Typically, you will find that SATA drives are identified as SCSI connected drives in Linux. So anytime you wish to work with a SATA connected drive in your Debian system, you will be working with a /dev/sd* device. There is nothing going wrong for it to show up this way.
As far as "getting the system to operate with it on this basis", how do you mean? It should just work that way. If you are looking for a way to use or access it on the command line, you can view or create partitions on it this way:
You will have to have the .deb for cfdisk installed, of course. If it's not, just run this command to get it:
apt-get install cfdisk
You can use that utility at the command line to view and create paritions on the drive.
If you don't need to mess with the partitions, you can simply mount it. There are two methods you can use. You can do it manually using the following method from the command line:
mount /dev/sdax /mnt
Where "x" is the partition number you wish to mount (for example /dev/sda1 for the first partition), and "/mnt" is the mountpoint you wish it to be mounted to. You would then be able to access the contents of that partition under the mountpoint you specify. This is all dependant, of course, on the proper filesystem kernel modules being loaded.
Hope this helps...