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Additional 250GB Storage With An USB-SATA II Hard Disk

How could you add three or more hard disks while there are already two IDE hard disks and two optical drives attached to primary and secondary IDE channels?

Apparently, SATA hard disk provides solution as SATA hard disk doesn’t restricted to IDE master-slave configuration. But, are there any free slots to mount additional IDE devices in a conventional ATX box?

Normally, ATX box easily comes with 2 bays for IDE hard disk and 2 bays for IDE optical drive.
Thanks to USB-SATA II converter interface! I don’t even have to open the computer casing, which in some cases might void the hardware warranty too once the seals are broken.

USB-SATA II converter interface used to easily extend disk storage in couple of minutes. It’s compatible with Windows Vista, XP, Linux, and suitable to used as data backup drive.

Although, I must agree that USB-SATA interface under-utilize SATA II data throughput performance. Anyway, it’s not a big deal if you’ve already running Windows Vista on a SATA-3 hard disk with NCQ supports, while another unit of same model is served for online data storage.

The 3rd SATA II hard disk will just functioning as a mobile disk storage, an extra-ordinary USB thumb drive!
SATA II, a.k.a SATA 3Gb/s, could theoretically achieve data throughput up to 300MB/s. While running SATA II hard disk on an USB-SATA II converter interface, the data throughput will limited to USB-2 bottleneck, which is technically maximized at 60MB/s only!

In my case, the 250GB SATA II hard disk is mainly used for data backup purpose, such as Norton Ghost disk image of both laptop and Desktop, e-books, video, mp3, flash video, etc.

How to configure USB-SATA II hard disk in Windows XP?

1) Connect SATA data cable and power adapter with the SATA hard disk

2) Link it up with USB port at host computer, and power on the SATA hard disk

3) The new hard disk will not show up in My Computer for the first time, unless the SATA hard disk has been formatted and partitioned.

4) Right-click My Computer on the XP Desktop and click on the Manage menu

5) Locate Disk Management on the left panel and click it

6) The bottom-right panel shows that the 250GB SATA II hard disk is unknown to Windows XP, indicates that it’s not partitioned and formatted as one of the XP recognized file system.

A new installed SATA hard disk might need to be initialized, partitioned, and formated with a Windows Vista (Windows XP or Linux) supported file system, before it can used by the respective OS.

7) Right-click on the unknown SATA hard disk and click on Initialize Disk menu

8) Select the disk to be initialized and click OK to proceed.

9) Once XP complete initializing the new SATA II hard disk, the status changed to Basic and Unallocated (not yet partitioned for any XP file system)

10) Right-click the unallocated disk space and click the New Partition menu

11) After XP disk partition process completed, right click the partition and format it as one of the XP supported file system (default to NTFS file system).

12) That’s all. Wait for the formatting process to complete, you’ll find the extended disk storage appears in My Computer or Windows Explorer.


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  1. mike 14-12-08@22:51

    What if I can not see the hard drive in Computer manager ? not even as unknown ;0(

  2. Walker 18-12-08@00:25

    Maybe the power is not enough.

  3. skdj 08-10-09@00:47

    Well, I´ve my old laptop HD plugged to my XP PC, right now I´m seeing the two partitions that I use to have on the old HD, however, when I right click on them, the only option available is “Erase Logic Unit” or something like that cause I have spanish XP.

    So, what u think it can be happening?

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