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Learning about the particulars of IDE/EIDE disk drives

Posted 01-28-2006 at 08:43 PM by masinick

I have a Western Digital 40 GB disk drive in my 5-6 year old Dell Dimension 4100 desktop system. It has given me very good service life, and it is still functioning fine, but I figured while it is still working, it would be a good time to get another drive and install both drives on the system. I do not have a second IDE controller, and I did have a fairly full complement of devices: the 40 GB WD hard drive, a DVD/ROM, a CD/RW drive, a Zip Drive, and a floppy drive. IF I understand correctly, the floppy has its own controller, but the other devices use the IDE controller with Master/Slave, Primary/Secondary channels.

I removed the Zip drive and inserted a new 80 GB Western Digital drive, and I was hoping for that device to pick up the device name formerly used by the Zip drive. It did, but when I put the system back together, I discovered that the DVD/ROM, from which I install most software, was no longer functional.

I have the new disk drive set up using the "Cable Select" feature, and checking the Western Digital site, that seems to be the preferred setting. I am wondering, though, if I accidentally dislodged either power to the DVD/ROM, the IDE ribbon cable, or both.

Guess I will have to go back into the system and find out.

I'm pretty good when it comes to software, but even getting the case open is a challenge for me when it comes to hardware. Fortunately, there are not TOO MANY components to mess up, not too many choices, and fairly good documentation available.

I'm keeping my eyes out, though. While I am looking first for accidental wiring problems introduced when I last took the system apart, I have heard mixed stories about the success of using the "Cable Select" setting with IDE peripherals. Guess I will have to find out, now won't I?

Maybe some hardware geek will set me straight. I will check in the forums if I can't figure this out myself.
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