Dell SATA HD Help Needed

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Steve CDN

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2005
I have a Dell Dimension 8400 I bought in Nov 03.  The factory insalled a SATA HD and I would like to add another.  I do not intend to use RAID configuration.  I need a second HD as additional storage as a buffer and a storage place for music and and video storage.

First, I checking the Dell upgrade site, I found what I believe is an update for the SATA driver, but I am not sure and need guidance. The installation instructions for this diskette installation is unclear to me, as pressing F6 does nothing.  It seems F2 is used to access Set UP, but I don't understand what to do next.

Here is the text accompanying the driver update in the hopes it can be interpreted for me:

{{{{{Intel SATA driver Feb 1 05
Driver : Intel Application Accelerator RAID Edition
Version, Rev. A00
Dimension : 8400, XPS Gen 3
Precision : 370
On Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional
Languages : English

Custom Instructions for R78496.exe:

At the beginning of the operating system setup, press F6 to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.

1. When prompted, select 'S' to Specify Additional Device.

2. When prompted, insert the floppy disk you created in step 2 and press Enter.

3. At this point you should be presented with a selection for one of the following depending on you hardware version and configuration:

- Intel(R) 82801FR SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) 82801FR SATA AHCI Controller

4. Highlight the selection that is appropriate for the hardware in your system and press Enter.

5. Press Enter again to continue. Leave the floppy disk in the system until the next reboot as the software will need to be copied from the floppy disk again when setup is copying files.}}}}}}}}

Second,  the additional hard drive I bought is a Maxtor SATA Ultra 16.  I believe the installation is straightforward, but never having installed a HD, I'd like to check with folks who know. 

Am I supposed to install a SATA driver before installing this HD or is the SATA driver currently residind in my computer sufficient?

What is the MAX Blast software that comes with the Maxtor HD?  What does it do and will it do things I might not want?

How will I identify the location on the motherboard to connect the SATA cable?  And how will I identify the right power cord?

In addition to my questions above, feel free to pass along any suggestions, warnings or cautions for a first time HD installer.  I know enough to shut off the power and ground the chassis and discharge myself.

As always, I really appreciate the help and guidance received from our PC technical team members!
Those instructions are for installing Windows on the drive.  You use F6 to install the SATA drivers during the setup process to allow the installer access to the drive.  Just plug the drive in and XP will see it when it starts up.  The existing SATA drive will work.  It is only concerned with the channel, not the specific drives attached.
Steve, The SATA power connector is a 15-pin connector. If you already have one drive installed, there should be a second 15-pin connector coming out of the same cable splitter, which is plugged into the regular 4-pin power connector you're familiar with. If not, you can buy one or possibly it came with the drive? MaxBlast is a MAXTOR program disk that is usually used to low-level format the drive if you need to start from scratch. It will re-assign bad sectors and write new sector addresses and WIPE OUT ALL YOUR DATA You shouldn't need it now as the drive should come pre-formatted. It also contains some drive diagnostics which may help diagnose problems with the drive. Put it in a safe place until you actually need it.
Thanks for all the help and suggestions.  The installation went well and is working as expected.

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