How to Know if My Hard Drive is SATA or IDE

If you are replacing or upgrading the hard drive in your computer, if is necessary to know whether your current hard drive is SATA or IDE, because the two types are not directly compatible. Notebook computers can only accept one type or the other, though some desktop computers have motherboard controllers available for both. Determine what type of hard drive you have by looking at the drive itself or, as an easier alternative, by using the Windows device manager.

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SATA hard drive

Step

Press the Windows logo and "R" keys simultaneously to display the "Run" dialog box. Type "devmgmt.msc" in the box and press "Enter." The device manager is displayed.

Step

Double-click the "Disk Drives" category to expand it. Your hard drive is shown here.

Step

Record the model number displayed for the hard drive, e.g. "Hitachi HTS721010G9SA00."

Step

Open a web browser and enter the model number in a search engine.

Step

Examine the search results. Generally, the manufacturer's website will be displayed on the first page of results. The page will show whether the hard drive is ATA or SATA.