VOGONS


First post, by BLockOUT

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since mechanical hard drives will fail sooner or later and SSDs are the way to go as nobody is buying mechanical hard drives anymore plus there are 2TB SSDs being released, i think pretty much in the next years will be all SSD.

I wanted to know how are you going to handle in the future the need of connecting a hard drive to an old IDE computer. 486, pentium3 etc.

are there any cheap adapters that can connect a cheap ssd to a sata to ide converter and place that on your old 486? wich would need the sdd to be formated with less availabe space in order for the bios to accept it.

or are you all using the known IDE to SDcard adapter?

Reply 1 of 12, by mothergoose729

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It depends on the system. I don't see much of a point in installing an SSD in anything newer than a socket 7. Because of storage limitations, for socket 3 or earlier board you probably want an xtide addon card from monotech or one of those guys.

I have used a promise adapter with a few different builds and had a lot of success. I suspect that some individual drives are more compatible than others, so I always buy the low spec kingston 120gb models. I don't think I ever found a 32gb drive that worked for me. In the future I suspect those might be harder to come by.

Reply 2 of 12, by weedeewee

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I tried a few adapters in a compaq armada m700.
one sata to ide wouldn't allow me to turn dma mode on as long as the cd/dvd drive was also connected. (They're on the same ide channel.)
same problem with an SD to ide adapter
other Sata to ide adapter works without problems.

Reply 3 of 12, by PTherapist

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I've used generic IDE to SATA adapters that you can generally find anywhere, eg. on eBay. Though I've not tried connecting an SSD to an old IDE PC, as I still have loads of old IDE & SATA hard drives in my collection. I last used one of those adapters with a SATA HDD in a Pentium III build.

For the older systems, ie. 486 & earlier, I'll use old hard drives in combination with CompactFlash cards via IDE-CF adapters instead. My 486 has a 1GB CF card for the OS and a regular IDE HDD for games storage. My XT has a 128MB CF card for games & programs storage.

As for getting around older BIOS HDD size limitations, drop the XTIDE Universal BIOS onto an EEPROM and place it on an old ISA Ethernet card, ie 3COM 3c509B. Alternatively, there's also Dynamic Drive Overlay software, but that comes with it's own issues.

Reply 4 of 12, by jakethompson1

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Hey!

First, all this is about mechanical SATA drives. I could not get an SSD to work reliably through one of these converters.

I meant to write about this. Specifically, I have tried a few of these on boards with UM8886BF for the IDE controller.

A converter with a SATALink brand chip was a disaster, too unreliable to even fdisk/format/install DOS.

A converter with a Marvell chip (StarTech IDE2SAT2) works great but with one huge drawback--when the Primary Master is a SATA HDD connected through that converter, the native IDE CD-ROM connected as secondary master is not detected. Take away the SATA converter on primary and it works great...

I got one of those JMicron JM20330 converters from eBay. It works great and the IDE CD-ROM still works. On an MB-8433UUD-A this worked fine with the stock configuration. On a Gigabyte GA-586AM I had to back off the BIOS speed from PIO Mode 4 to PIO Mode 3 for it to work without corruption. More on that at some point in the future...

Finally, with Socket 5 or 486 or older boards, the IDE controller does not support bus mastering DMA transfers in the 'modern' way that the Intel Triton chipset introduced. You are stuck with programmed I/O. One of the biggest speedups for PIO mode is Read Multiple Sectors/Write Multiple Sectors. Instead of generating an interrupt for every 512 bytes, they can be batched into blocks of 1024-8192 bytes. In my experience SSDs do not support multiple sector transfers even when run through one of these converters, while HDDs do. So a mechanical drive may actually be faster, especially when a modern 1TB/2TB HDD has a relatively huge cache inside it vs. what would have been typical for these machines.

I've also heard people are much happier just using those CompactFlash to IDE converters. Less "conversion" going on since they are based on IDE. The lack of multiple sector transfer support applies there too though.

There are also industrial SSDs out there with a native IDE interface on them, I believe being produced new by a company in California. I can't find the link.

Reply 5 of 12, by Tetrium

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I've only used an IDE2SATA adapter once (the board had the buggy SATA1 controller that wouldn't work with SATA2 drives) and even though it worked, I had found it to be relatively slow.

I'll probably keep using mechanical drives for my builds for several reasons. I have plenty mechanical drives available and for me using a mechanical drive is part of the experience. That and I don't have the money to buy brand new SATA drives for older rigs.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 6 of 12, by hyoenmadan

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2021-10-02, 19:28:

...

Almost the same experience here. None of the converters except Marvell ones will work reliably on UDMA mode... But many Marvell controllers have problems with sharing channel with CDROMs and seeing ATAPI commands running the bus (interesting enough, them can show a connected CDROM to them and team with a real ATA hdd, go figure). On top of that, JM controllers aren't compatible with Hitachi and some Quantum drives on any speed. Sunplus ones are as trashy as many SataLink controllers.

--
I always have thought it would be nice to actually have a FOSS SATA/IDE IP core to flash onto an FPGA. Sure would be more expensive, but would be also upgradeable and fixable... And the core could be used in other projects, as properly bridge Flash storage to real ATA133 speeds, and not the PIO trash most bridges do (on top of their license NDA nonsense which makes them unusable to hobby projects, as the CDROM emulator we were talking week ago for example).

Reply 7 of 12, by Sombrero

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2021-10-02, 19:28:

I could not get an SSD to work reliably through one of these converters.

Well that's not encouraging, I was planning to swap to StarTech adapter and a cheap 120GB SSD thinking that would be better than using a SD card + adapter. I thought using SSDs on IDE-only machines was commonplace?

Reply 9 of 12, by Sombrero

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Oetker wrote on 2021-10-03, 07:17:

I'm using a generic adapter (chip isn't jmicron or Marvell) and it works fine on my 440bx board in DMA mode with an SSD.

That's good to hear, I've got 440bx board too (Abit BX133-RAID). Though I'm going to be a bit annoyed if that higher price StarTech doesn't work well and a cheap chinese does 😁

By the way, any idea how 440bx boards react to 120GB+ drives? Do they crash or can they be used just with limited capacity?

Reply 10 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

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I'm using a JMicron based SATA to IDE adapter together with an 120 GB Kingston SSD on my Celeron rig which uses an Intel 44oZX chipset. Everything works perfectly, with DMA enabled and all.

That same adapter with the same Kingston SSD refuses to work on my AthlonXP rig which uses a VIA KT133A chipset. Subsequently, I read that JMicron adapters have issues with certain VIA chipsets, so I'll try to get my hands on a Marvel adapter for that system.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 11 of 12, by retardware

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Using a Startech converter (Sunplus chip) to connect an IDE CD/DVD to SATA-only mobo.
Contrary to the Startech manual, it only works if the drive is set on Cable Select.
Furthermore, AHCI must be deactivated in BIOS in favor of IDE mode.

Depending on the mobo/BIOS used, there are more potential issues:
-At least on some boards, not all drives from all manufacturers are being recognized. In particular, LiteOn and Benq drives seem to be problematic.
-On some boards, the BIOS hangs in the drive detection if a disc is inserted. On these, only Toshiba/TSST drives work satisfiably for me, as these initialize fast enough so you can eject a disk directly after reset. With other drives, it can get very annoying on these mobos.
-Only SATA mode 1 is supported.
-Which driver to use depends on the mobo. On some you can use standard IDE drivers (oakcdrom etc), on others you need to use sata driver (gcdrom).
-On some mobos there are more issues, like bad COMRESET etc support and other things which you can see in the Linux logs.

Reply 12 of 12, by darry

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retardware wrote on 2021-10-03, 23:39:

Using a Startech converter (Sunplus chip) to connect an IDE CD/DVD to SATA-only mobo.
Contrary to the Startech manual, it only works if the drive is set on Cable Select.
Furthermore, AHCI must be deactivated in BIOS in favor of IDE mode.

Mine works fine in AHCI mode with an IDE optical drive.

EDIT : One thing to keep in mind is that, AFAIU (please correct me if wrong), AHCI implies DMA mode, so if the drive used can't do DMA, has trouble/issues in DMA mode or is simply incompatible with DMA mode when using the a given SATA/IDE adapter, there will be issues.