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Converting an IDE HD Mass Storage to SATA Storage in Linux

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Are you considering a hard drive upgrade but are putting it off because you aren't sure what it takes to get the new SATA-generation HDs running on Linux? Want to know about the new connectors, how to get your power supply to plug into them, and whether you need anything special to make backup possible? Are you nervous about whether your Linux drivers will work properly when /dev/hda turns into /dev/sda? Do you want to be able to make your backups work correctly and without surprises? A.Lizard just did this, it's working right now, and in this article he tells you how to make it all work at the same time. His how-to backup description covers how to back up hard drive mirrors as well as DVD archive files via point-and-click. (Some assembly required.)
  • SATA: Serial ATA hard drive interface standard
  • IDE (or ATA): Integrated Drive Electronics hard drive interface standard

Why SATA instead of IDE?

The IDE/ATA HD interface has served us a long time. Unfortunately, even with the evolution of the standard over the years, it's run out of steam. IDE is limited—even with round/shielded cables—to about 150 Mb/second. So why SATA (Serial ATA) rather than IDE? Because the SATA-II standard is good for 300.

When Is It Time to Change?

I changed to SATA because whenever I went over two-thirds of my HD space, there was no longer enough free space to generate a dar DVD backup set (which requires about half the space occupied by my current data). I went from 160G to 400G drives, which should be big enough so that I won't have to do this again for a while. This also seemed a pretty good price point—the drives are $85 each from newegg. Significantly larger means a very significantly larger price, and smaller drives don't cost all that much less.

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