SATA, Master and Slave.

By rapb ยท 11 replies
Jun 6, 2007
  1. Hi all,
    can some one tell me, how to make a SATA hard disk a Master disk or a Slave disk. what does it really mean?

  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    This is my understanding - hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong (edit: I will edit until I get it right - lol):

    In the IDE setup, the Jumpers on the hard drives are used to make the selection for Master one of 2 ways.

    Either via Cable Select (drive position must be on the end of an 80 wire 40 pin cable usually on IDE Primary Channel connector) or by Master select (drive position must be on the end of an 80 wire 40 pin cable usually on IDE Primary connector OR in the middle of a 40 wire 40 pin cable on either the Primary or Secondary connector).

    Usually, you create this on the Primary IDE connector.

    In Sata there's no such thing as master/slave. There's only one drive per channel.

    Windows sets the first partition of the first detected boot drive as C:, regardless of master or slave or SATA.


    I think I have this right - any help greatly appreciated because I have had a lot of trouble trying to get the differences and nuances clear.

  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    To be more precise, there's no such thing as master / slave in SATA. There's only one drive per channel.

    As far as I know, Windows sets the first partition of the boot drive as C:, regardless of master/slave/SATA/SCSI/whatever. It just depends on the BIOS boot disk priority which partition will be C:.
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    tx - I will integrate that info


    edit: if you have multiple Boot operating systems/drives (c, d, e) and 2 are on 1 disk and 1 on another, they would all show at startup asking which to boot to/from, RIGHT????

    And, is the first partition set as C: if it doesn't contain an OS???
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    The boot partition in Windows is the one that contains boot.ini, NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM. That's C: if you format the drive with Windows setup.

    I didn't really understand the multiple OS boot question. What shows up in boot menu depends on the boot manager used.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Also CCT and whoever else following this, you won't need to do any fancy jumper settings with your IDE just because you have a new SATA drive. Think of them (because they are) as 2 completely seperate things where what you do to one doesn't affect the other.

    Whether your system wants to boot from IDE or SATA is entirely dependent on how you have it set in your BIOS. I can put Windows on a drive as Primary Master IDE and have a running system, then I can connect a SATA drive, set my BIOS to boot from that before the IDE, and have Windows installed to that drive. If SATA is set to boot first in the BIOS it will boot off the installation on the SATA drive, if I change it to check out the IDE channels first it will boot off that Primary Master drive. In fact, thats how some people do it that don't want to be hassled with or don't know how to modify/edit their bootloader.
  7. rapb

    rapb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Dear all,
    tell me how to change a SATA disk that's recognized by BIOS as "Slave" in to a "Master". This is what the case in my machine, that it says no "Master disk is detected" and asks for "F1" to be pressed to resume, when booting.

  8. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Some motherboard Sata connections (I say some because I don't know if they all do) have associations as either Master (boot) or Slave (data).

    For instance, my mobo has Sata 1 & 2 channels as Master and 3 & 4 Slave.

    Thus, it is likely your Sata drive is hooked to the wrong port for Master.

    Read your manual, examine the connector diagram.

  9. mugotyou

    mugotyou TS Rookie

    I've been reading posts to get some idea how to proceed with my problem; and I hope you don't mind if I present another scenario. I recently bought a WD SATA 200G hdd, with a dual channel PCI host controller, to replace my IDE hdd as the primary OS drive. I wanted to keep the old IDE hdd for storage & backup. The problem is that I wanted to copy everything from the old hdd to the new one incl. the OS. I downloaded a freeware copy program that copied C: but I don't think that's enough as it says during boot attempt that the file(s) " WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM " is/are missing. Do I need a better imaging program to copy "all" that's needed for a seemless transition? And do I need to do anything else to ensure that it boots from the SATA hdd other than designate the SATA hdd as primary boot device in the BIOS????? Thanks to all the experts in advance!!
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Get the utility from Seagate that will clone the drive. You will have to clone it, simply copying is no good.
  11. mugotyou

    mugotyou TS Rookie

    just to say thanks

    Thanks for the Seagate tip but, it would'nt run on my system.....program said that there needed to be at least 1 seagate hdd I have 2 Western Dig. hdds. Sorry if I did'nt make that clear. I strongly suspected that I would have to get a cloning program but I did'nt know there were any comprehensive ones as freeware. I was considering buying Acronis's true Image program and there was a link thru the Seagate prog. that offered an upgrade to Acronis True Image ( The Seagate Utility is powered by Acronis ) for 40% off!!!! So I jumped on it! Since picking up Acronis I found out that West. Dig. has a program as well : West. Dig./ downloads/ Data Lifeguard Tools. I ran the West. Dig. utility ( as there was a problem with the Acronis download ) and the problem is solved!! I don't think the WD utility is anywhere near as comprehensive as the Acronis ( or Seagate ) Image program. So I'll be tweaking things with Acronis and will post back with the results. Hope this might help someone else as well. Thanks again for the sound advice.
  12. TomBrooklyn

    TomBrooklyn TS Rookie

    I have a Dell Dimension 4600 purchased 02/04 and I want to do the same thing as the OP, install a SATA drive and copy WinXP and some programs to it from the current C drive, a Seagate IDE. My computer always sees the SATA drives in the boot sequence before the IDE drives though so I'm having trouble. I can't seem to alter this in the BIOS and I flashed to the latest BIOS which is A012 (from late 2004.)

    I can boot with the Sata installed now seemingly because it is empty and unformatted. The computer doesn't see it.

    Acronis True Image sees it though, but it thinks it's an IDE drive.

    Now what should I do?
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