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Connecting 2 hard drives to my computer - How-To?

ernest fakudze
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2001
Posts: 216
Hi to all!
I have been trying to connect 2 hard drives to my machine but no success so far. At one point I nearly blew it up. Have been lookng on the net for information but so far not lucky. Do you know how to do this or do you know where I can read up on it? Not ready to buy a configuation book yet but any suggestion of a book to read would also be gretly appreciated. Thanks.


In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.<br />Eric Hoffer
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I guess we'd need to know a bit more about what sort of drives your are trying to add, and your system as it stands so far.
  • What sort of computer are you trying to add the extra drive to? Windows PC, Mac, Unix box etc.
  • What sort of drive(s) do you have so far? IDE, SCSI, USB, Firewire, Parallel etc.
  • What sort of drive(s) are you trying to add? IDE, SCSI, USB, Firewire, Parallel etc.
  • What other devices do you already have on the same drive controller? (CD, DVD, Zip etc.)


  • Things to be aware of:
    Make sure to switch everything off and unplug the power cable to the computer before plugging or unplugging disk drives and cables. Plugging things like this in and out of a live system is a great way to fry your motherboard and make the PC unusable.
    SCSI drives each have an "ID" usually set by tiny switches or links on the drive. All the SCSI devices on a controller must have different IDs.
    IDE Drives have three possible settings (Master, Slave and Cable Select), also set by tiny switches or links on the drive. Each IDE controller "channel" can run up to two drives. Cable select is very rare these days, so in almost all cases one drive should be set to Master, and one to Slave. If an existing IDE drive is a Master, then the new one should be set to Slave before plugging it in to the cable.
    A lot of IDE cables can be plugged in two different ways round at both the motherboard end and the drive end. It is vital that the cable is the right way round at both ends. usually the cable has a red stripe along one edge. This denotes "pin 1". You should find either a small number "1" or a little triangle symbol indicating which end of the connector is "pin 1" on both the motherboard and the drive.


    Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
    ernest fakudze
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 27, 2001
    Posts: 216
    Thanks for your help Frank.
    My computer is a PC with an IDE hard drive, a DVD drive and a floppy drive. I am trying to add an IDE drive.
    My question now is: Do I have to mess with the BIOS settings in order to make the second drive work? You talk about the first disk being MASTER and the next one being slave. I have only seen this in the bios before.
    [ July 02, 2002: Message edited by: ernest fakudze ]
    Frank Carver
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    The BIOS just reports how the drives are set.
    Either the main HD and the DVD are both set as "Master" drives on different controller channels, or one is a "Master" and one is a "Slave" on the same channel. Examining your BIOS settings should tell you this.
    To set the new drive to be a "Slave" or a "Master", you need to look at the drive casing or the paperwork which came with it. You will probably see a little table which shows where some tiny links should be positioned . If you can't find it, let us know which exact model of disk drive you are trying to fit and someone here might be able to give you more detailed information.
    RaFaElo^
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jul 01, 2002
    Posts: 4
    Yo man,
    i have allready tried to plug two hard disks in one PC. You just have to place the other hard disk on the place of the DVD. That's it. I'm sure it has to work.
    ernest fakudze
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 27, 2001
    Posts: 216
    Sure RaFaElo^ , but then what about my DVD drive?
    Frank Carver
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    Almost all modern PCs have two IDE channels, supporting up to two devices each, so they can handle up to 4 IDE devices in total. Two hard drives, a DVD player and a CD writer will fill it up, for example.
    To fit more than two devices you will need two drive cables, though. Each cable will handle a Master and Slave device for a single channel. To decide what you need to do, you first need to find out how the system is set up already. Common configurations for your two existing devices are:
    1. Both on channel 0, HD as Master, DVD as Slave.
    2. HD as Master on channel 0, DVD as Master on channel 1.
    ernest fakudze
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 27, 2001
    Posts: 216
    Thanks Frank, it is now clear to me that I need to get a book and read on this. It is obviously quite an involved task so I will do some research. if I succeed one day, then I will return here to tell you how stupid I was to think that this task is hard...lol. Thanks a great deal for your help and anybody else who responded to this thread.
    Regards,
    Ernie
    [ July 03, 2002: Message edited by: ernest fakudze ]
    Sameer Jamal
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 16, 2001
    Posts: 1870
    Originally posted by Frank Carver:
    Almost all modern PCs have two IDE channels, supporting up to two devices each, so they can handle up to 4 IDE devices in total. Two hard drives, a DVD player and a CD writer will fill it up, for example.
    To fit more than two devices you will need two drive cables, though. Each cable will handle a Master and Slave device for a single channel. To decide what you need to do, you first need to find out how the system is set up already. Common configurations for your two existing devices are:
    1. Both on channel 0, HD as Master, DVD as Slave.
    2. HD as Master on channel 0, DVD as Master on channel 1.

    While making a IDE as slave dont forget to change the jumper to slave setting
    Geoff Bell
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jul 05, 2002
    Posts: 3
    u need to take your pc apart and find your ide controllers. hopefully your hard drive is connected to primary ide controller and dvd to the secondary. i would remove hd and check that it is selected to be master (ma, m) with jumpers. your second hard drive will connect to the same ribbon so make sure it is selected to be slave (sl, s). attach ribbon, insert into bay and attach power.
    you need to use fdisk to set the drive. basically just keep saysing yes to what it tells you. reboot. format.
    ernest fakudze
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 27, 2001
    Posts: 216
    Aaahhhhhh, this is all too confusing!! I'm weeping already. Where do I find the jumpers, on the motherboard or the BIOS?
    Frank Carver
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    Neither. "jumpers" are the tiny plastic-coated metal links which connect little pins on the disk drive casing. On most modern drives they are located near the IDE and power connectors.
    Ruby Hawkins
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Nov 01, 2004
    Posts: 1
    Hi all- I have just got a new computer. windows XP. AMD DDR SKTA K7N2GM2-IL motherboard, cdrw/dvd combi drive, DiamondMax Plus 9 120GB 7200rpm HDD.
    Note:- don't really know what i'm talking about - just copying this info from case of computer. LOL

    Problem -I have a lot of family history information stored in EXCEL files, NOTEPAD files & OUTLOOK EXPRESS e-mails etc on my old computer. This old computer ran windows XP as well.

    1) If I try to fit my old HD (13GB) into my new computer as a slave is there a possibiliy I could wipe the information on it?
    2) I was told I could use a CROSSOVER cable to transfer the info.

    Any suggestions as to which would be the best way to go?

    I am a greenhorn - but willing to learn!!!

    Many Thanks
    Derek Hawthorne

    Jeroen Wenting
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 12, 2000
    Posts: 5093
    1) unless there's a serious powerspike just when turning it on again no
    2) yes, you can get special USB and serial (well, used to. They're probably history) to hook 2 PCs together without a true network.

    IMO it's far easier to just put the old harddisk into the new machine.

    All you need is most likely a screwdriver.
    This will of course remove components from your old PC rendering it useless (unless you put similar components back in).

    1) Remove the harddisk from the old computer, and remove the flat cable it was connected to. Memorise how it was connected
    2) Plug the flatcable into the new computer on the secondary IDE socket (there's only one spot it will fit, fit it similarly to the flatcable connected to the harddisk already there).
    3) Connect the old harddisk to the flatcable just as it was connected before
    4) find a spare power connector (smallish 4 pin connectors) and plug it into the old harddisk as well (again only 1 type of connector will fit and only in 1 way)

    Turn on the PC, the drive should be detected automatically by any modern BIOS.

    As the old drive was master in the old machine and on the second controller in the new machine as well no jumpers need be set.

    If you want to keep it in you can anywhere between step 1 and 4 screw the old harddisk into an empty bracket in the new computer.
    You can then also delete the windows, program files, and other directories where you don't have files stored you want to keep from this harddisk.


    42
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Connecting 2 hard drives to my computer - How-To?
     
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