Hi – new user here with a hard drive problem.

I currently have a 20 GB Fujitsu hard drive (MPF3204AT) with an ATA-5 interface. All OK until…..

I recently bought a used 20 GB Seagate hard drive – with an Ultra ATA/66 interface and can’t get it to work. Other info about the Seagate drive:
PIO/DMA/UDMA MODE (max) __________________4/2/4
DMA SUPPORT ______________________________EISA Type B.

I have an MS-6340M motherboard with a Dual bus Master IDE Ultra DMA 33/66 /100.

Was I incorrect to assume that Ultra DMA is not the same as Ultra ATA?

I have two cd-rom drives as well. I have tried connecting the Seagate hard drive as a slave on the primary IDE (to the existing hard drive) and as the master on the secondary IDE slot, and also as a slave to one of the cd drives on the secondary IDE slot.

The drive was only recognized in the Bios control panel when installed as a slave to the cd drive on the secondary ide port. Even then, windows Xp said it could not install due to an error.

More importantly, there is a constant, pulsing noise coming from the Seagate hard drive – as if the spindle is trying to rotate, but is being stopped. If you are in the UK, it is very similar to the sound of the police box on the Doctor Who tv series whenever it begins or ends transportation! Sound is not a whirring as I would expect.

If you can help me, please do. Bottom line: do you think the Seagate hard drive will run on my PC?

P.S. I have tried using a new 80 way ribbon IDE cable, for connecting the Seagate hard drive, which is capable of supporting up to Ultra ATA 133.

Recommended Answers

All 3 Replies

Member Avatar

Ultra ATA and Ultra DMA are technically not interchangeable words.

Ultra ATA is a hardware standard and Ultra DMA is a protocol standard. So, if you have a motherboard with an Ultra ATA controller and a hard drive that complies to the Ultra DMA specification then they should work together. However, there are different specifications and harddrives should be backwards compatible with controllers. For instance if you have a ATA 66 controller and an UDMA 100 hard drive it will only run at 66Mb/s.

Make sense?

As for your set up, I would try the drive on another computer. If this doesn't work, then the drive's probabaly shot.

Also, you would need to 80 pin ribbon cable for ATA 66 and above.


thanks for the reply Andy - I'm beginning to think the drive is bust (bought on Ebay as a item from a liquidator/clearing company.) Info on ATA v. DMA was really helpful.

If anyone else has a suggestion, please, by all means let me know.


just to end this thread i started:

turns out the 20 GB seagate HD I got was knackered. Oh Well.

I got a 2nd hand 80 GB seagate one off Ebay, and I'm now happy as a bunny rabbit with a carrot :D

Thanks nicentral for your help.

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, learning, and sharing knowledge.