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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Too many devices vs IDE

    Hi,
    I'm looking for some advice really. I currently have a CD-RW,DVD-ROM, CD-ROM,Floppy and HD. Is it possible to connect all of these to the motherboard?
    I can only find IDE cables with 3 connectors. I only have two IDE's on the motherboard. Currently their the old ribbon type, and I'd like to replace with the rounded cables.
    Also as a newby to the insides of the computer, I have cables for the power to all. However, they don't all have a complete set of cables.......presumable sound etc, to the motherboard............currently the CD-ROM is unusable, any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    I'm not the best with the insides of PCs... but I can get you started with some of your questions.

    Your floppy drive has a separate connection to the motherboard, from the other drives. So, you've got enough IDE connections on the board for the HD / CD-RW and DVD-ROM / CD-ROM drives. I'm not certain what combination you're going to want to attach these in, but the HD will be your Primary IDE - Master. You'll need two IDE cables for this.

    Hope this is a good start for you.
    Christopher Baldrey

  3. #3
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    Thanks for that.

    My HD and floppy are connected to the motherboard seperately.

    The other IDE connection is for the CD-RW,DVD-ROM and CD-ROM. However to connect all of these I'd need an IDE cable with 4 connectors. I cannot find any and suspect that they don't exist. I've rather have all the drives active than remove them.

    But thanks for the help, I shall keep looking!

  4. #4
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    You should have 3 motherboard connectors. 1 for the floppy and the other 2 for IDE.
    Each IDE connector on the motherboard should have a cable with a total of 3 connectors, one goes to the motherboard and the other goes to 2 drives.
    This enables you to connect 4 drives to the IDE connectors on your motherboard using two cables.

    StuartR

  5. #5
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    Hi,

    I shall pull the machine apart this weekend and have a good look.

    Can you also advise on flashing the motherboard bios? Is this advisable, or would you leave well alone? My motherboard details are here

  6. #6
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    My personal opinion is that motherboard BIOS should only be updated if there is a very good reason. The gains are often low compared to the risks.

    StuartR

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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    Okay, I shall ere on the side of caution. Thanks for your advice.

  8. #8
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    If I could extend slightly on what Stuart said...

    On most PCs you have two IDE channels, each of which can take a maximum of two IDE devices, one device jumpered as Master and the other jumpered as Slave. That's why your IDE ribbon cable has three connectors, one to connect to the motherboard and one for each of the two devices on that channel. (If it only has TWO connectors, then you need a different cable - and beware that the amount of cable between the connectors can vary, and you want one that has adequate inter-connector-spacing for your machine (surprise!)).

    You should jumper your HD to be the Master on one cable, as Stuart says. You may wish your "most used" CD/DVD device to be the Master on the other IDE channel, but this probably is not critical.

    On each IDE cable, check that you have just one device jumpered as Master and one jumpered as Slave. It doesn't matter in which order they appear on the cable, just that the jumpering is correct.

    Occasionally you can get things to work using a mechanism called "Cable Select", but that way is usually well worth avoiding unless you have major problems with the above.

    John
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    Thanks for this. I'm hoping to get the rounded IDE cables to free up space in my base unit.
    Presumably there will be enough connectors (power, sound?????(I know one is for the power.......)) within the casing.....................

  10. #10
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    FWIW, this article suggests that round cables can introduce signal interference resulting in increased error rates.
    John
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  11. #11
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    Re: Too many devices vs IDE

    Wow, how useful is that!!!! Cheers.
    I think I may now stick to the ribbon cables, makes sense now!

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