I recently gutted an older computer, In which I found alot of useful junk. One of which is a hard drive. I would like to add this to my current computer. However it is a pata cord device. My current hard drives (I have 2 already installed) are sata cords. I do however have my optical drives (2 of them.) hooked up with a single pata cable. I also have the extra cord that came with the hard drive. so after experimenting I found that I could re-attach the middle plug of one to the other. so my main question is: is it even possible to run 3 devices from 1 pata cable? I have plenty of open bays in which to put the drive in. I just don't know if the system will recognize it.
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No. PATA/IDE is dual channel (no more than two devices per cable, and on older PATA/IDE boards - two cable connections), so adding a third device will confuse the heck out of your OS.
A new SATA optical is about 20 - 25 dollars. That would free one PATA channel.
This one really puzzles me! We might assume that OP is talking about the DATA cable - that 2" wide ribbon of 80 wires (40 on old cables) with three connectors on it. BUT all the IDE data ribbon cables I've EVER seen have ONLY female 40-pin connectors. So, how did OP manage to connect a second cable to the middle of the first one?
Or, is OP really talking about the 4-pin Molex power supply connectors coming from the PSU? Any device like an IDE unit needs BOTH a power connection and a data connection.