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Two drives on one IDE

Last response: in Storage
September 18, 2004 11:40:46 PM

I have read the FAQ and i have seen the part about 2 drives on one IDE cable. Well, i bought a seagate 200gig drive this past summer, and the thing clicks like crazy, but after 3 months hasnt died or lost any data, so i think im gona keep it for thing i download online ;) . Anyway, i want to buy another 200gig but i dont really want raid. Is it possible i could put one optical and one hard drive on one IDE and another optical and one hard drive on the other? I would like to have windows run on one of them with all my apps and some storage, while using the other one just for storage. Would this be a possiblity? Also if i can, what kind of preformance downgrade are we talking?

If not is there anyway i could use two drives in the manner suggested above or do i just have to get raid?

Thanx in advanced, i apprecite any help at all. My harddrive will die soon, so i gotta do somthing.

More about : drives ide

September 18, 2004 11:48:29 PM

Never mix optical drives and HDDs together on the same IDE just run the HDDs on the primary IDE one as Master the Other as Slave and set the jumpers on the HDDs accordingly. Run your optical drives on the secondary IDE with preferably a rewriter as the master if you have a RW.
September 19, 2004 6:07:26 AM

RAID doesn't have anything to do with it, you can run 4 drives, 2 on each cable. It's been that way since around 1994 (and earlier on some systems).

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September 19, 2004 12:04:50 PM

Never mix optical drives and HDDs together on the same IDE


....WW (5.0)
September 19, 2004 12:59:52 PM

The way IDE works, speed on each controller(cable) is slowed down to the speed of the slowest device. Even a 16x dvd-rom drive is only UDMA-33 most of the time. Do you really want to slow down your hard drive to these speeds
September 19, 2004 1:18:17 PM

I was under the impression that this wasnt the case anymore. I thought you could use 2 different transfer rates on a single IDE cable nowadays.
September 19, 2004 2:17:53 PM

I've seen two drives recognize at different rates, but still have hard drives run slower when shared with an optical drive than just with other hard drives. Easy enough to testfor yourself though. I don't have any ide drives on my onboard ide controllers anymore, so would take me more work to retest it,a nd I'm too lazy for that. :)  would mess with my cabling anyways, which is all set correctly and cable tied in place.
September 19, 2004 4:21:14 PM

The IDE controller has to constantly switch from ATA33[Optical drives transfer rate] to the HDDs ATA66,100,133[whatever the ATA transfer rate for your HDD is], thus affecting the overall performance of the computer.

Its not that the computer can't switch back and forth, between the two transfer rates, it definitely can, its that the computers performance suffers severely, which will definitely show up in situations like gaming, the ideal setup with 2 HDDs on the primary IDE would be if they both transferred at the same ATA rate.

Never mix HDDs and Optical drives on the same IDE channel, unless you just don't care that you are seriously hurting your overall performnace. <A HREF=" " target="_new"> Heres a link to more information</A>

Note: I don't know how old your computer actually is and if you're running an older ATA33 HDD then it doesn't matter, but I doubt seriously anyone here today is running that old of a machine, if you are, its way past time to upgrade.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 4ryan6 on 09/19/04 01:00 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 19, 2004 8:58:18 PM

Ahh...thanks! Looks like I've got some re-cabling to do.

I've got the usual onboard IDE channels and an IDE controller card which will support 4 devices. I need to hook up 4 HDDs and 3 opticals...which way do you recommend I do it?

....WW (5.0)
September 19, 2004 9:42:58 PM

I've got the usual onboard IDE channels and an IDE controller card which will support 4 devices. I need to hook up 4 HDDs and 3 opticals...which way do you recommend I do it?

If the IDE controller card will support the 4 HDDs, put them all on the controller card and the opticals on the IDE channels, under those circumstances the optical drives are independent of the controller card.

Note: Something to consider; are all the HDDs the same transfer rate? you would want to group them as much as possible the same, some controller cards don't like mixing transfer rates, check your controller cards documentation about that.

If you list exactly what you have including your controller card[brand and its capabilities, # HDDs it supports and their ATA req.], HDDs you have,[ATA,RPM] and the optical drives you have and type, it would make helping or advising you more accurate?

You having a controller card changes things.
September 20, 2004 11:44:20 AM

Ok...All four of the drives are WD ATA100, 7200RPM drives. 3 @ 40Gb and one @ 80Gb.

Motherboard is an Asus P4PE. I've got the 80Gb hooked up to the onboard Promise PDC20376 controller using the extra Parallel ATA 133 IDE. This drive is partitioned three ways for page files, (2 operating systems) and temporary video read/write/storage. So I guess what I've got left to contend with is 3-ATA100 HDDs and the opticals:

The controller card is a Promise Ultra133 TX2. Of note may be this from the card's manual: "Devices of different standards can be connected to Ultra 133 TX2 without performance degradation, due to the independent programmable timing registers in the controller's design."

I'm unable to determine from the manual if the onboard IDE controller also has this feature but I suspect it does not because it recommends putting HDDs on the primary channel and opticals on the second channel.

Any other info you need from me may be slow in coming...I'm leaving town for a week to the hinterlands on the very edge of internet connectivity...

....WW (5.0)
September 20, 2004 12:53:07 PM

Sounds to me like you've already got your situation setup like you need it, from what you've listed.

Leave the 80g where it is.
All remaining HDDs on the Promise controller.
LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-451S > Master of IDE 1
LITE-ON LTR-52246S CD-RW > Master of IDE 2
JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S > Slave of IDE 2

Is that how its already setup?

Your M/B has the built in RAID connector that you're running the 80g as an extra IDE, your setup is just a little past normal and between that and the Promise controller supporting the other HDDs, the M/Bs Primary and Secondary IDE connectors are just input ports, you're not loosing any HDD performance at all, with your setup.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 4ryan6 on 09/20/04 08:59 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 26, 2004 1:25:19 PM

Back from no-mans land for a day...

No...I'm not set up that way. If I change it to what you suggest, would it make sense to put the OS drives, (C & D) on the primary channel of the controller as master and slave since I'll only be using one of these at a time? This should leave the other 40Gb drive alone on the secondary controller channel as master and free of IO conflicts with either OS drive.

....WW (5.0)
September 26, 2004 2:19:48 PM

Before you consider changing anything, list exactly how you are presently setup, including optical drives, their locations master/slave, boot drives and exact locations.
September 26, 2004 3:27:34 PM's what I've got set up now. I've included the drive letters and names so you can get an idea of what each partition is used for.

MB Primary; master-40Gb-System1(C:)  additional partitions-Common(H:)  Imaged(S:)  slave-LITE-ON LTR-52246S CD-RW
MB Secondary; master-40Gb-System2(D:)  additional partition-Backups(I:)  slave-LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-451S

Extra Parallel ATA 133 IDE; 80Gb-partitions Page1(F:)  Page2(G:)  Video(K:) 

PCI Primary; master-40Gb partitions Games(E:)  Music(J:)  slave-none
PCI Secondary; JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S slave-none

....WW (5.0)
September 26, 2004 9:43:43 PM

First option my original setup suggestions.

Leave the 80g where it is.
All remaining HDDs on the Promise controller.
LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-451S > Master of IDE 1
LITE-ON LTR-52246S CD-RW > Master of IDE 2
JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S > Slave of IDE 2

Second option would be.

MB Primary; master-40Gb-System1(C:)  additional partitions-Common(H:)  Imaged(S:) 
slave-40Gb-System2(D:)  additional partition-Backups(I:) 

MB Secondary; master-LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-451S slave-LITE-ON LTR-52246S CD-RW

Extra Parallel-master-JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S

PCI Primary; master-40Gb partitions Games(E:)  Music(J:) 
PCI Secondary; master- 80Gb-partitions Page1(F:)  Page2(G:)  Video(K:) 

Third and in my opinion the best option performance wise.

MB Primary; master=LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-451S
MB Secondary; master=LITE-ON LTR-52246S CD-RW
Extra Parallel; master= JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S

PCI Primary; master=40Gb-System1(C:)  additional partitions-Common(H:)  Imaged(S:) 
slave=80Gb-partitions Page1(F:)  Page2(G:)  Video(K:) 
PCI Secondary; master-40Gb-System2(D:)  additional partition-Backups(I:) 
slave=40Gb partitions Games(E:)  Music(J:) 

Those are my suggestions with the promise controller you'd have the best overall performance, with all the HDDs on it, you definitely have a loaded system there, and I guess you have some decisions to make as to which route you will take, if you will,? let me know what you do, and how much performance differences you discover.
September 27, 2004 4:24:44 AM

I'm thinking I'll eventually go to the first option when I have more time to re-cable. The onboard RAID/SATA controller which is the extra IDE channel does not support ATAPI devices so I'll leave the 80Gb there and move the other HDDs to the PCI controller.

As you say there are a ton of options, but most of my use is from the HDDs to the DVD/CD writers and vice versa...I make a lot of backups and data CDs for myself and clients. The second OS is for trial/demo software and just to make sure I have an OS to boot into.

I don't benchmark anything so I'm not sure if I can enlighten you on that aspect other than what I may observe which we all know can be somewhat subjective if not down right misleading..heh heh

Thanks for all your help and guidance!

....WW (5.0)
November 29, 2004 11:40:45 AM

Leave the 80g where it is.
All remaining HDDs on the Promise controller.
LITE-ON DVDRW LDW-451S > Master of IDE 1
LITE-ON LTR-52246S CD-RW > Master of IDE 2
JLMS DVD-ROM LTD-166S > Slave of IDE 2

Had some time this weekend and re-cabled my machine as suggested above. After trying all the diffeent boot options in BIOS I was unable to get the computer to boot.

Do I need to edit my boot.ini file?
Here's how it currently reads:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Pro" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Pro_2" /fastdetect
Or, would I need to install a seperate boot loader?

....WW (5.0)
December 2, 2004 3:51:43 PM

If you dont have enough onboard ide channels just buy a pci card such as a promise one which will then give you more than enough channels to attach all your hard drives and opticals, they arent expensive either, around $40 will get u a sweet one.
December 2, 2004 10:34:02 PM

Yea...I've got a sweet one...that ain't the problem, booting from it is.

....WW (5.0)