Western Digital stops sales of PATA drives

Posted 20 December 2013 19:42 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Western Digital will put an End of Life (EOL) and End of Sales (EOS) status on all products that still use the Parallel ATA interface. The HDD manufacturer announced to its customers that sales of PATA products will stop at the 29th of December this year.  The affected PATA drives are WD800AAJB, WD1600AAJB, WD2500AAJB, WD3200AAJB, WD4000AAJB and the WD5000AAJB.



PATA is nowadays pretty outdated and was previously also known as IDE, ATAPI or ATA.  The interface used 40 pins, flat cables and was mainly used to connect optical disk drives and HDDs.  Users who worked with PATA devices might also remember master/slave mode with jumpers

The interface has been made obsolete by Serial ATA (S-ATA) which provides higher data transfer speeds, hot swapping, and I/O queuing.

Administrator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
Posted on: 20 Dec 13 23:11
Its about time LOL.
0 Agree

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 21 Dec 13 02:13
I think customers stopped their sales of PATA drives years ago.
0 Agree

Posted on: 21 Dec 13 05:10
I had to buy a pata drive to fix my aunt's computer so I got a refurbished one.
I suspect refurbs will be around for a long time to come.
0 Agree

MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 21 Dec 13 10:18
A PATA to SATA converter could be useful if possible, loads of TV recorders still use PATA I suppose they will be scrap then? My wife's Topfield has a 500 Gig drive which is getting noisy. I hope I can replace that drive when it finally dies. that recorder is extremely good and would be a great shame to dump it.
I hope some refurbs will still be around by then. If I buy one now, knowing my luck, something else will blow up on it and I will have wasted my money!
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MyCE Resident
Posted on: 21 Dec 13 17:34
IIRC don't some of the early Playstation 2/3 & Xbox's use PATA drives?!?
I wonder if the sata to pata adapters are suitable for these applications as well?
As some point, there will probably be a non-backwards compatible jump in the sata interface as well.. something similar when we went from split cabling (early scsi & ide cabling) to 40/80 pin pata..
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MyCE Resident
Posted on: 22 Dec 13 20:32
As I'm now on my third desktop computer without an IDE port on the MoBo for running a PATA optical drive I will also say; "took 'em fu<%!n& long enough..."

As for the difference in 40-wire PATA vs 80-wire PATA that was a speed difference and the faster devices that required an 80wire cable would run at reduced speed on 40wire cables. both had 40 pins on the cable

The actual difference in the cable was only a separate ground for each wire...

Frankly the real issue here is with devices that require a 44-pin notebook drive as there isn't enough room for an adapter in a notebook.
anywhere you'd have a 3.5" drive it can easily be replaced with a 2.5" SATA device on an adapter. because you have the physical room
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Senior Moderator
Posted on: 22 Dec 13 22:20
I don't think we'll have too much of an issue with PATA drives no longer being directly sold by drive manufacturers.

It shouldn't be too hard to find drive replacements for legacy video equipment, right? As mentioned, refurbished drives will be around. And I don't think the Xbox or PS2 are seeing many people clamoring to replace or add a hard drive, respectively. Maybe people are going to want to update/upgrade/fix an old desktop, but as previously mentioned, shouldn't be too hard to bring in an adapter or even an add-in SATA card if they desire brand-new drives at a decent price.
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MyCE Rookie
Posted on: 25 Dec 13 10:40
I was glad that WD kept making them, but I guess at this point there's no shortage of 2nd hand drives out there.

I tend to mess around with old PCs, so I'm glad for having a couple of decently sized PATA drives. I have a 750GB Seagate which I think was the largest PATA ever made, but it's pretty well worn. I actually retired that drive just because I wanted to preserve it.. for what I don't know. My healthiest PATA is a 500GB WD which has only like a hundred hours on it - it was bought for an application that never got much use. Neither is in use right now.
I haven't been using them because I haven't needed that much space on a PATA machine recently. I don't know if the need will ever come up, but there are situations where I'd like to avoid adding adapters or interface cards, so I'm glad to have them available at least.

It's kind of odd how as time went by, the available PATA drives actually got smaller instead of bigger.

I've accumulated lots of PATA drives in the 20-160GB range, and those are the ones I use more frequently. A few aren't very healthy, but I mostly use them for screwing around. Most have different OS installs on them for different "projects" I've messed with on different machines. I've somewhat frivolously ended up with 5-6 different OS installs for a server board I'm messing with right now, just from trying to figure out which install I liked better and how their performance compared.

I'm a bit concerned about laptop drives, because I'd be hesitant to buy one second hand. But I have to admit I haven't actually used my laptop in a very, very long time.
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MyCE Resident
Posted on: 13 Jan 14 21:22
You can still Find Refirb drives at Newegg, Tiger Direct, directly from Seagate and WD(last I checked)

All this means is that they stopped making new ones some time ago and finally exhausted their remaining stock.

I long ago gave up fixing computers without SATA jacks on the MoBo because SATA drives (even through the flood) were cheaper than IDE/PATA drives.
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MyCE Rookie
Posted on: 27 Jan 14 11:40
I recently discovered how easy it has become to mod the Playstation 2, which uses IDE. So now I might have a good use for one of my larger IDE drives. But there's a big problem with that - the PS2 hard drive bay is just a plastic box with no real ventilation at all. It's like putting the drive into a self bake oven. The official Sony drive was a smallish 5400rpm drive, and I assume probably only a single platter.
That 750GB Seagate is 4 platters at 7200rpm. It's power ratings are higher than most drives, and it runs pretty hot, so I think it might be foolish to put it in that machine.

The 500GB Western Digital is a little better, but WD's connectors don't line up properly with the console.

Anyway, right now I'm just using a 120GB. It's enough space for now.
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MyCE Rookie
Posted on: 14 Feb 14 08:06
Just put my "old" nearly unused 500GB WD IDE drive into service. I needed a clean, flawless drive for video capture that wouldn't drop any frames. Something with no remapped or bad sectors, no fragmentation or any other activities on the disk at all.
Couldn't find a spare SATA drive that actually worked correctly, so I put in this old IDE. It's working perfect.

Can't say so much for the software, I never had so much trouble with audio sync on my old Pentium-2 setup years ago. I'm seriously thinking about dedicating an old PC for this, and at that point the IDE drive starts to make sense.
0 Agree

New Member
Posted on: 26 Feb 14 17:44
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-2 Agree

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