Cannot Detect SATA HDD

It’s been increasingly common to suddenly find that new hard disk drives are not working on PC systems. More specifically, SATA drives.

Once I had 4 HDDs not work on a system I was building. It turns out that there are a lot of SATA II drives out there now, and I can’t say that the blurb on manufacturer’s websites (especially Seagate in this case) are helpful.

It’s all down to the jumper settings. The drive needs to run at 150MB/s data rate for older SATA controllers. Auto negotiate doesn’t work on these drives, otherwise the speed would be 300MB/sec.

So here’s a guide to the various drives out there, and how to kick them down into SATA I mode:

  • Seagate Barracuda
    Pins 3+4 (the right-most pins when you face the rear of the drive).
    Source: ViaArena