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WHS HDD Jumper set up (dont know how to set them)

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March 16, 2010 7:36:34 PM

Hi ive buillt a WHS and ive got 4 wd 500gb drives from a previous nas (sata) i also have an 80gb ide wd drive and i dont know how the jumpers should be set up to use all 5 drives and wether its ok to mix ide with sata?

also is it ok just to plug all the drives in to the mobo and install WHS or should i plug them in one at a time after install on first drive (if so which one first?)

thank you soooooo much
a b B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2010 2:39:47 PM

First question is whether or not your motherboard has both IDE and SATA ports on it, and whether it is able to use both port types at the same time. Almost all newer mobos have both of these. A few older mobo's had some restricti0ons about overlap of IDE and SATA ports, but that is NOT normal now. However, some of the newest mobos have NO IDE ports. I am going to assume for the rest of this that your mobo has at least one IDE port and 4 or more SATA ports.

Yes, you can use both IDE and SATA devices in the same machine.

IDE ports always can support TWO devices sharing one port and ribbon data cable. This means that each device on the cable needs its own identifier, and the system is to use jumpers to establish each as either a Master or a Slave of this port. The way to set the jumpers is usually shown by a diagram on the drive itself; if necessary, go to the HDD maker's website for this info. ANY IDE port MUST have a Master device to be used at all. So you set the jumpers on the first device for it to Master (some differentiate between Master with No Slave, and Master with Slave Present) and plug that into the END connector on the wide data ribbon cable. With no second device, nothing else needs to be done. IF you have a second IDE device to connect to the same port / cable, set it to Slave and plug into the middle connector on the ribbon cable.

You probably will have an optical drive. If it is IDE, make it the Slave unit on that port. If it is SATA, connect to any SATA port. If you are using a SATA HDD to boot from, you might want to have that drive connected to the first SATA port just to keep things simple to remember.

SATA ports and cables only support one device per port, so there is NO setting of jumpers for Master or Slave. If your SATA drive has jumpers, do not change them unless you know what you are doing and why. They are for other purposes and have nothing to do with Master and Slave.

Within the BIOS Setup screens there are a few adjustments you should check and change if necessary. Ensure the IDE port is Enabled, and it should show you the HDD you have connected to it. Ensure the SATA ports are enabled. Then check their nearby port Mode settings. Choices usually are things like IDE (or PATA) Emulation, Native SATA, AHCI, or RAID. Your setting depends on what OS you are going to install.

All versions of Win XP and before do NOT know how to handle SATA drives until a driver is installed. However, if you are using Vista or Win 7, there is no problem. In those cases set the port mode to AHCI, the optimal choice, for all SATA ports and skip the rest of this paragraph. BUT if you are installing any version of Win XP you need to choose whether to configure as AHCI devices, which will require that you take an extra step during the Win XP Install process, or instead to use a BIOS option to avoid that step. Using a SATA drive as an AHCI device in Win XP can be done if you install the required driver early in the Install process by pushing the F6 key. BUT you need to have that driver ready on a floppy disk and mounted in a floppy drive connected to your system. Details in your mobo manual if needed. If you, like many, do not have a floppy drive to use, set the BIOS mode for this SATA port to IDE (or PATA) Emulation. This has the BIOS pretend that the real SATA drive is only a simpler IDE device, and Windows XP is happy to deal with that. It means you miss using a few advanced features of AHCI devices, but it makes the whole process simple. As I said, this is NOT an issue if you are using Vista or Win 7.

Last item to set is in the place where you specify the Boot Priority Sequence. Best option usually is the optical drive first, the HDD you plan to use as your boot drive second, and NO other options. When you set this way, your machine will boot from a bootable disk in the optical drive if there is one; if there is not, it will quickly drop down to booting from the HDD you set. If it cannot boot from either device, you will get an error message after the HDD fails. With all options set, Save and Exit BIOS Setup. The machine will try to boot as you have set, and may fail if you are not ready to install the OS from the optical drive. No problem.

For the initial installation of your OS, I recommend that you connect only the optical drive and the HDD you plan to use for the C: boot drive. (That could be a SATA or an IDE drive - your choice). Place the Win Install optical disk in the drive and turn on. It should boot from the Install disk and search for HDD resources. Since you are re-using old HDD's it MAY claim there are no places to install because the HDD you have connected is already completely devoted to previous Partition allocations. Assuming you do NOT want to keep any old data on that HDD unit, use the menus to Delete any and all Partitions on the unit so that it is completely free of previous uses. Then have the Install routine Create your new Primary Partition and set its size - probably all of the available space on the HDD unit. When it comes to Formatting options, choose the NTFS File System. Then I suggest the default Full Format choice for used drives. A Quick Format will do all the essentials in 10 to 15 minutes and that is fine for a new HDD. A Full Format will do that job and then set out to test every sector of the HDD, setting aside any it finds doubtful. This will take MANY hours, but it is a good precaution with used drives. After all this is done the Installation of Windows to this drive will proceed.

When the installation is complete, install all your device drivers, usually from a CD that came with your mobo. Update your windows install now that the network port and internet access are working. Then update the drivers you installed, too, from the mobo maker's website.

When that is all complete, shut down and hook up the HDD you want to have as the second HDD resource. Boot up and let the BIOS and Windows recognize the new device. If it is already Partitioned and Formatted in such a way that Windows can recognize it as just a regular drive you will see it in My Computer. But if it is not you will have to Partition and Format that drive in Windows Disk Management. In fact, if you are re-using an older drive and you know you do NOT want to save anything on it, I would recommend you use Disk Management to Delete all old Partitions, then Create a new Primary Partition on this HDD that is not bootable (it is being used only for data), sized as you choose (maybe the whole disk space) and Format it (remember my comments on Full Format above - plan on doing something else during the long waits). When done you reboot and the disk will be in My Computer with a letter name assigned.

Now, you still have only 2 HDD's out of 5 installed so far. Repeat the last procedure one HDD at a time to ensure each is set up and recognized before the next is added.

After the last HDD is installed, review the way the units' letter names are assigned. If you don't like that and want to change, that also is done in Disk Management. For example, you might decide that you want the SATA drives to be C: through F:, the IDE drive to be G:, and the optical drive to be H:. Make changes like this BEFORE installing other software because it will be creating shortcuts using the letter names in use at installation time, and changing them later causes trouble. In disk Management you can look at the LOWER RIGHT pane and RIGHT-click on any HDD and choose to Change the Name of a Partition (well, you cannot change the name C: for the boot drive). You can give it any name NOT in use currently. If you need to swap letters between two units, temporarily assign a late letter to one, rename the other, then rename to temporary one to its final name. Reboot to make these changes permanent in the Registry.
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