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An SSD, or Solid State Drive, is a type of storage device that uses NAND-based flash memory to store data.

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Are there any good SATA I/II/III SSDs left new?

I am looking to upgrade my HP nc6000 to a machine that’s quite a bit newer and will have more video memory, as the nc6000 only has 32MB and I didn’t get the 64MB base board with mine. It works and I’m still going to keep it around, but I want something just a bit newer for some of the older games I want to run but can’t due to the limited VRAM situation.

That said, a lot of the old machines that are modern yet cheap if you’re willing to put some work in (think Core 2 ThinkPad and Latitude E series) to get it going again are going to be old enough to either be limited to SATA I/II or capped due to older option ROMs, as is the case with systems like the T61.

Since I am probably going to get a no HD machine that works at a discount since SATA drives are actually easy to get, I need an SSD with proper legacy SATA support. I know I can probably get a hard drive but a lot of the legacy models which are backwards compatible are NOS and will likely be hard to find given enough time. I would like to put a small 128/256GB SSD in to get around these stock problems.

One option I *know* will work is I can pull the Crucial M500 out of my T420, get another SSD for it (250 instead of 240) and clone it. I know this drive is old enough to have legacy SATA speed support, but it’s not a drop in solution since I need to take active steps to preserve the setup and data on the Crucial SSD. The T420 is SATA III compatible, so even if I get one of those legacy free/premium SATA II/III drives I shouldn’t have an issue.

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You need to review the given drives spec sheet to see what it supports. If it does not state SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) or SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) support it won’t work reliably.

Many SATA drives are now fixed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) as the market of older SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) or SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) fixed speed drives have disappeared off of the market (new). Today only unboxed and used drives is about all thats available.

Auto sense drives which support multiple SATA I/O speeds are about all that’s left as new. As an example Samsung 860 EVO note the Interface line lists all three SATA I/O speeds.

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@danj Sounds like I may be better off getting a new one for my modern Thinkpad that can handle SATA III and put the M500 in whatever I get to replace the nc6000.

It's sadly proving quite difficult to find a fully legacy compatible SSD :-(. Machines like the T61 (SATA II support/SATA I Option ROM) make it where having that is somewhat mandatory.


Well the T61 I bid on fell through and someone else got it. Oh well; that was one of the horrible models with the SATA I Option ROM. I'll probably look for an E6400 since I think those are 3Gb/s compatible.


@danj I am putting this one off to the side for a little bit until I can get a SENSIBLE price on a machine that's objectively dated and difficult to make work. I know it's anticlimactic, but I have more important projects to deal with then overpriced Core 2 Vista laptops that have questionable SATA support for the time being.


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This may help you.

Recently I upgraded an old DELL Inspiron 6000 to an SSD mSATA drive (Kingston 120G SSDNOW UV500) and it worked amazingly, for its age, with Windows 10. Of course I had to use an mSATA to IDE adapter but you might use an mSATA to 2.5” SATA adapter which are quite cheap and easily found.

Just an idea. Let us know how it goes?

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SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s).

That may pose an issue with the 61 series of ThinkPads alone - they "support" SATA II but run at SATA I speeds. Probably not an issue with the E6 series but for the ThinkPads from the XP/Vista era with that issue it's not a good choice. It may also be fine as the BIOS can cap those at 1.5Gb/s speeds but I won't know unless I end up getting one of those semi legacy friendly drives. The Middleton BIOS is also a thing and added actual SATA II 3Gb/s support, but it needs to be done before you put a II/III SSD in.

It probably isn't going to happen right away as I need to wait. However, I will test the notebook I pick in the meantime.


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