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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    I have this 11-year old PC and I am thinking about upgrading it by installing an SSD (SATA).
    The motherboard is a TYAN S1854 Trinity 400 Rev. 1.07. The BIOS is Award Modular v4.51PG. The operating system is Windows XP Professional SP3.

    Since this is an old PC, the motherboard does not have SATA ports, so I was thinking about installing a PCI host controller card (SATA).

    I fear that my old BIOS will not recognize the solid state drive, so I was wondering if this upgrade is even possible. Maybe the host controller card helps the BIOS in seeing the SSD?

    The BIOS I have is very old and TYAN has not posted any newer versions since the year 2000. Also, Award is no longer in business so I don’t know if a newer BIOS version exists.

    What do the experts think/suggest?

    PS: I am fully aware that from the practical point of view it is not worth spending money in upgrading an 11-year old PC. Nevertheless, I would like to do it as a personal challenge. I have already installed more memory, a faster microprocessor, and upgraded the graphics card too. Now I would like to tackle the hard drive issue, but I do not want to spend money in new parts only to find out that they won’t work at all because of the BIOS issue…

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    West Seneca, NY
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    Because of the comparability issue of using SATA why not check out e-Bay and find PATA hard drives. Most people are upgrading and I would think a lot may be available at decent prices.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    California & Arizona
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    My guess is that you are going to have a difficult, if not impossible time of it.
    A pre 2000 computer with the last bios update being 2000?
    I seriously doubt you will be able to get a SATA PCI up and running for a regular HDD, let alone an SSD drive.

    What is your controller? IDE, ATA??

    I think I found your bios??
    I see you here, but if you do it that way, and that's a big if, you will likely not get the
    benefits of an SSD. Speed.

    There are some instances, where a SATA card doesn't work in
    an old PC. But those problems seemed to be with 440BX
    vintage systems. Your machine might be new enough, for a PCI
    storage card to be recognized and work.

    The most expensive part of your upgrade is the SSD. If
    the project doesn't work out, the expense of the PCI card
    will be less than the SSD. You can use the SSD on
    a newer system, later. So not all of the hardware you
    buy, would be throwaway items.

    One other thing you might need, is a power adapter cable
    for the SSD. The PCI SATA card kit may include a SATA data
    cable, but your power supply may be missing a SATA power
    cable. You can use one of these, to convert a Molex power
    plug, to provide SATA power.
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Thanked 937 Times in 856 Posts
    It actually sounds as though the time and money spent to get this set up operational, if it is even possible and that is a BIG if, might be better spent on a newer PC. You would end up with a much faster PC with tons more storage and RAM, and an updated OS for not much more than you are thinking of spending on an "experiment" on a very old PC. You might want to reconsider.

    If you want to keep the "old dog" running, and play around with it, perhaps an "experiment" with Linux would be less expensive and might just work. (I would still spend the money on a new PC) Sorry to have gotten off topic.
    Have a Great Day! Ted

    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)

    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Burrton, KS, USA
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Clint, Ted and Norm are right on,

    This is like putting racing tires on a yugo. The machine does not have the power to spin them. It would possibly still drive fine but is a bit of a waste of resources.

    There is no reason not to replace the drive if you wish. Just not a need to do it with an SSD. IDE hard drives are readily available new or used.

    or if you want more space

    or even more space

    @Clint, I read your post but did not click your links. I now see we linked the same things.....

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