How to Wire a Hard Drive and Optical Drive into an IDE Cable

Older computers use the Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface for hard drives and optical drives. Motherboards with IDE connections usually only offer two IDE ports – you can only use up to two IDE cables on your computer at any one time. Most IDEs take two drives at the same time. When two drives are connected with an IDE cable, one is called a “master”, while the other is called a “slave”. Creating units this way takes some tweaking on the back of each unit. Instructions
1
Check the jumper settings on the back of your optical drive and hard drive. Jumpers are two short rows of pins with a small piece of plastic covering two pins. On the drive label is a diagram showing different jumper settings. Pull the jumper off the optical drive’s pins and place it over the pins to the “master” setting. Also remove the jumper on the hard drive for the “slave” setting.
two

Connect the first connector on the IDE cable to the optical drive. This first connecting device is the one on the end of the cable itself. Connect the hard drive to the next connector on the IDE cable. Plug the connector on the other end of the IDE cable into one of the 40-pin sockets on the motherboard. Make sure both drives are connected to a power cord connected to the power supply.
3

Turn on your computer and load it up. Before Windows loads, boot into the BIOS by pressing the setup key – usually “Esc” or a function key. Verify that both drives are recognized by the computer by finding them in the hardware list that BIOS shows. BIOS should show that optical drive is set to “slave”, and hard drive is set to “master”. If these settings are displayed incorrectly in the BIOS, go back and check your cabling.
4

Restart your computer and install any driver disks that came with any drive. Run driver installation and then boot into Windows and open “My Computer” to see the drive icons. If both units are there and open, it means everything worked out.

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