I inherited an old 1U Dell Server. It has 2 hard drive bays. The 2 drives that came with the server have failed, so I'm trying to install a new drive.

The drives that were in the server originally were 250GB ATA/100 drives. I bought a 500GB PATA drive and tried to install it but it won't fit. In order to install the drive, I have to mount it to some rails and a face plate that has a little lever. When I push the drive into the bay, the power and cable connectors on the drive rest against the power and cable connectors that are hardwired on the motherboard. They aren't cables. They are physically attached to the board. When I close the lever, it seats the drives. There's no wiggle room. The drive has to fit exactly.

The PATA drive I just bought doesn't line up with the connectors. I compared it with one of the old drives and it looks like the PATA connector is a little wider and a little offset.

Do I have to track down an ATA/100 drive? I thought PATA drives were all the same as far as their connections went. Does the capacity of the drive matter?

Hardware newbie,


The onboard controller is probably for the ATA/100 drive type only. The new drive is probably ATA/133. However, I don't think that you've shot yourself in the foot. A few (E)IDE PCI controllers at a nominal price are available with an onboard bios which will (or should) support the drive. How the drive physically fits into the bay is another matter to consider.