Apr 032013


SATA is the most common bus interface on desktops and on many servers, so it’s important that you know some basic concepts about it, from the always informative Wikipedia:

Serial ATA (SATA) is a computer bus interface that connects host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. Serial ATA replaces the older AT Attachment standard (ATA; later referred to as Parallel ATA or PATA), offering several advantages over the older interface: reduced cable size and cost (seven conductors instead of 40), native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates, and more efficient transfer through an (optional) I/O queuing protocol.

Revision 1.0a was released on January 7, 2003. First-generation SATA interfaces, now known as SATA 1.5 Gbit/s, communicate at a rate of 1.5 Gbit/s, and do not support Native Command Queuing (NCQ).

Second generation SATA interfaces run with a native transfer rate of 3.0 Gbit/s, and taking 8b/10b encoding into account, the maximum uncoded transfer rate is 2.4 Gbit/s (300 MB/s). The theoretical burst throughput of SATA 3.0 Gbit/s is double that of SATA revision 1.0.

Serial ATA International Organization presented the draft specification of SATA 6 Gbit/s physical layer in July 2008 and ratified its physical layer specification on August 18, 2008. The full 3.0 standard was released on May 27, 2009. It runs with a native transfer rate of 6.0 Gbit/s, and taking 8b/10b encoding into account, the maximum uncoded transfer rate is 4.8 Gbit/s (600 MB/s).

In short they are usually referred as:

SATA revision 1.0 – 1.5 Gbit/s – 150 MB/s
SATA revision 2.0 – 3 Gbit/s – 300 MB/s
SATA revision 3.0 – 6 Gbit/s – 600 MB/s

So which revision are you using on your computer ?
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Dec 282012

I’ve just recovered 2x 500 GB sata disks from an old installation, so I opened up my new Desktop and connected them to my main Linux machine, these 2 disks have been used for around 3 years on the the other installation, so I prefer to use them in a mirrored configuration, or RAID 1, so everything that is wrote on a disk is copyed automatically also on the the other, and there is no loss of information if 1 of 2 disks broke up.

At the moment I use a Mint 14 XFCE edition, that is totally compatible with Ubuntu 12.10, and in my point of view for some aspects much better, so in this guide I’ll use commands that are compatible for Mint , Ubuntu and Debian, for other distributions you’ll have to search for your packages, but the configurations and commands will be the same.

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