how to install a new hard drive A few months ago I showed you how to install a second SATA drive. if your computer was purchased in the last 5 years or so. We also told you about sections. and formatting format format format disks and completely replace the old disk with a new one — but I skipped the topic of physically installing IDE hard drives, as I thought they were too old for learning.

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.

IDE cables

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.

how to install a new hard drive

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.

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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.

how to install hard drive

As you can see, some drives have useful diagrams just above the jumpers. Others will have a mark on the disc label instead of:

how to install hard drive

Figure out your existing IDE schema

You most likely have both a CD-ROM drive and a hard drive connected via an IDE. Write a short table to find out how it is currently configured, for example:


Perhaps your hard dive is configured as Channel 1 master from CD-ROM on a separate channel as Master or slave on the channel 1 .

Now figure out where your extra drive will go. A few things to consider though:

1. Try to store your CD-ROM either on a separate channel or as a slave.

2. Cable length will also affect your choice, as IDE cables are usually quite short. If the CD is far away from the hard drives, you will need one cable for the hard drives and another cable to connect to the CD.

Install jumpers and plug

Since I only have one IDE CD and one HDD to show you today (as well as only one physical IDE slot on my motherboard), I decided to make the HDD the Master and the CD-Drive the Slave.

For CD-ROM, the diagram shows that 2 is the setting slave . What does it mean? Well, looking at the back of the device, we have 3 pairs of pins. So, to make it a slave, I put a jumper on the center (second) pair.

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The hard drive is similar, but this time I chose » Master with Slave Present «. I then connect the cable, keeping in mind that the hard drive as the master should be connected to the center of the cable, with a CD-ROM slave added at the end.

install a new hard drive

Note. You don’t normally run devices out of a case like this, but to test them out it’s a lot easier than unscrewing them and poking around in a cluttered case.

Of course, the BIOS shows that the two devices are booted up and running.

how to install a new hard drive

Further Reading

Well, I hope this explained the whole idea of ​​an IDE a little more clearly. After you have downloaded it, don’t forget to format the drive format format (or learn what a file system is). If you want a more up-to-date and practical guide to adding a hard drive to your computer, then my guide to SATA drives is probably more relevant.

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