Computer Help forum

General discussion


by Gordon / July 19, 2004 8:48 AM PDT

What is the difference between ATA and EIDE connections?
Are the two interchangeable?

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Re: Connectors
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2004 9:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Connectors

Absolutely. ATA is the "specification" and EIDE is an acronym about a Enhanced IDE or "Integrated Drive Electronics." As such, one thing is vaguely related to the other and creates some confusion until you realize that IDE is all you need to know about and that IDE cables come in TWO FLAVORS.

80 Conductor and 40 Conductor. Both are usable in 40 Pin IDE connections, but for best effect I just get all 80 conductor cables, set the drives to Cable Select and install.

More definitions at


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Re: Connectors
by Gordon / July 20, 2004 7:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Connectors

Bob, again thanks for your help. Maybe someday I will have a little more than a "penny's worth" of knowledge.

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Re: Connectors
by Yew / July 19, 2004 11:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Connectors

Basically what Bob was saying is that EIDE is a predecessor to ATA, but ATA is fully backwards compatible with EIDE and even IDE. For the most part, they are interchangable these days.

Serial ATA, or SATA, is a whole different beast however, so bear that in mind if buying a new hard drive. It's NOT backwards compatible with anything else, and it is currently slated to be the future replacement of EIDE/ATA. But make absolutely certain your system has SATA connectors before buying anything using that type. It's also handy if your power supply has SATA plugs, but most devices will come with converters.

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