Does Windows support Serial ATA (SATA) drives?

A. SATA is a new hard drive standard that does away with the standard 40-pin IDE cable in favor of a new thin 7-pin cable. SATA uses only one cable per device to connect the drive to the controller, which eliminates the master drive and slave drive concept. The power connector is also different, although some SATA drives also provide an old-style power connector.

Out of the box, no current Windows version, including Windows Server 2003, supports SATA drives. However, just as you can add a SCSI controller to Windows, you just need to add the correct SATA driver that ships with the motherboard or SATA host adapter. After you've installed the driver, Windows will be able to see the SATA controller and any attached devices. For more information about SATA, visit the SATA Working Group Web site at

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