most efficient way to connect hardware??

  birkdalite 18:37 25 Mar 04
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My motherboard has the usual ide sockets plus pci/ide card with two sockets.I wish to connect two hard drives +CDR + CDRW +DVD +ZIP drives, is there a "best" way to connect? Any advice most welcome Thank you.

  ade.h 19:56 25 Mar 04

The best advice i can give you is to avoid connecting CD or Zip drives to the same cable as an HDD, as their data throughput is only 33Mbps rather than the 100/133Mbps of HDDs. Each IDE channel is restricted by the slowest drive connected to it. Your HDDs will be happy on the same channel, but remember to set each jumper switch correctly; the drive on the end will be Master and the middle connector will be Slave. Check your HDDs manufacturer website for specifics. The CD drives will be happy together, but if you make direct disc-to-disc copies, you'll find it really slow; make an image of the source disc on your HDD first. Nero and similar programs will allow you to do this.
As for the Zip, that might as well sit on the PCI card, with your HDDs on IDE1 and CDs on IDE2.

  ade.h 20:04 25 Mar 04

With all that cabling in your case, I'd recommend some round, rather than flat, IDE cables from AC Ryan click here
Don't confuse these with serial ATA150 cables, which look similar; these are standard parallel ATA133 which is what you'll need. I use this shape of cable for four HDDs and three CDr/DVDr and Zip drives and it makes things much easier inside the case.

  ade.h 21:07 25 Mar 04

click here Just seen some cheaper equivalents on Ebuyer

  temp003 09:00 26 Mar 04

I assume your PCI IDE card can take 4 devices (including support for ATAPI devices) - so your setup can take 8 ide devices.

Assume your CDR means CDROM, and DVD means DVD ROM drives (not burners).

I also assume that the PCI IDE card is added just to add connections - i.e. no special consideration such as to add large disk support, or faster transfer speed for a faster hdd, which motherboard does not support.

Here are some considerations:

Modern IDE controllers can handle independent timing for 2 devices on same ide channel with different transfer mode. (So putting an ATA-100 hdd with ATA-66 hdd, or even a hdd with an optical drive, on same channel, is theoretically not a problem - but I still agree with ade.h that usually optical drives are still put on their own channel).

Each channel can only transfer data to and from one device at a time.

Best configuration (seldom possible) - one device on one channel (no slave device).

When a compromise has to be made, put devices on the same channel if they are seldom accessed both at the same time.

Safest configuration in your case is probably keep the 2 hdds on their own channels with no slave device. Put the CDRW burner with the Zip drive on one channel (most unlikely they need to be accessed at same time). The CDROM and DVDROM drives on another channel (again unlikley used simultaneously).

To keep booting order simple, you may also want to keep your boot devices on the onboard IDE channels.

So overall, hdd with OS on its own on onboard IDE primary channel.

CDRW as onboard ide secondary master, Zip drive as slave (or the 2 other optical drives on this channel - depending on which optical drive you want to use as boot device).

2nd hdd on its own on primary channel on PCI card.

2 remaining devices on last channel.

This will avoid having hdd with optical drive, avoid having CDRW with CDROM or DVDROM drive in case you want to copy on the fly, and will keep your boot devices are on the onboard channels.

  birkdalite 09:48 26 Mar 04

ade.h and tempo 003 thank you very much for your speedy and comprehensive replies.The usual kindness one has grown to expect from PCA helproom

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