SATA drivers for Dimension 4600?

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SATA drivers for Dimension 4600?

  • Where can I find the SATA drivers for my new Dimension 4600 running XP with the SATA connectors on the motherboard?

    Last night, I added a Maxtor 120GB SATA drive to my system, making it the boot drive, and keeping the original 60GB Ultra ATA Western Digital drive for storage. I enabled the SATA drive in the BIOS setup, and it works fine...

    However, I believe it's working in Ultra ATA mode (since it's backwards compatible) not SATA mode, because I don't see SATA listed anywhere in Device Manager or any of the Dell system utilities.

    Under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers in Device Manager are listed two Ultra ATA Storage Controllers, two Primary IDE Channels and one Secondary IDE Channel. Both Primary IDE Channels are using Ultra DMA Mode 5 transfer mode -- I believe SATA is Mode 6.

    The documentation for the Maxtor drive said to install the SATA drivers, which are available from the mfg-er of the motherboard, first before installing the drive. Some SATA BIOS message is also supposed to be displayed when the system boots up after the memory displays and before the XP screen. I searched the Dell site and CDs, but couldn't find them. I spoke with Dell Tech Support, and they didn't know what to do.

    Any help appreciated.

  • SATA Drivers,

    Thanks for using the Dell Community Forum.

    I would recommend going to and following the prompts for going to the 4600 section.  Once there, do a search on SATA and you can see several Knowledge Base articles and also downloads.  See if that helps at all.

  • Thanks Michael, but that may not work for me.

    My 4600 came with an Ultra ATA drive, not SATA, so it did not include the FASTRK floppy required for installing the SATA drivers.

    Also, is the Promise controller for the add-in card or for the motherboard SATA connectors?

    And finally, I don't have a floppy drive. If you could send me the appropriate drivers, will it work if I write them to CD or the USB memory key?

    Thanks again.

  • SATA,

    I'm sorry but if it is just the standard ATA, we're not going to have much information on it or the drivers.  You should be able to get those from Promise.  Also, there's no guarantee that it's going to perform at the level you desire.

  • Have similar problems with my newly purchased Maxtor 120GB SATA drive. 

    Sometimes I can get it to be recognized in the bios and other times it won't until I warm boot.  When it is recognized in the bios then Windows does not recognize it.  Needs a driver. 

    Tech support is not of much help at this point.  They sent me a file supposedly with drivers in it but it appears to be moreso an app for array management than the actual drivers.

    Any help and direction would be appreciated.  I hate to take this drive back and get old technology when my PC should support the new.



    Here are my specs:

    Service Tag G2C9W21
    Computer Model Dimension 4600
    BIOS Vendor Dell Computer Corporation
    BIOS Version A02
    BIOS Date 05-07-03
    Windows Version Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Manufacturer Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
    HL-DT-ST CD-RW GCE-8481B
    Disk Drives WDC WD600JB-00CRA1 55.89Gb
    IOMEGA ZIP 750 USB Device 
    Display Adapters RADEON 9800 PRO 256Mb
    IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
    Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
    Monitors Dell 2000FP(Analog) - Dell Computer Corp.
    Sound Devices Creative Audigy Audio Processor (WDM)
    USB Controllers Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2

  • Just a quick note to update and say I've got the drive working.  It's plugged into the motherboard, no drivers required.  Finally Windows saw it, probably the cold boot problem that everyone else has reported.

    Don't know if it's running at SATA speed but it appears to be faster.


  • My 4600 recognizes the Maxtor SATA drive in the BIOS, and XP also recognizes it, but as an Ultra ATA drive not a SATA drive.

    You can check in Device Manager -- select the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, Primary IDE Channel, Advanced Settings, and if the Current Transfer Mode is Ultra DMA Mode 5, then it's not SATA, which uses Mode 6.

    I've now spoken to 8 Dell Support reps with no luck. Still trying . . .

  • I downloaded a free copy of Sandra Sisoft and learned last night that it wasn't running at it's best level.

    The guy at Dell tech that helped me get it up and running tried to configure a new PC with an SATA driver and the config always came back with a PCI card to run the drive.

    Doesn't look like Dell has a driver for their mobo to run real SATA.

    Intel has one but it's password protected.  The only one I could download was for ICHER (this chip includes raid support) and the 4600 has a plain ICHE chip.


  • hdFatBoy,

    is this driver you refer to the Intel QFE Sata driver?  I too am searching for this.  I am well disappointed with the performance of my SATA drive.  As mentioned earlier in this thread, it shows up as running at UDMA Mode 5 on the Primary IDE Channel

  • if you have a serial drive connected to the computer, but device manage recognizes it as ata, believe me, it,s running serial.  i would not buy a computer without a floppy drive. it,s not used as much anymore, but just in case you need it, it,s there. my gig-ga7n400 pro board i have , i am running serial raid with 2 ata drives, got me a couple of serial ata galaxy adpaters. it would be impossible for me to get windows running without a floppy.
  • Do you know what chipset you have?  I have the same question about my system which has the 875p chipset.  The sub-chip (?) that handles the ide control is the 82801EB which has built-in support for SATA, but lists as Ultra ATA Storage Controller in device manager.  I spoke with Dell Tech unSupport and was told that "this is the proper listing" .  I must say I have been very disappointed in the tech support from Dell.... ( alllmost useless).  I am still trying to find out for certain if it is indeed SATA-150 or ultra ATA, just for my own peace of mind.  If anyone knows, please reply.  Thank you.
  • Tahv100,

    See the white paper published by Tom Pratt (Dell storage Technology Strategist), 'Serial ATA Interface on Client Systems.'  I don't have the link but rather a hardcopy in front of me.  It was published June/2003.  You should be able to do a search for it.

    I think you will find it answers your question about why Device Manger is reporting the SATA drive as PATA.  Specifically it states...

    "Because the industry has just begun its conversion to SATA, most initital hard drives are bridge solutions.  They are ATA hard drives with a SATA conversion chip'.

    I take that to mean we essentially have PATA drives with a SATA interface.







  • Thank you MLM2.
  • BTW  does 100 Mbytes = 1 Gigabyte?


  • "The individual channels can support Serial ATA transfers up to 1.5 Gb/s (150 MB/s),

    allowing headroom for ever-increasing Hard Disk Drive (HDD) media rates." - Intel White Paper

    Document Number: 252729-001