This page contains all pages related to the ATA specifications. To get started quickly, try one of the following pages:
- Describes the oldest hardware mode for accessing devices. Start here for all your driver needs.
- ATA Packet Interface - Add SCSI commands to the protocol. CD-ROM drives are usually ATAPI devices. You will need some ATA parts for setup.
- If you want to make disk accesses using the legacy BIOS.
The name IDE is often used interchangeably with ATA, but "IDE" actually refers to only the electrical specifications of the signals on the 40 / 80 pin disk cable. ATA is the proper name for the entire specification.
SATA and PATA
Recently a new standard for ATA data transmission has emerged. It was named SATA (see the article below), and the previous well-known forms of ATA were retroactively renamed PATA, "to reduce confusion" -- while certainly causing it.