3 hds??

By i_need_answers ยท 6 replies
May 4, 2005
  1. hi,
    Im interested in installing 3 ide hard drives is this possible and how would i set the jumpers? ie. primary, master , slave??
    thanks bye
  2. luvr

    luvr TS Enthusiast Posts: 59

    Yes - Perfectly possible. In fact, that's exactly what I am doing right now.

    One IDE interface (i.e., cable) supports two devices - one must be the master, the other must be the slave. So, you'll need two IDE cables.

    The first harddisk should be the master on the first IDE interface, for the most trouble-free operation; for the same reason, the second harddisk should be its slave.

    The most natural thing to do, then, is to configure the third disk as the master on the second IDE interface; I have my DVD recorder as its slave.

    If your computer supports it, and if you have an appropriate cable, you can jumper both devices on the cable as "Cable Select." The device that is connected to the end of the cable will, then, magically become the master, and the device that sits on the middle connector will be the slave. (An "appropriate cable" would have 80 wires, instead of 40, and you can identify it by the colours of its connectors: one blue, one grey, and one black.)

    If you have an older cable (I think "IDE-33" is what they are called - note, however, that these won't provide the top-level performance that modern IDE interfaces support), or if you have an older computer that doesn't support "Cable Select," or even if you just prefer it that way, then you can jumper one device as the master, and the other one on the same cable as slave; in that case, it doesn't matter on which connector they sit (i.e., "master" and "slave" jumpers override the cable select positions).

    Do remember to either jumper both devices on one cable as "Cable Select," or configure one device as "master" and the other one as "slave." You may, however, use the "Cable Select" option on one cable, and the "Master vs. Slave" configuration on the other one, without problems.

    Personally, I'm using "Cable Select" on both of my IDE interfaces.
  3. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    make sure to set the 2nd one up as the slave on the 2nd ide connector
    keep your cd-rom as master on 2nd line
    I make it a practice not to use CS
    use master for the boot drive slave for 2nd
    use 2 --> 80 wire, 40 pin cable ribbons thats ribbon cable
  4. luvr

    luvr TS Enthusiast Posts: 59

    Really? I have it configured as the slave on the second interface (my third harddisk is the master), and it seems to work great.
    Any reason why this wouldn't be so good an idea?
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    You can have as many hard drives as you have controllers to talk to, space in your case to fit, and power connectors to connect to. If you have a lot of these kinds of devices, I do recommend a good power supply - certainly 400W or above if you have more than 4 devices (to get this, you need extra controllers on the motherboard, or a PCI IDE controller card.)

    Your standard motherboard has 2 IDE controllers, and you get get 4 devices on these (two on each controller.) Newer motherboards come with SATA controllers as well, so you could have PATA and SATA drives. But straight off you can have 3 hard drives if you use both controllers and use one two devices on each, allowing for an optical drive.

    My multimedia server has 5 hard drives. 3 are connected to a RAID card, and 2 are connected to the motherboard. I've had 3 connected to the motherboard before in other machines, no problem. Just make sure you have a PSU with adequate juice, and that there is space in the case. You might want to think about getting a big tower case if you don't have one already, as this will permit you to add many drives in future.
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I always slave the optical drives to HDDs as you say. I try not to make a HDD the slave of an optical drive. It would work, but I just don't do this. The best controller to drive the devices is the controller on the HDD, so have that as master.
  7. luvr

    luvr TS Enthusiast Posts: 59

    That's how I have always looked at this issue, too. Thanks for your reply!
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