to Installing IDE/ATA devices
The vast majority of hard
drives sold today for PC computers are IDE or sometimes referred
to as ATA drives. That is why we are going to discuss IDE
Motherboard chipsets on today's motherboards support two
channels or two connectors. Yes, there is new
technology arriving on the scene that provides for four
channels, but that is outside the scope of this discussion.
So, the normal motherboard has two connectors, one for each
channel that data moves through to the motherboard. Each
of these channels supports two IDE hard drives, set one as
Master and the other as Slave. I need to mention at
this point that there exists other devices that will connect as
IDE devices, such as Internal Zip drives and Internal CD Rom
drives. These IDE devices are all configured the same as a
hard drive. So for now we will concentrate on IDE hard
drives. This is a diagram of a Master and Slave
configuration on an IDE channel:
and Slave drives
Both drives share one ribbon data cable back to the controller,
in this case the controller is part of the motherboard. In
order for the drives to reside together on a single ribbon cable
using one channel, either the Primary channel or Secondary
Channel, the drives must be configured, one as Master and the
other as Slave. This effects how they will be
displayed and used by the computer. The Primary Master
drive is always "C", except possibly if a SCSI
controller is involved, but that is outside of this discussion.
Then the Primary Slave drive is the "D" drive, as the
Secondary Master is the "E" drive and the Secondary
Slave is the "F" drive... or like this:
- C drive = Primary
- D drive = Primary
- E drive = Secondary
- F drive = Secondary
Configuring an IDE drive to be either
Master or Slave is done with the jumper pins on the drive, these
pins are nearly always between the Power connector and the IDE
ribbon cable connector. Each manufacturer has different
pin configurations for either Single drive in a computer, Master
or Slave. Most often Single drive and Master are the same
setting. You simply determine the jumper settings from the
hard drive manufacturer's web site, from the installation
manual or right on the drive label, such as this:
Then, using a pair of needle
nose pliers, you can move the jumper to the proper location,
remembering that nearly always the drive comes from the factory
set as a Master drive:
The drive is now ready to be installed into the computer case.
The drives are either 3.5" wide or 5.25" wide.
Inside the case are bays to hold both sizes of drives.
Simply slide the drive into the appropriate slot, then using the
screws accompanying the drive, fasten the drive into place.
Be careful not to over tighten these screws, as they will easily
strip out the threads in the drive and always use the
appropriate screws to mount the drive.
If you do not have any
available 3.5" bays available to mount the drive, there are
kits available to hold the drive in the 5.25" bays.
This is a picture of just one type available.
I should also mention some
computer cases, such as Enlight, have special hard drive
brackets inside the case that are not usable for floppy or zip
drives due to their location. I particularly like this
arrangement, as the drives are totally separate and allows for
better air movement around the drives.
Now that the drive is seated in the case and fastened, it is
time to attach the Ribbon Data cable. The ribbon cable
normally has three 40pin connectors, one for the controller and
two for hard drives, master and slave. Since all
motherboards since the advent of PCI 486 motherboards have
included onboard IDE controllers, we will consider that the
controller is on the motherboard.
The controller connectors on
the motherboard should be labeled as to the location of Pin#1.
If you cannot find the marking on the motherboard, refer to the
motherboard manual or visit the motherboard
manufacturer's web site for these locations. Once you
have determined pin#1 on the motherboard, attach the ribbon
cable with the stripe side adjacent to pin#1 on the controller
connector. The strip is usually red, but can also have
writing along the edge:
Now, we connect one of the
other connectors on the ribbon cable to the hard drive into the
40pin slot. We also need to be sure that the stripe side
of the cable is adjacent to pin#1 on the drive. If you are
unsure, refer to your hard drive manual again. Usually,
pin#1 is the side toward the power connector.
The only remaining cable to connect is the power cable inside
the case. Find a power connector that matches the drive's
connector and press it into place. It will only go into
the connector one direction, based on the design of the plug and
Identifying the Drive
We have the hard drive installed and it is time to determine if
we have done it right. Making sure we have at least
the monitor and keyboard connected to the computer, turn it on.
At the appropriate time, usually during the POST phase, (this is
the first phase of starting the computer and usually when the
memory test is displayed on the screen). Press the
appropriate key combination to open the CMOS settings in the
BIOS. Nearly all motherboards made in the last few years
now use [DELETE] key to open the CMOS.
In the CMOS, you will find a
setting to AUTO Detect IDE hard drives. Using this
utility, the BIOS should detect the hard drive. Now, all
is left is to exit the CMOS, saving the new settings and your
installation is complete.
If the CMOS does not detect
the new drive, you will need to turn off the computer, (this is
alright even if you are in the CMOS, as it will not save any
changes). You need to check that the ribbon cable is
properly installed, with Pin#1 connected to the stripe side of
the cable, you need to be sure the power connector is tightly in
place and you need to verify you have set the jumpers on the
drive for the appropriate Master/Slave configuration. All
of these issues must be addressed and verified. One more
thing you may try, if these all seem correct is to turn the IDE
Ribbon Data cable connector around on the drive.
Okay, the CMOS still does not
find the drive? When you turn on the computer, does
the hard drive spin up... do you hear it spinning?
If so, power is not an issue. Try replacing the IDE Ribbon
Data cable. Still no success? Then the final though
is you have a bad hard drive. This is extremely rare,
though I have seen it on a few occasions. Time to return
the drive for replacement.
But, for our discussion...
if you have done every step as listed, your system should now
have the hard drive installed. The next phase is to Boot
the computer with a boot disk and partition, then format the
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