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How to connect slave drive when there's no 2nd connector on hdd cable?

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June 8, 2009 1:27:56 AM

My motherboard has 3 IDE channel/ports. One is for the floppy disk, the other for the CD drive and the 3rd one is for the hard drive. I plan on upgrading my hard disk, and I plan on cloning my old drive. For this I need to install the new drive as a slave drive. However on recent inspection I've noticed that the cable connecting my hard drive cable to the IDE port has no extra connector where the slave hard drive can be connected. However on the CD drive cable there is a spare connector.

Am i supposed to get a new cable with a spare connector for my hard drive cable, or can i place the slave hard drive on the spare connector for the CD cable. Really need advice, thanks.
a b G Storage
June 8, 2009 4:27:35 AM

Quote:
Am i supposed to get a new cable with a spare connector for my hard drive cable, or can i place the slave hard drive on the spare connector for the CD cable. Really need advice, thanks.

You can certainly swap the cables between the two. Just make sure the one given to your HDDs are 80wire type (still uses 40pin tho). You can tell by the very fine strands of cable on the ribbon whereas 40wire will have more coarse strands.

80wire IDE cables supports speeds of ATA66 and above which is what your HDD uses.
June 8, 2009 2:20:05 PM

HMMMM, never heard/saw a mobo with 3 ide channels,usually there are two connectors each supporting 2 devices,check and make certain that yours do SUPPORT 2 devices per...:) 
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a c 127 G Storage
June 8, 2009 2:31:46 PM

@dokk2: He said the third was for the floppy drive, so its not a PATA port and he has just 2 PATA ports as usual.

Just use proper cables and you can connect up to 4 PATA devices (2 per cable).
Use the 80-ribbon cables for your HDDs as wuzy stated, here is a comparison:

a c 342 G Storage
June 8, 2009 4:43:57 PM

Here's my recommendation on how to set up.

1. The port for the floppy drive is NOT an IDE or ATA port, so let it stay as it is and ignore it.

2. Both of the other two ports you cite are IDE or ATA ports, and your boot drive usually should be the Master on the first port. Look closely at the mobo labels. They will say "IDE 0" and IDE 1", or "IDE 1 and "IDE 2".The lower-numbered one is the first, no surprise. ANY IDE port can handle two devices, but to do that you need an 80-conductor cable with three connectors on it. In your case, you have one like that, and another that is missing the middle connector. An IDE port MUST have its two devices identified as either Master or Slave, set by jumpers on the device. Moreover, such a port MUST have a Master; if there is a second device, it MUST be set as a Slave. There is a small exception to that last statement. Another option is to set BOTH devices on the port to "CS" (Cable Select) and the cable will do the identifying for you - the one on the far end will always be Master.

3. When you put two devices on one cable, it is always better to connect the end to the Master device, and the middle connector to the Slave. In connecting both a hard drive and a CD-ROM or DVD drive on one cable / port, it is usually better to make the hard drive the Master. A few CD drives can't seem to function as Master in this system, although some can with no problem.

4. Since you have a HDD on one port with a cable that only allows one device, I suspect this is the first port, IDE 0. What you are heading for is two hard drives and one CD drive. In that system I would connect so one HDD as the boot drive on IDE 0 as the Master, and the other HDD as the Master on IDE 1. That way each HDD is on a separate controller and there is a small speed-up advantage when you are using both. Then the CD goes on either channel as its Slave. Just because you have the existing boot drive on one IDE channel with a cable that only accommodates one drive, I suspect that already is the Master on IDE 0. That would make the CD (which is connected to the END (I hope) connector on the second port using a 2-device cable) the current Master on IDE 1.

5. So, here's the final setup. IDE 0 gets the boot drive on it as its Master. You can continue to use the existing 1-device cable, as long as it is 80-conductor. IDE 1 gets the second drive as its Master; set its jumpers for this and plug in the END connector of the cable. The CD needs its jumpers re-set to become a Slave and it goes on the middle connector of IDE 1. You will need to ensure that the BIOS is set to automatically recognize all three devices (probably already done).

6. In BIOS Setup, ensure the boot sequence is right. In your case I would choose a sequence of three steps: 1st is the floppy drive, 2nd is the CD drive, last is the IDE 0 Master hard drive. A normal boot sequence will try the first two devices, find nothing useful in either, and fall through to the HDD. But if you put a bootable floppy in, or a bootable CD with no floppy, it will be found and used without ever getting to your HDD - useful when things go wrong and you're fixing things. Also useful when you're installing new software directly from a bootable CD.

7. Now for the cloning sequence. I am assuming you want to buy a new hard drive and clone to it absolutely everything from your existing drive, including the OS, and making it bootable. Then you'd like to make it your new boot drive, and have the original one become the second data-only drive. In the process, it would be nice if the new drive (probably much bigger than your old one) could be used as just one huge drive, and not as two or more separate Partitions that act like independent drives with their own names. This all can be done provided you have the right OS Service Pack installed (see #9 below). If this is the correct assumption, continue here. If not - if you simply want to add a second drive for data only and copy your data files to it - then skip down to #8 below. OK, proceeding with cloning everything, etc. Many hard drive makers will provide you with free software utilities for this because they know they sell big new drives for exactly this purpose. Seagate does - they have Disk Wizard - and WD does - theirs is Data Lifeguard. In each case read the descriptions on the website and download and install the version you want. Be aware these tools will make a clone TO only that company's drives - they don't care where the original data is, but they won't clone to a competitor's drive. If you buy a drive from someone who does not provide these tools, look for a free trial version of Acronis True Image. Basically, to use any new drive you need to do two prep steps - Partition the drive to establish what part (or all) of it is used for a drive volume, and then Format that so it can be used by Windows. If you want the new drive to take over as your boot drive, you also need to copy absolutely everything from old to new drive. These utilities make that whole process really easy. In setting up the Partition, you need to specify (may already be the default settings) a few things: (a) which is the Source Drive, and which is Destination - make SURE you get this right!; (b) how big the first (Primary) Partition should be - probably you want to use all of the new drive; (c) should this be a bootable drive - yes if you plan to boot from it. On the formatting thing, tell it to use the NTFS File System. A Quick Format will do its job in 5-10 minutes. A Full Format will do that, then test absolutely every piece of the drive to make sure it works properly, and this will take MANY HOURS, so plan to let it run overnight. After setting the options, run the software. Then, assuming your are now going to make the new drive your bootable C: drive, you have to shut down the machine and swap old and new ones. This may be as simple as changing the cable connectors so that the new one is the Master on IDE 0, and the old is Master on IDE 1. Remember that you already set each of these to be Master, anyway. If the cables don't quite reach you might have to remove and re-locate each drive. When you start up again you should have a much larger C: drive containing everything you had before, and a small D: drive that has all your old stuff on it, too. Once you have convinced yourself it is working perfectly you can clear off the old drive (now called D:)  and use it for data.

8. IF instead I made a wrong assumption and your plan is simply to use the new drive for data storage, then when you use the drive preparation software simply tell it you do NOT want to make it bootable. It will clone everything, probably including all your OS and Registry files, etc. You won't need those on the new drive, so after you are convinced the new setup is working perfectly you could delete those from the new drive because you are already using ONLY the stuff on the original C: drive, anyway. Of course, in this case there is no need to swap cables, etc. because the original setup with the new drive as Master on IDE 1 (Windows will call it D:)  is what you want.

9. There is a potential gotcha! you should check for before starting this. It is called "48-bit LBA Support", and it is needed to use hard drives over about 128 GB. It is needed in three places - the hard drive itself, the mobo's hard drive controller, and the OS. ANY hard drive made over 128 GB will have it. For your mobo controllers, check its manual and see. Just plain "LBA Support" may not be good enough - it must specify "48-bit" or "over 130 GB". If it does not have that, search the mobo maker's website for a BIOS upgrade that does provide that. You would have to download software and "burn" a new BIOS into the chips on your mobo, usually from a floppy disk you make from the download. But most current mobo BIOS's have this already, so yours may, too. For the OS, it depends on what you have. IF it is Windows 2000, this feature was added with a later Service Pack update, SP4 I think. IF it is Windows XP, the first release did NOT have 48-bit LBA Support, but it was added in SP1 and later. IF it is VISTA, no worries, it had this from the start. If you need to add this feature, BEFORE doing any disk installation, download and install the latest Service Pack to update your Windows.

10. Once you've got this all running, you MIGHT have a little detail to adjust. I presume your system now has your only hard drive as C:, and the CD drive as D:. Once you install a second hard drive, by default Windows will label the second one (the Master on IDE 1) as D:, and the Slave device on IDE 1 - your CD drive - will become E:. But you have some applications installed already that presume you CD is D: and will have trouble finding it in the new arrangement. If you want to, you can use Windows Disk Manager to change the letter names of your devices. In there you'd basically temporarily change hard drive D: to something like F:, then change the CD from E: back to D:, then rename F: to its final name, E:, them escape out and reboot.
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