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Please help with setting up SATA and IDE drives.

Last response: in Storage
January 17, 2009 6:37:34 AM

I'm building my first system, and I'm having some confusion as to how to set up my drives. Right now, I have 3 SATA HDDs, and 1 IDE HDD, which is my main drive (I know - the guy that built this did it all backwards). I also have an IDE DVD drive, which I just bought recently for my old system. Of course, for the new system, I want my OS (Windows XP 32-bit) to be installed on 1 of the SATA drives, with the other drives as backup and storage. But here's where I'm stuck: I have only 1 IDE port on the new motherboard, and I'd like to connect both my IDE HDD and my IDE DVD drive using a round dual IDE cable. But I don't know how to set the jumpers so that Windows will see everything properly. How would I set the jumper for the operating system HDD? How would I set the jumpers for the other 2 SATA drives? And how would I set the jumpers for the IDE HDD and the IDE DVD drive?

Would it be easier if I just forgot about the IDE HDD, and instead connected just the DVD drive to the IDE port with a single round cable? Can I do that? Please advise, because right now I'm lost.

a c 82 G Storage
January 17, 2009 12:53:58 PM

You normally don't have to set jumpers on SATA drives.

You can jumper your IDE drives for cable select. The unit connected to the middle will be secondary and the other unit will be primary. Then make sure that the SATA disk on which the OS will be installed is your boot disk. I prefer having it connected to the first SATA port, but that doesn't really matter.

If you require more detailed info, then let us know what motherboard you have.
January 17, 2009 3:31:09 PM

So there won't be any problems with the operation of the optical drive being on the same cable as the hdd? I thought I read that the hdd would be rendered slower because Windows would use the slowest speed of the slowest device on the IDE cable. I guess that wouldn't be so bad, because it will jujst be stirage anyhow, unless it is as slow as a snail. The motherboard is an ASUS P5Q-E.
When you say the other unit will be primary, do you mean the unit on the end? Would I just leave the jumpers off the SATA drives then?
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a c 82 G Storage
January 17, 2009 6:19:20 PM

The unit on the end will be primary. The IDE hard disk might run slower, but that's what happens when using older technology.

What jumpers are you referring to on your SATA disks? I've been using SATA disks since they were released several years ago and I never had to install jumpers on them.
January 17, 2009 9:17:52 PM

Actually, I've never installed SATA drives before, so I wasn't sure. The system I currently have was pre-built for me. I just assumed that SATA drives have jumpers like IDE drives. I guess they don't then? Would it matter if the unit on the end is the hdd or the optical drive? Does it matter as long as the one on the end is set to master?
a c 82 G Storage
January 17, 2009 10:26:32 PM

When you jumper IDE units for cable select, then the end unit always is master and the other unit is slave. You can also jumper your hard disk as master and the DVD drive as slave. I prefer cable select simply because you can't end up with 2 master or slave devices on the same cable.
January 17, 2009 11:21:03 PM

I think I've got it now. Thanks very much for all your help.