Sata drive question
June 25, 2006 8:16 AM   Subscribe

sata controller question for Dell 8300.

I have a Dell 8300 with 2 ide drives. I recently installed a sata controller board in to a pci slot and put a raptor on it. I boot from this but it comes up drive j: for some reason. Today I noticed this mobo in fact has 2 sata connectors built in. MY question is should I switch to the on board sata? Will it be faster and can I do that by just moving the cable over? I want to avoid reloading the os if possible so I need it to come back drive j on the new controller. Thanks for any advice.
posted by arh07 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
You should be able to just switch the cable.


Also, drive letters can be changed/managed in the XP disk management console. To get to it ( on my computer ) I click Starrt->Programs->Administrative Tools->Computer Mangement

Once that launches, click on the disk management portion of the tree. If you right click on the various partitions you should get a menu which includes an item that lets you change drive letters.

I'm not sure how it will behave if it's your OS drive, but it should be doable...
posted by jaded at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2006

Depending on the board, it will be faster, as the SATA could have a dedicated pathway to the southbridge, vs sharing bandwidth over the PCI bus. This may not be noticeable though.

If it's not your boot drive, move it. It'll work fine. I think windows may even be smart enough to keep the letter. If not, read jaded's advice.

If it's a boot drive, you've got a bit more trouble.
If you put the drive on another controller, you will break the bootup, because the boot sequence does not rely on drive letter, but physical location (for example: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1))
you can find your current disk location by going to your boot drive (sounds like j: in this case), showing system files (and hidden files) and opening boot.ini in notepad. If you know what the new location is, you can edit this, save, turn off the system, move the drive and reboot. (whew!)

Another option is don't edit anything, move the drive open, and see what happens. Probably nothing (boot error). Re-run windows setup, from the cd. You can then re-install windows (you'll only lose settings in windows and any service patches / hotfixes)
posted by defcom1 at 10:06 AM on June 25, 2006

defcom1 - this is what i thought. however, i've read some boards are "on board" but it really only goes through the same bus. this is what i need to find out about the dell.
posted by arh07 at 10:33 AM on June 25, 2006

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