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How do I know if I have a SATA compatible machine without opening the box? Or is the only way to open up the box and look at the connectors?

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What OS is the machine running? – Cian Jul 24 '09 at 8:21
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Check what PCI adapters are installed. The way how to do it depends on your operating system, e.g. Device Manager in windows or lspci output in linux. If your computer is a PC, you should check the BIOS messages during the boot process.

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More specifically: Check what storage controllers the device managers list. – pauska Jul 24 '09 at 9:11

Windows users: Get System Information For Windows (siw), it should display the important details of your computer. At worst, it should help you figure out what mainboard you have, and you can then probably download a manual for it from the manufacturer.

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use dmidecode. Versions are available both under windows and linux

@Cian touche` for asking the correct question.

or use the absolutely wonderful SystemRescueCd livecd

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where can i find dmidecode? – Makach Sep 16 '09 at 9:10
dmidecode --type 8 then look for something like this: Internal Reference Designator: SATA CONTROLLER 0 - SATA0 (P30) – Bozojoe Sep 17 '09 at 2:12

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