Connecting a hdd to cr-rom ide cable - bad idea?

By Daveskater
Apr 7, 2007
  1. Connecting a hdd to cd-rom ide cable - bad idea?

    Hi, i've just got a new hard drive and i'm copying some of my stuff from the old drives over, but the way i'm doing it at the moment is by swapping the power cables and ide cable over when i need to get to each of my 2 old hard drives.

    What I want to know is, would connecting a hard drive to the same ide cable as my cd-rw drive work? then i wouldn't have to keep swapping cables over.

    I just thought that i'd check with everyone here before doing anything that could be really bad :D

  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    All IDE devices have little things called "Jumpers", little plastic things that cover 2pins on the board, with these you can set the IDE devices to either

    Cable Select

    to get 2 devices on the same IDE cable, you set one to Master and one to Slave, in effect on a normal PC (one with out SATA just IDE) you can have up to 4 IDE devices, as the PC has a primary IDE and a secondary IDE channel so 2 X 2 = 4 devices

    Jumper settings for Hard Drives and Cdrom\CDRW units are marked on the case or on the manufacturers website, and as as rule the IDE devices that contains the Operating System usually resides on Primary channel as the master and other drives go on the primary Slave and the secondary Master.slave channels.


    If you set the devices jumper settings wrong then the operating system may not boot, before doing anything with the IDE drive that contains the operating system make a note of how the jumpers are set and if anything goes askew then remove any other IDE devices and set the IDE hardrive with the operating system jumpers back to what they were.

    Other wise its a simple job that should take a few minutes.

  3. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    ok, thanks :D

    on my hard drives i have the jumpers on cable select but i'm not sure what it's on for the cd-rw.

    thanks again though, i just wanted to double check that i wouldn't kill anything by accident :grinthumb
  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    hi again

    i tried connecting the hard drive to the same ide cable as the cd-rw drive but when i started up the pc again it acted like it had no RAM in it. i turned it off again and unplugged the hard drive and it works ok now.

    id there a reason it wouldn't have worked? i checked the connections after i turned the pc off again and couldn't see any reason for it, unless it just doesn't like being connected to a cd drive.

    oh yeah, i set all the jumpers to cable select so there shouldn't be any problems there.
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    using cable select you may need to use the far end for master and the inner for slave
    I set all my devices master /slave and use above conection
    make the optical drive the master make the hdd the slave
    be aware older machines the 2nd cable is not a 80 wire 40 pin it could be a 40 wire 40 pin the drive may not like this the OS can sometimes act out not often ,but I've seen it
    so make sure your cable is 40 pin 80 wire
    if drive is not spinning up on power your drive could be bad and you have a bios stop error condition
  7. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    ok, how do you check if it's a 40 pin 80 wire? the ide cable has 3 connectors on it, one obviously for the motherboard

    i tihnk the drive was spinning up but i haven't tried it again since last time. in theory there shouldnt' be anything too wrong with the drive other than some minor windows errors because it still boots . i was going to change the bios so that it detected the extra drive and knew it was there, but obviously it didn't get that far.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    The old IDE cables and ones you don't want to run your hard drive on have 40 wires, they look big. The new ones the wires are real thin and there are a lot more of them. I doubt you have an old one unless you are reusing ones that you used 10 years ago.

    Old Style (no good for modern hds):

    What you should be using:

    Specify Master and Slave, that Cable Select stuff is no good, and always a source of second guessing when you have problems. Setting them to MA and SL eliminates any master slave conflicts.
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    ahhh ok, i see

    i'll check the cables tomorrow and see what they are. i changed the cable and the new one looked quite new but i couldn't guarantee how many wires it had because it came with the cd-rw drive.

    but like i said i'll take a look tomorrow because i'm getting tired and will probably end up breaking something if i do it now :D
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,457   +1,759

    The slave first,then the master.....

    Even with a cable select board, the HDD must be in the master position. (The furthest from the board). The drives are still recognized as slave and master by the BIOS. Did we check the boot order? If this was already discussed, I apologize, either this thread is a little fuzzy, or my reading comprehension skills have deteriorated.
  11. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i just realized that i forgot to post this the other day :D

    i checked the ide cable and all my spares and they're 40 wire. the only 80 wire one i have is on the 2 hard drives that i have connected at the moment.

    it's not really worth me buying a new 80 wire cable for the amount of time that i'd need it for so i'll leave the setup as it is for now.

    thanks for your help anyway though :grinthumb
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    the only thing with 40 wire is that it will run slower.
  13. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    oh ok, i just got the impression that it wouldn't work at all with 40 wire.

    should i try it again with the hdd set to master?
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