SATA vs. IDE hard drives

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014



My iMac  'About this Mac' shows that if has a Serial-ATA Device Tree. Can I use SATA external hard drives in  3.5" IDE/SATA to USB 2.0, eSATA external enclosures? 


IDE hard drives?





  • Reply 1 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,408moderator
    You can use whatever drives are supported by the enclosure. The Mac sees external drives as USB/Thunderbolt etc storage devices. Macs don't have eSATA ports so you'd have to get a Thunderbolt or USB 3 to eSATA adaptor.

    Don't buy IDE drives if you are buying new ones. I assume you just want to be able to use old drives so you'd get the enclosure for the drive model, install it and it will show up on the Mac.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member

    Thanks Marvin,

    I needed that reassurance before I get any new HDDs.  


    As far as old IDE drives, I bought a gadget that plugs directly into the drives without using an enclosure, so I can read them to tell if they are worth keeping.  If not, I take off the top and destroy the discs.

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