I'll share this little experience with you, even though my ad count today is back to its usual one cent :(
My son's old Shuttle had finally given up the ghost. Both units I had seemed to blow up at exactly the same age, and they can't be fixed for less than a new replacement. But the disk was good at 120 GB, and I could use it to back up my main machine with my thousand and one videos! Using dvd as a backup is horrible.
First thing, the drive was one of the first SATA drives with only only a sata power connector. I had used up my 2 sata powers on the Cooler case, and needed a converter. Luckily I found one in my Drawer of Shit. Then I slipped it in, made the connections, so confident to do up the case, and powered on.
All Hell broke loose! Damn. All sorts of bitchin' about format, bad disk, blah, blah. I had in recovery mode and did a 'dmesg', which is the power-on log. Whoops! The new disk had slipped between the other 2 disks in order, which meant my old sdb was now sdc. That really got the old gal confused! So, open the case, look at the motherboard, realize that their labelling was total crap, and mix up the connectors. Boot again, and it comes up with Windows! Ok, now I know where sata1 is. Mix the other two, and it comes up nice, all in the order I want. Decided to leave the case open while running. Did you know that you can get a nasty cut if you clip the main fan??? (ouch!)
Now I followed Linuxplanet instructions. It's easy to format in one partion, and then put in an ext3 filesystem. All worked, and I powered off this time for final assembly....