Karl`s PC Help Forums

What Would Indicate A Misconfigured ATA/IDE HD Or Its Data Cable?
JackInCT - 28-12-2016 at 18:59

What Would Indicate A Misconfigured ATA/IDE HD Or Its Data Cable?

This is a 'how quickly "they" forget' topic. It's been 8+ years since I had to deal with this.

While rooting out the correct nomenclature for the parts for my install additional HDs project, and that the next two HD installs involved ATA/IDE type HDs, I came across a website that "reminded" me/refreshed Ye Olde Grey Cells that ATA/IDE HDs have jumper 'thingies" that have to be set up re master/slave. Ditto re where the master/slave thingies on the 40 pin data cable are plugged in re their respective HDs.

I already have installed two IDE HDs, and didn't pay the slightest attention to the considerations I posted in the above paragraph. And they seem to work just fine (as in maybe I simply lucked out???), but in the digital world appearances can be deceiving.

Does anyone know what would be the indicators if I misconfigured the already installed IDE HDs jumper thingies/cable connections?


scholar - 29-12-2016 at 00:46

You say things seem to be working OK.

If this is so, even when you run programs from two different hard drives which are on the same channel simultaneously, I think you're good. If you have a master and a slave on the channel, the master's controller is making sure the slave only does its thing when the master is not needing to communicate at the same instant.

If you haven't been running programs from both hard drives on the channel, I think you don't know yet if you have a problem on that channel.

Usually an optical drive sharing a channel is set up to be a slave drive. I think a boot drive (containing an OS) is normally (maybe always?) on a master drive.

If I have made a mistake in something I've said in this post, I trust someone who knows the subject better will correct me.


JackInCT - 29-12-2016 at 01:51

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
You say things seem to be working OK.
...programs from two different hard drives which are on the same channel simultaneously....


I can "see" both HDs in Explorer. But of course the desktop is the one that I booted to. IF I go to Explorer, and as example, launch a pdf file into Foxit Reader, and leave it open, and then go to the other OS, and launch a separate/another PDF file, it will open as a separate tab in the Foxit Reader that is already open. I'm not at all clear what the significance of that is; but at the level of a complete guess, I would think that if I would ever want to have access to both OSs, my only option would be to create some kind of a virtual box for the 2nd OS. As a practical matter doing that, if it could be done to begin with, would serve no practical purpose. Accomplishing that would, perhaps, sharpen my computer skills, but it would also be something that I would totally forget how to do in a very short time period (and making notes about it would be futile, I. e., I have all kinds of tech notes lying around that I forget that I have, and when I do happen to remember, I have zero idea where I put them. So it goes in the fast lane!!


Katzy - 29-12-2016 at 10:17

I have no idea how my jumpers and stuff are set, now. I configure all that stuff in the BIOS. You can set boot priorities and that stuff, there.


JackInCT - 29-12-2016 at 12:14

Quote:
Originally posted by Katzy
I have no idea how my jumpers and stuff are set, now. I configure all that stuff in the BIOS. You can set boot priorities and that stuff, there.


When you have IDE HDs, you have to deal with this master/slave stuff. That's why you can ONLY have 2 connections on the data cable as one is the master and the other is the slave. Yes that appears in BIOS, but, and I could be wrong about this, what BIOS shows is the result of the placement of the jumper stuff, I. e., it's NOT something that BIOS does for you that you can change. Yes/No? This master/slave stuff is a major differentiation between IDE and SATA HDs, and for the most part why SATA replaced IDE HDs. SATA HDs do NOT have jumper settings.


JackInCT - 29-12-2016 at 17:38

Please consider this as an addendum type reply to my reply above this one.

This reply is nothing more than a trip down memory lane, and the golden days of yesterday--yeah right!!!!!

The embedded image file is one that I pulled down off the web; it's a visual example (and an almost perfect representation) of the sticker/label that I have on my 2 remaining ATA/IDE HDs re jumper cable settings for the drives.

Once upon a time, long long ago, in a land far, far away when IDEs were the only option, I suspect that those on this board who are of a certain age and were inclined to add HDs to their desktop PCs, of necessity, got to be very familiar with the ins and outs of whats on those stickers. Ditto re the sheer volume of contact with the HDs manufacturer tech support re "issues".

There were those of us who got to be quite familiar with the brain surgery like task of using needle nose pliers/tweezers to more the jumper's around, and to do so without bending the pins, as well as how to find a jumper when it fell on the floor, and it was then nowhere to be found. And of course brainstorming where to find a lost/replacement jumper.

Speaking for myself, I really miss all that aggravation??????


scholar - 29-12-2016 at 23:59

I remember doing that kind of thing.

As I was checking a few sites to refresh my memory before my earlier post, I learned that HDs made by different manufacturers sometimes did not work well together on the same cable.

Also, it is better to have devices well matched in speed to be on the same cable. I think that means the slower device will not only give slower results, it will hold back the faster device which has to let slower little brother have enough time to do what he needs to do.waveysmiley


Katzy - 30-12-2016 at 12:31

Quote:
Originally posted by JackInCTWhen you have IDE HDs, you have to deal with this master/slave stuff.


Er, no. Not with my BIOS, anyway. It shows all four SATA drives, the two IDE drives and the USB drives, too. I can set the boot order and all that stuff. I've ever set jumpers, with this mobo. I have no idea how they're set. When I DID do that stuff, I just set them to "cable select", which seemed easiest, at the time.

I doubt my BIOS is anything out of the ordinary. It's just some bog-standard American Megatrends thing.


LSemmens - 31-12-2016 at 00:09

It's older BIOSs that require manual settings, Katzy. IDE is a pain in the proverbial when you start to multiboot. I also had a drive caddy that would cause grief if I changed drives in said caddy and forgot to set jumpers first. The caddy did make it easier to multi boot, I kept all my data on an internal drive and only used the caddy for the OS of Choice. To change OS all I needed to do was shut down. Unplug said OS and plug the new one in.


Katzy - 31-12-2016 at 11:36

If I want to boot from a drive that's not the master, I can change the BIOS, or hold F11, to select the drive, for a temporary thing. My BIOS must be at least ten years old...


JackInCT - 31-12-2016 at 15:29

Quote:
Originally posted by Katzy
If I want to boot from a drive that's not the master, I can change the BIOS, or hold F11....


This thread was originally about IDE HDs; way back when, the jumper placement on them were something that you absolutely had to deal with. And it's possible, maybe even likely, as BIOS/mobo tech advanced the jumper location on the IDE became a moot point/irrelevant. The whole area of master/slave IDEs was originally spawned by the relatively small capacity of HDs way back then, and two HDs became the norm. I also suspect that the 'hands on work' of playing with the jumpers was so long ago that many, if not most, of us have really forgotten about the details of why/etc.,. The jumper sticker configuration label of various placements of the jumper that I mentioned on my IDE shows placements that I draw a complete blank as to when, if ever, I had to use a particular setup. Hardware tech advances have indeed eliminated much of the drudgery work of hardware setups; and couple that with the likely reality that many home users have never ever put any work into their desktop PC gear. Gamers/overclockers seem to be the major players among those home users who push the tech, and spend enough money to make it worth their while for OEMs to continue to innovate. I would go so far as to guess that we all owe a debt of thanks to gamers/overclockers as their tech winds up getting built into "default" run of the mill off the shelf PCs from OEM vendors that adds little if any extra cost to the PCs.


JackInCT - 31-12-2016 at 20:12

Katzy I wrote this up especially for you. If I had to give this reply a topic type title I would call it, "How NOT To Keep Abreast Of Advances In Tech".

So I have this ancient PATA/IDE optical disc drive (from the 90's); so today I ordered the parts to add 2 more IDE HDs which would entail adding an IDE PCI controller card; to make room to install it, I began the process by removing my PCI sound card. That's where I had plugged in the optical drive audio cable. So I dug out the MOBO owner manual to see where the onboard audio connector is; the only problem was that there was NO audio connector where the owner manual said there was suppose to be. So I did the usual brainstorming which was along the lines of--it's there somewhere but NOT where the owner manual says it is. I spent well over an hour (on my hands and knees) looking for it; the time involved, of necessity, included removing all the devices plugged into the PC so I could lay it on its side and look around. There's a lot of 'stuff' on the MOBO that I rarely look it, and it really slowed me down to look it over re what's what; but NO JOY.

So I reconnected everything and powered up; I was determined not to have to buy a new optical USB disc drive unless I absolutely had to. So I did the usual Google search bit, and started looking at the hits. One hit had this blurb from an end user saying that he never connected the audio cable--whoa Nellie!!!

He was right; I powered up the optical disc, put in an audio CD, and Voila--music to my ears.

This incident just goes to show just how easy it is to get whiffed by tech advances AKA being in rut re old "practices"; there was nothing in the 30 pg owner manual that spoke to this. So now I know.


LSemmens - 1-1-2017 at 09:03

The audio connector harks back to the very early days of CD drives when CPU power was so meagre that you could not use the CPU to process the audio without some risk of system stability. I'm going back to the early days of DOS here and the 80286 processor. Some people even needed to make an optical drive work with an 8086 CPU. That was when audio was very definitely an add on, and not part of the MOBO. That did not start until around the 80486 era IIRC.


Katzy - 1-1-2017 at 12:25

Yeah... My drives are four SATA and two IDE, along with an IDE DVD drive. Seems I can boot from any of them, even though I've never set any jumpers. Maybe I just got lucky and jumpers just happen to be set in the way that works. :)


LSemmens - 2-1-2017 at 00:14

Later versions of IDE were set to CS (Cable select) which meant that, depending upon where in the cable it was connected whether BIOS took it as master or slave. If you look at an IDE cable you'll see a couple of the wires transposed on one of the plugs. Again, this was a BIOS dependent feature, earlier BIOS required the jumpers set as Master Slave and, whilst later BIOS did not necessarily need it, I still used to set M/S on my machines.


JackInCT - 2-1-2017 at 01:09

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
Later versions of IDE were set to CS (Cable select)....


It's a very good thing that no one on this board has the time/energy to put up a quiz/exam, especially on the tech in this thread.

In the last few weeks as I have added additional HDs, and done a fairly large number of Google searches re the in's and out's, I have never come across a website re the hits that was put up as a tech exam. I'm sure there must be some around, but I've never come across one--ever. Possibly, simply due to my search words. But maybe in the attempt to make the Internet some sort of an egalitarian experience, actually testing what anyone "knows" & understands after reading a given website would be, horror of horrors, [fill in the blank].

There are likely web based free tech home study courses, but I can't imagine very many home users taking one.