive per SATA port, so make sure the IDE drive
is jumpered (or defaults without jumpers) as the Master device.  It
worked over the years but eventually I got a bigger drive that was SATA
so I didn't need the adapter.  Make sure you have room behind the hard
disk, the drive cage, and whatever is behind the drive to make sure you
have room to use whatever adapter you choose; else, get a SATA drive.  

If this is a new purchase, you might be able to return the IDE drive for
a SATA equivalent; however, the [online] store will probably charge a
restocking fee (which is more expensive then getting the IDE-to-SATA
adapter with its shipping cost).

Re: Looking or info on my computer hardware

Dave wrote:
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The upper left hand pictures on page 9 may help distinguish
between SATA and IDE. IDE uses a relatively wide ribbon.


SATA is a wafer contact connector. A proper SATA power cable,
has five fat wires coming in, going to fifteen contacts (three per rail).
Some power adapter cables only provide four wires, and lack
the 3.3V power rail. This is not normally a problem, as many
drives are still using nothing but +5V and +12V. Only certain
tiny SSD drives (perhaps now out of production), have a need for +3.3V.

The data cable is thin, and has 7 wafers for contacts. TX diff
pair, RX diff pair, and three grounds (so-called "drain" wires).
All the data for the drive, travels serially, at a very high speed.
The communication is full duplex, as the RX and TX directions are
independent. The diff pairs have shielding, inside the red plastic cover.

The SATA connector was originally designed, for usage in a "back plane"
scenario. That allows server boxes to be built, where 24 drives front-load
and slide into place. And the connector has enough capture, that the drive
connector just snaps into place. Usage in a desktop was an afterthought.
That's why the connector sections, are mounted in the same plastic
framework, to aid capture. Notice as well, that the wafer contacts are
different lengths - this allows things like advanced power and ground,
and protects against illegal signal levels showing up by accident.
If the ground signal connects first, it helps ensure the polarity of
the other signal leads remains correct. So the contacts were never
intended to be exactly the same length, and it's for a reason.


Later versions of SATA connectors, have latching mechanisms added.
The first generation of connectors were horrible, and could
fall off while the drive was running. Having recognized their
stupid mistake, later generations of connector designs,
attempted to fix this. The metal latch shown in your SR1522X manual,
is an attempt to keep the connectors from falling off.


Re: Looking or info on my computer hardware

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So, is there any significant difference between SATA and SATA III interfaced
drives?  Will a SATA III drive work in my seven or eight year old computer?
Or do I even need to worry about such things.  The connecters on my cables
clip into place, and hold tight.  At least that much I can tell.  But that's
all... :)

Thank you for this info.  I need to do a lot of homework, as I a supposed to
install 4GB of RAM in this puppy as well. Any idea where I could find help
with that task?

'preciate it...


Re: Looking or info on my computer hardware

Dave wrote:
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Like other attempts at disk standards, they try to make them backward
compatible. So it is supposed to work with older gear, autonegotiate
data rate and so on.

I have some Seagate drives here, with the four pin "jumper block" on the
front, and one jumper position used to be called "Force150". That would
cause a SATA II drive to run at SATA I rates (150MB/sec). That was necessitated
by some VIA chipsets (early 8237 perhaps), that did not negotiate properly.

The jumper to use, is "2mm" size, not "0.1 inch" size. The last time I
needed one, I had to search all over the house to find a 2mm jumper. I
have precisely one bag of the little ones. Using the wrong size jumper,
risks breaking the jumper block.

Other brands of drives, may have no jumper block at all. Hitachi drives,
you connect their hard drive to a "capable" computer, and use software
to "force" the rate permanently. The drive remembers, between sessions,
it's to stay at 150MB/sec.

So there are techniques for "balky" SATA.

Let's just hope they're not needed.

I can't say I'm all that happy with the newer SATA drives,
but I don't want to write a book about why... Always read
the reviews before buying a particular model of drive. I use
the reviews on Newegg, and search their site with a potential
disk model number. That helped me select the piece of crap I bought
the other day.


For RAM, you can use the Crucial.com or Kingston.com search engines,
where you enter the model details (manufacturer, model number), and
they give a list of potential RAM solutions.

Faster RAM, can be used on slower setups. The Crucial site, when
you search there, may indeed list a faster RAM than the manufacturer
lists, and it's because the BIOS will set the speed to the slower
value for you.

Crucial 3 level menu...



   2x1GB matched kit, PC2-5300 (for your PC2-3200 application)

I got the speed info, from Pen's link:



    Intel 915GV


    * Manufacturer: Asus
    * Motherboard Name: PTGD-LA
    * HP/Compaq motherboard name: Goldfish3-GL8E

    Speed supported   PC2 3200 MB/sec             <---- what HP thinks
    Type              240 pin, DDR2 SDRAM

What I do, if there are any concerns, is also check the
datasheet, for information. I use the "915GV" for that.

30146705.pdf   (Intel datasheet)
30167003.pdf   (915 memory guide)

    "Table 1. Memory Technology Support

     DRAM Technology Smallest Increments Largest Increments  Maximum Capacity
                     (One SS DIMM)       (One DS DIMM)       (Four DS DIMMs)
     ---------       -----------         ------------        ---------
     256 Mb          128 MB               512 MB              2048 MB
     512 Mb          256 MB              1024 MB              4096 MB
     1 Gb            512 MB              2000 MB              8000 MB (Note 1)

     NOTE 1: This exceeds a 32-bit address limit of 4 GB. In a 32-bit system,
             only the first 4 GB of memory will be accessible."

The good news from this table, is the motherboard should support
2GB technology DIMMs. That means, when you buy a 1GB DDR2 DIMM
(like they tell you to), it should not matter whether it has 8 chips
(single sided) or 16 chips (double sided). It means you could potentially
buy from more sources (even Kingston), without having to worry
about whether it's recognized. Kingston has been known to mix single
and double sided solutions when they sell modern RAM, which is
why I check whether it's an issue.

On my motherboard with the VIA chipset, I have to be careful to use
the 16 chip DIMMs. So it does matter in some cases.

So Crucial listed PC2-5300 as their solution, which should
be backward compatible with the PC2-3200 listed for your system.
You could go to some website selling DDR2 UDIMMs, and look
around for something there if you want. The chipset doesn't
support ECC or anything.

Since you're buying all new, it won't be a problem to get
a couple of kits of matched pairs. For best results (and
ability to resell the RAM later as "pairs").


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