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How to Switch from Booting an IDE Hard Drive to a SATA Hard Drive

This article assumes that you currently have a bootable operating system installed on an IDE hard drive and that you wish to move it over, as-is, to a SATA hard drive.  It also assumes that you have not used the SATA controller in the operating environment before and, as a result, the applicable SATA controller driver(s) are therefore not installed.

Given the above assumptions, the process is not as simple as merely copying the contents of the IDE drive over to the SATA drive and then booting because, before you can boot from the SATA hard drive, the SATA controller driver(s) must first be installed in the operating environment.  The basic procedure to accomplish this is as follows:

  1. Ensure that you have the appropriate drivers for your SATA controller.  Usually, it's best to obtain the latest driver version from the mainboard or SATA controller manufacturer.  If you download a copy of the SATA controller drivers, extract the files to a known location on your hard drive now.
  2. If you will be attaching your new SATA drive to a PCI-based SATA controller card, install the card now.  If you will be attaching the SATA drive to the mainboard, enable any applicable mainboard jumpers and/or BIOS settings.
  3. While keeping the current IDE hard drive in place, install the SATA drive by connecting it to the SATA controller using an appropriate SATA cable and by attaching a power connector to the drive.  Please refer to your hard drive, controller card, and/or mainboard manufacturers' documentation for more information.
  4. Boot into the operating environment from the IDE hard drive.  The operating system should detect the SATA controller and install the appropriate software.
    • If you are prompted for a location to install the SATA controller software from, specify the folder to which you extracted the SATA controller software earlier.
    • If you are not prompted for a location to install the SATA controller driver from, and wish at this point to install an updated version of the SATA controller software, you should reboot and install the updates at this point.
  5. Ensure that the SATA controller and the attached SATA hard drive are correctly detected by the operating system.  In Windows, this can be done by checking Device Manager.  SATA controllers typically appear under the SCSI and RAID controllers or Storage controller sections of Device Manager, while hard drives can be found under the Disk drives section.
    • If you are using Windows, it is imperative that the SATA controller and SATA hard drive are not displayed in Device Manager with a yellow exclamation point (or any other indication of error) next to them.
  6. Use an appropriate TeraByte Unlimited product (e.g. Image for DOS, Image for Linux, Image for Windows) to copy the contents of the IDE hard drive over to the SATA hard drive.
  7. Configure your system to boot from the SATA hard drive.
    • If you use BootIt BM, either configure the existing boot item to point to the SATA hard drive (rather than the IDE hard drive) or add a new boot item for the SATA hard drive and make that boot item the default.
    • If you do not use BootIt BM, configure your BIOS to boot from the SATA controller.
  8. Boot from the SATA hard drive to ensure it works before removing data from the IDE hard drive.
  9. If you planned to remove the IDE hard drive, shut down and do so now.

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