IDE Hard drives used to be common years ago however they’re obsolete and do not work anymore. However, some users utilize them to run older computers. Due to this, certain issues have arisen which you must be aware of if do not know about them.

The Evolution of IDE Drives

The whole thing began in the early 1980s , when personal computers were in the early stages of their development and were not yet available for sale. IBM introduced their first computer to rival Apple known as the PC. Then, other companies developed their personal computers using similar hardware. The first hard drives offered 40 to 80MB of storage and were extremely expensive.

You could pay more for a hard drive than what a complete computer could cost!Around the year 1986, Western Digital released an ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) interface in order to cut costs. Initially, the interface was extremely limited, with just 16-bit parallel signals and no termination. In 1989 in 1989, the ATA standard was updated to allow speedier speeds of up 33MB/s as well as a 32-bit parallel interface that allowed termination control via software. This means that ATA drives weren’t as costly as they were in the past and also tripled the storage space.

It was in 1987 that Toshiba launched the world’s first 2.5″ laptop hard drive but it wasn’t until the year 1991 when they introduced the 5MB model for laptops.

In the beginning of the decade of the 1990s IBM launched the PS/2 series of computers, which came with what was dubbed “the baby AT” motherboard. The motherboard was constructed entirely of plastic and included a different IDE ports than the earlier one, and was smaller. After the AT motherboard was decommissioned at the end of 1998, it had been replaced to ATA ports. This required the correct connection of the other connectors.

IDE drives are being removed in favour SATA drives. SATA drives. These drive types offer significantly quicker data transmission speeds and higher longevity and memory capacity. However, on the other hand older IDE drives are distinctive in the way they look them. Your vintage PC isn’t going to be as good without one.

IDE in comparison to. SATA Comparison

The distinctions among IDE as well as SATA drives are sometimes often misunderstood. SATA technology isn’t just the latest upgrade to IDE drives. SATA is a shorthand in the acronym Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. SATA technology has changed significantly, and is continually being improved.

As per the Tekeurope the PC components manufacturer based in the UK, and specialist in spare parts the main distinction among SATA as well as IDE in that the former utilizes the serial data connection. However, the latter makes use of parallel data transfer. Serial transfers are quicker than paralleled ones as they are able to transfer more data in less time and with less errors.

How to Determine if a Hard Drive Is IDE

The first thing you’ll be able to observe about IDE drives is the fact that they’re smaller than modern SATA units. In the beginning, the dimension was 3.5 inches. This was about 9 centimeters. It was designed to be used in computer systems and other electronic devices like stereos. As storage demands increased and the need for storage space increased, there was a 2.5-inch model was introduced and was especially useful for laptop owners who wanted to make space.

Putting in an IDE Drive

For installation and setting up the IDE HDD, you simply connect it to the power source and then to your computer with the adapter for HDD-to-Molex. However, you should verify if additional drivers or software is required to operate correctly. Maxtor IDE drives, for instance requires the use of special driversthat are provided on the install disk.

It is also possible to modify your BIOS settings that permits these devices to function as primary storage devices. This means that prior to you start your PC, you’ll have to configure these devices in your BIOS. It’s possible to get the dreaded “Bootmgr is Not Working’ error notification if mixing them together.


While IDE disks are no longer in use however, enthusiasts and collectors are still looking for them. Even though they look weaker than contemporary SATA drives, they’re an essential component of an old-fashioned PC.


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