|"I wish to access the data on both HDDs without losing anything."|
There isn't any particular risk to the data on either hard drive, unless you install the operating system from scratch on your existing one, and you don't need to do that.
"Hewlett-packard / Rc664aa-aba a1642x"
If that's the subject computer....
Parts for your model (Pavilion Rc664aa):
PC Board - Motherboard - clicking on the camera icon at the beginning of the line shows a picture of the mboard:
If that's the same mboard as you have, you have 4 SATA data headers on the mboard !
If you have the same mboard, why did you buy a SATA card ?
You can use a SATA card if you like, but you don't need one - all you need is one SATA data cable, connected to one of the two other SATA data headers on the mboard.
If you use the SATA card,
- if you're NOT going to be booting an operating system from a SATA drive connected to the card, you must install the drivers for the SATA controller on the card in Windows on another drive. The drivers are on the CD that came with the card.
- if you ARE going to be booting an operating system from a SATA drive connected to the card, then you must change the Boot Order or similar settings in the mboard's bios Setup so that SCSI is listed BEFORE Hard drive, AND you must provide the drivers for the SATA controller on the card early while loading files from the operating system DVD (or CD) you're booting the computer with - that's a lot easier to do when you install Vista or Windows 7 than it is when you install XP or 2000.
If you use the SATA data header on the mboard
- if you already have SATA controller drivers installed for the SATA controller on the mboard in Windows on the drive you already have, you don't need to install them again if you only want one Windows installation on the computer. .
- you have the option of either running all the SATA drives in SATA mode, or in an IDE compatible mode which does not require SATA controller drivers, depending on which mode the SATA controller is set to in the bios Setup .
- if you want to be able to boot an operating system from the second SATA hard drive, and still have another drive with an operating system on it, you can do that at least two ways.
- install the operating system on the drive when the other hard drive is NOT connected, then set the bios to boot from the drive you want to boot from
or - install the operating system on the drive when the other hard drive IS connected, which will set up a dual boot configuration.
If you install an operating system on the second hard drive (or any blank hard drive), you must provide the drivers for the SATA controller on the mboard early while loading files from the operating system DVD (or CD) you're booting the computer with - that's a lot easier to do when you install Vista or Windows 7 than it is when you install XP or 2000.