Sata AND IDE Hard Drives in Dimension 4600 - HELP!

Hello all!


I have spent hours searching here and other places on the Internet without finding my answers. I am redoing a neighbor's Dell Dimension 4600. He gave me his Service Tag number and I looked up how it was originally configured. It came with an 80GB hard drive and 512MB of RAM memory. Since the info showed that it was a SATA hard drive... I ordered a 500GB SATA hard drive to replace it thinking I would use the original 80GB drive as a slave for extra storage.

Well... I got the desktop yesterday and found that it had an IDE hard drive instead of a SATA hard drive.I guess I didn't read well enough. It has an IDE BUT the SATA drive is supported! So... I went ahead and used theoriginal connectors nd moved th 80GB to th front bay and installed the 500GB in the original bay. I also went ahead and upgraded the RAM to 2GB. I knew I would have to play around in the BIOS to get this setup to work. But here is where I am stuck.


After installing everything (With he new drive on SATA #0) I set the SATA master to AUTO and the IDE slave to AUTO. I can get the SATA hard drive to be recognized as a Hitachi 500GB drive but I can see the original Maxtor 80GB drive! I have the jumper on the Maxtor set to CSL but have also tried removing the jumper too. I have read that it works both ways. (Different articles on the Net.)


So... How do I do this? I am stumped and don't know how to get around this. The easy way would be to return the SATA drive for an IDE but I got it online and don't want to wait for the swap.


Is there a way to make this work?


The Dimension 4600 has two DVD drives and a floppy. If you need the service tag number to help... Please let me know.


Thanks in advance for your help!



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2 Replies

Re: Sata AND IDE Hard Drives in Dimension 4600 - HELP!

Installation of the new drive would likely go easier if you left the original IDE drive disconnected while you install Windows on the new SATA drive.  SATA was just getting started when the 4600 was produced, so I don't think you need to worry about RAID/AHCI mode.  If I'm wrong you will find that out as soon as you boot the Windows Installation CD since it will complain it doesn't see a hard drive.  If that turns out to be the case there should be a setup option to run the drive in ATA compatible mode.


Once you've installed Windows and gotten it to run from the SATA drive you should be able to reconnect the IDE drive.  Dell machines normally use the Cable Select mode.  Use of other jumper positions can often cause strange problems.


Dell Forum member since 2005

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Re: Sata AND IDE Hard Drives in Dimension 4600 - HELP!

Not really sure what you are trying to do. You have both drives installed and bios can see them. Good so far. If you are trying to make the 500 the c drive, you may have to do without the 80. Setthe bios to none, boot up the cd and install  windows on the 500. Then set bios to auto for the 80. I think the 80 will have to boot. Try the boot options to select sata.
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