Still Have IDE Hard Drives? Time to Move to SATA

SATA drive and IDE drive

2.5" SATA and IDE hard drives

IDE and SATA are different types of interfaces for connecting storage devices like hard disk drives to a computer’s system bus.  Since 2007, most new computer systems have SATA connectors and do not have IDE connectors.

SATA hard disk drive 3.5"

3.5" SATA hard disk drive

IDE hard disk drive 3.5"

3.5" IDE hard disk drive

If your organization is currently still using IDE hard drives, you are behind in upgrading your systems.  Or perhaps you have a stack of old IDE drives that have been removed from your systems, but still need to be cleared of confidential data for compliance or general security/privacy reasons.

In either case, you need an IDE/SATA hard disk drive duplicator and sanitizer.  With this type of hard drive duplicator you can transfer the data on those IDE drives to SATA drives or sanitize either type of drive to ensure your information security.

Let’s take a look at these two interfaces:

IDE (which stands for Integrated Drive Electronics) drives are also known as PATA for Parallel ATA. The original name, IDE, reflects the integration of the controller with the hard drive itself.

IDE hard drive cables

IDE cables

An IDE hard drive is connected to the motherboard by a cable that looks like a big, gray ribbon with either 40 or 80 wires. Each ribbon connects to a pin on the hard drive, and either carries data or is used for grounding. Two hard drives can be connected to a motherboard by one cable.  IDE cables have a maximum allowable length of only 18 inches. Because of this limit, IDE hard drives normally appear as an internal computer storage interface.

SATA, short for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, offers faster data transfer rates than IDE. IDE has a transfer rate of up to 133 Mb/s.  First-generation SATA interfaces communicate at a rate of 1.5 Gbit/s.  The SATA 2.0 standard calls for a transfer rate of 3 Gbit/s and SATA 3.0 doubles this.

Sata Cable

SATA Cable

SATA connectors have just seven pins. SATA cables are slimmer and longer than the IDE ribbon cables—some are up to 39 inches—which makes them more useful in large computer cases.  The smaller cables also allow for increased airflow inside the case, reducing heat buildup and potentially increasing computer life.

With SATA technology you can hot swap drives while your computer is working, which is not possible with IDE.

Hard drives have an expected lifespan of approximately five years.  The lifespan of your system can depend on many factors, but, in general, a system can only be sustained for as long as its components are supported or can be replaced.

If your system, or systems, still use IDE drives, it is never too soon to consider how you will transfer that data to a SATA drive or simply decommission those drives. A disk duplicator and sanitizer will facilitate this process.

hard drive duplicator

The Aleratec 1:11 HDD Copy Cruiser IDE/SATA hard disk drive duplicator

Aleratec’s product line includes hard disk duplicators that will copy from an IDE or SATA hard disk drive to any combination of multiple IDE or SATA hard disk drives, an ideal tool for managers who system’s employ both IDE and SATA HDDs or who are transitioning from IDE to SATA.

Once you have transferred data from your IDE drives, you want to make sure they are properly sanitized.  Proper hard disk drive sanitization eliminates the risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands and is an essential part of compliance for a number of industries.  You will want to choose a sanitization method that meets relevant industry and government standards.

Secure Erase, an internal data erasure command that is faster and more secure than software “block overwrite” methods, is built into both IDE and SATA drives.  It uses fast, secure algorithms created by the drive manufacturer.  Secure Erase is a National Institute of Standards and Technology 800-88 approved method for clearing and purging hard disks.

If Secure Erase is not supported by your hard drive, there are three other globally recognized overwrite algorithms:

  • one-pass wipe
  • three-pass wipe with verify
  • powerful seven-pass wipe which follows the Department of Defense 5220-22.M sanitization recommendation

Several of the hard disk drive duplicators in Aleratec’s product line include a sanitization feature that can clean discs using your choice of these globally recognized overwrite algorithms so you can complete the transfer of data from, and sanitization of, your IDE drives with a single powerful tool.  These duplicators include:

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Posted in Duplicator, HDD Duplicator, IDE, SATA, Uncategorized

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