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Old 08-16-2001, 04:38 PM   #1
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Question does the choice of IDE channel matter for multiple harddrives?


I have two hard drives and a CD burner in my Linux box.
Obviously the first hard drive is the Primary Master.
The second contains some multimedia files mounted under /home/samba
But does it matter where I put the second drive and the CD?

i.e whats better:
HDD2 as Primary slave and CD as Secondary Master


CD as Primary Slave and HDD2 as Secondary Master

or even

HDD2 as Secondary Master and CD as Secondary Slave?

Also on a similar note: Does it matter where the master is on the physical cable, in the middle or at the end?

Old 08-16-2001, 06:13 PM   #2
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Most burners prefer to be the primary device. The general rule with IDE is that if you are going to be copying from one device to another then you want them on seperate cables as you'll get better through-put. So if you are going to be copying from on HDD to the other have them as say hda and hdd or if you are going to be copying a lot from the second hard disk to the burner set them as hdb (hdd) and hdc (CD-R[W]).

The physical location of the devices doesn't matter on the earlier cables (40-conductor), but with ATA-66 & ATA-100 (80-conductor) you'll want to have the connectors in the right place. The blue connector on the motherboard, the black connector (on the end) on the primary device, and the grey on the secondary (IIRC - someone correct me if I have my colours wrong - they're often labelled). Also take notice of the maximum transfer rate supported by the devices. If you put a ATA-66 drive on a cable with an old mode-3 device then you'll ATA-66 drive will be kick down to mode-3


Old 08-16-2001, 06:41 PM   #3
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The last time I upgraded to a larger hard drive on my computer, the instructions where emphatic, not to have a CD-Rom as the Master and a hard drive as the slave.

You could have both Hard Drives setup as hda, and hdb and the CD-Rom burner as a lone master on your second cable. (hdc)
Old 08-17-2001, 03:13 PM   #4
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Thanks very much!
I'll go then for hda and hdb for the harddrives and hdc for the burner.

BTW I've converted a faily old Abit BH6 mobo to be my Linux Samba server among other things, so the IDE controller on it isn't very fast, and I have plain conventional IDE cables.

On the other hand the harddrives are brand new ATA-100 drives. Is it worth getting special ATA-66 cables (I'm not quite sure, but I think UltraDMA66 should be supported by the controller) or even a separate ATA-100 controller?
(Keeping in mind, that I will access the files for the most times through a 100Mbit network anyway.)
If yes, is there a controller you'd recommend?
Finally, is it possible to boot from those controllers?

thx again,
Old 08-17-2001, 04:52 PM   #5
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If your controller currently supports ATA-66 and you are using ATA-100 drives then the 80-core cables will allow you to run your ATA-66 controller at its maximium speed. Have you played with hdparm?? If not then you might want to look at the man page - I've had some really good throughput improvement by tweaking my hdparm settings (in my case its hdparm -d 1 -m 16 -u 1 /dev/hdx but thats hdd dependent)

You can boot from ATA-100 controllers but you need a kernel that supports the chipset on the contoller and moving to another contoller can be hassle as you need to change the system to look for everything on different hard disks, so /dev/hda would become /dev/hde etc... so you need to edit /etc/fstab and a few other files. Search the forum for mention of ATA-100 controllers. I've talk someone through it in the last month or so.




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