How best to connect multiple IDE drives?

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How best to connect multiple IDE drives?

Postby NiksaVel on Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:48 am

here's one completely linux non-related :)

can anyone tell me what is the best way to connect my multiple IDE drives...

I have:

1. Master - IDE HDD (boot)
1. Slave - DVD-ROM
2. Master - DVD-RW
2. Slave - CD-RW

I've heard from several people that it's useful for speed to have the source and destination drives (that would be the dvd-rom and the dvd-rw) on separate channels to improve speed... but this is not some legitimate info... so I'm asking here cuz I know you all guys love to help out :)


Also... is it important on which end of the wire is master or slave? Like the end or middle connector?
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Postby alan2273 on Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:58 am

Yes it is supposed to speed things up having them on separate channels.
The top connector on the cable is for the master drive and the middle one is for the slave drive.
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Postby telic on Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:31 pm

I've heard that it's not good to put a HD on the same IDE connector as a DVD/CD drive, because the HD data transfer rate may be throttled down to the top speed of its partner DVD/CD drive.

My tinkerin' PC currently has this...
Code: Select all
IDE1 Master = HDA (HD boots Bianca, PCLinuxOS, or Win98SE[FAT32])
IDE1 Slave  = HDB (HD boots Feisty or WinXP[NTFS])

IDE2 Master = DVD-RW (HDC)
IDE2 Slave  = DVD-R (HDD)

USB External = CD-RW (SCD0)


The GRUB on HDA has no knowledge of HDB, and vice versa. Whether my PC boots from HDA or HDB is something I do with the BIOS, though Feisty was smart enough to install itself for HDB, so both HDs can always be plugged in at once (and mount each other's partitions).

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Last edited by telic on Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby scorp123 on Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:39 pm

telic wrote:I've heard that it's not good to put a HD on the same IDE connector as a DVD/CD drive, because the HD data transfer rate will be throttled down to the top speed of its partner DVD/CD drive.
I second that ... and my IDE setup looks the same. HDA and HDB are harddisks, HDC and HDD are DVD writers ...
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Postby alan2273 on Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:29 pm

That is how mine is set up as well, but he had 3 internal CD/DVD drives so I was just giving him information based on his post.
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Postby NiksaVel on Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:33 pm

heh... I think it's connected as good as it can :)) but I plan to get a tertiary IDE controller because I currently have one HDD disconnected due to lack of controllers :) I'll put the third optical to the tertiary and have only hdd's on primary...

However.. I do seem to have a problem... correct me if I'm wrong... for some reason it takes me some 16 min to copy a dvd on the fly... I have a brand new LG 16x dvd-rom and lite-on dvd-rw capable of burning at 20x

now what appears to be the problem is the lg reader... it reads TOO DAMN SLOW! Tried using only the dvd-rw for copying... it seems to read a bit faster... and deffinitelly burns a LOT faster when burning from the hdd image... ???
Windows is extremely fast after a fresh install. If you want to make it stay that way: - don't use it.
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Postby telic on Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:37 am

now what appears to be the problem is the lg reader... it reads TOO DAMN SLOW!


According to your decription above, the LG DVD-ROM is sharing its data bus with the HD, which can be a busy bee in a multitasking OS with virtual memory. The LG may spend time just waiting to get its turn to speak on IDE1.

Meanwhile, your Lite-On DVD-RW shares its data bus only with the CD-RW drive that's doing nothing.

Switch the DVD drives around, to see if the Lite-On on IDE1 is still the faster of the two. Run the same tests with both DVD drives on IDE2.

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Last edited by telic on Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scorp123 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:45 am

Or you could kick out that CD-RW drive altogether ... I mean, you got two DVD writers anyway, right? :?
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Postby NiksaVel on Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:53 am

noo... one is a dvd reader only and one is a dvd writer... I burn a lot of stuff... and I usually waste a dvd writer in 2 or so years so I try to save it by burning cd's on the spare cd writer and use the dvd writer for only dvds...
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Postby NiksaVel on Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:54 am

According to your decription above, the LG DVD-ROM is sharing its data bus with the HD, which can be a busy bee in a multitasking OS with virtual memory. The LG may spend time just waiting to get its turn to speak on IDE1.

Meanwhile, your Lite-On DVD-RW shares its data bus only with the CD-RW drive that's doing nothing.

Switch the DVD drives around, to see if the Lite-On on IDE1 is still the faster of the two. Run the same tests with both DVD drives on IDE2.


okay will try :)
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Postby telic on Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:31 am

The top connector on the cable is for the master drive and the middle one is for the slave drive.


That's true only when you see a twist in the wires between the two cable connectors, or for 80-pin ribbons, and then (both) drives can be "cable selected". Otherwise (without the twist) both connectors on the ribbon cable have identical pin configurations, so each drive must be "jumpered" as either Master or Slave.

A jumper (shorting block) on each drive determines whether it's set for Master, Slave, or Cable Select. A drive that's jumpered to Master or Slave will ignore cable select, so it can plug into any connector on an IDE cable.

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Postby Husse on Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:58 am

This used to be a problem, but with the PATA controllers from ATA66 onwards there has been some change in the controllers so you get much better performance (sorry for not being particularly claear on the subject, but I haven't looked into this in detail for several years)
You would be hampered by a CD on the same cable but not too much...
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Postby Husse on Tue May 08, 2007 5:50 pm

Topic split
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