However, as some readers have pointed out, the process of adding an IDE drive is significantly more complicated than a SATA drive, so in the interest of completeness and for those of you with older PCs, here is a complete guide to adding a second IDE drive.
Background on IDE interfaces
The IDE was a significant limiting factor in older PCs. While modern machines often include a single IDE connection for backward compatibility, most machines of the IDE era were equipped with two IDE sockets—each connection was referred to as an IDE «channel». Up to 2 IDE devices can be added per channel, i.e. a maximum of 4 hard drives and/or CD-ROM drives.
Each channel has a master and a slave. The master device is connected in the middle of the cable, and the slave device is connected at the end of the cable. Each device must also be configured with a hardware switch (jumper) as to whether it should be master or slave. This is where almost all headaches and problems come in.
Let’s take a look at some standard IDE cables and connectors. There are 3 identical looking connectors — one at each end and one in the middle. However, one of the gaps between the end connectors and the middle connector is longer, the end that plugs into the motherboard.
At the end of the motherboard, the socket looks like this. On my fairly modern motherboard, the cable is actually color-coded so you know which end plugs are where — but chances are your old PC won’t, so you’ll need to figure out which end of the cable is the longest and connect it to board. There is a notch on one side of the connector to prevent misconnection, so make sure you line it up.
Drive and jumper settings
Whether it’s a CD-ROM drive or a hard drive, IDE drives are identical in terms of connectors.
The power cord you will plug in has four outlets and it will only be routed one way due to its shape so it shouldn’t be too rigid. Look at one of your other devices to find out which power cords are right for you. The IDE connector is also simple, just like the motherboard, it has a notch that you can align.
The tricky part is the jumper settings, which depend on your device. Basically what you are looking for is something that mentions CS or Cable Select as well as Master and Slave. There will be a diagram somewhere. The digrams indicate which contacts the jumper should connect. You should be able to remove the jumper with your fingernails, if not then use a pair of very small needle nose pliers and don’t bend them.