Round IDE Cable Question

This may sound dumb but I was looking at round cable offerings and see that they generally support two devices. Does this mean I will have to daisy chain several until I have enough connections for all my components? I currently have two physical hard drives, one CDRW and one DVD/CDRW for a total of four devices. If what I'm thinking is true, I would have to buy four cables. The first cable connected to the MB and the first device, the second cable connected to the first cable's remaining connector and the second device, the third cable connected to the second cable's remaining connector and the third device and finally the forth cable connected to the third cable's remaining connector and the fourth device...leaving me with one available connection.

Can I get verification on this or are there round cable kits available supporting more than two devices?


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  1. You're right. That is a dumb question. :smile: IDE channels only support up to 2 devices, a master and a slave. If you have 2 IDE channels then you can only have 4 devices altogether. You can't daisy-chain them like SCSI.

    You've tried and failed. The lesson here is, never try again. -- Homer Simpson.
  2. Thanks. Now that you've said that, I smacked my forehead realizing that the CD/DVD drives and the hard drives are not attached in series (where is my brain tonight?). Since they all use IDE interface connections, I was focused on that alone. But now I wonder how people set up more than two hard drives on one PC (not that I'm thinking of doing that). Anyway, if others want to add their two cents on this, let me say it's my first time to build a PC and I'm learning as I go. I appreciate all feedback and I am reading the guides here and elsewhere.


  3. You can have 4 hard drives if you don't have any optical devices, etc, on one PATA (IDE) controller. If you want more than 4 drives, you need another controller.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  4. Yes as Crashman said you can get a controller, I bought a 160GB Hard drive at Sam's a while ago and it included a controller card.
    Just check that you have a free PCI slot for the card and that will let you connect up to 4 hard drives more.
    Also check that you have free connectors in your power supply.
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