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Correct cabling/jumper settings for IDE drives

My motherboard bit the dust a few months ago due to bad caps. Thanks to generous forum members here and many Carey Holzman YouTube videos, I'm closer than ever to having a functioning desktop PC. But I cannot get past the BIOS and into Windows XP. This may be happening because I am still fuzzy on how to setup IDE drives.

Here is my current configuration:
One IDE-based DVD RW drive
One IDE-based CD-Rom drive
One floppy drive
One 250 GB IDE-based hard disk drive
An 80-wire ribbon cable ties the hard drive to the motherboard's primary IDE connector. I have the blue end of the cable plugged into the motherboard and the black end plugged into the hard drive. Both optical drives are using a 40-wire cable plugged into the motherboard's secondary IDE connector. My DVD drive is at the very end of that cable while the CD-Rom is in the middle. I'm using a third ribbon cable to connect my floppy drive to the motherboard's floppy disk drive connector. It has no middle plug like the others. Jumpers for both optical drives are set to slave, while the hard drive jumper is set to master. The floppy drive doesn't seem to have a jumper.

Do you see any problems with my setup? Are optical drives always set as slaves? If you only have one hard drive, should it be set as a master? Do hard drives always utilize the 80-wire ribbon cable? Do optical drives always use the 40-wire version? What about a motherboard's primary IDE connector versus secondary IDE connector?

I know modern computer systems don't tend to use IDE technology anymore, but any insight you might have would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

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All Answers

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It's been a long while since the ide day but...

In reply to: Correct cabling/jumper settings for IDE drives

"optical drives set to slave"? I don't ever recall any setting on optical drive. Until you get this thing going, why not disable the cd drive right now (you don't need it now).
Primary ide for the OS harddrive always.
You cannot get past the BIOS, what does that mean? Little more details.

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As I recall

In reply to: Correct cabling/jumper settings for IDE drives

with 80 conductor cables you set the drives to CS or "cable select". If you have more than one IDE port, however, I'd put the the optical drive on that. Early on, the slower device was said to affect performance on the port and an optical "ATAPI" could drag down a hard drive when connected using the same cable. I've never tested this. In any event, you can probably google the drive make and model to find the jumper settings if there is no silkscreen on the body of the drive. CS is what you'll want.

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BIOS screen text

In reply to: As I recall

Oldartq, sorry for being vague about my BIOS. I basically see two screens after I turn on my computer. The first includes the following text
Auto-Detecting Pri Master...IDE Hard Disk
Auto-Detecting Pri Slave...Not Detected
Auto-Detecting Sec Master...Not Detected
Auto-Detecting Sec Slave...ATAPI CDROM
I guess my hard drive and CD ROM drive are being detected while my DVD-RW drive and floppy drive are not. After a few seconds, a second screen of text comes up saying the Primary Master is 250.1 GB and the Secondary Slave is a CD-ROM. This text only stays up for a second or two before the screen goes completely black. The computer I am using has existing parts and parts from another tower. Could the mishmash of hardware be causing this?

Steven, thanks for the recommendation. After reading your message, I set all drives (except for the floppy) to cable select. I also took Oldartq's advice and disconnected my optical drives. The screens I described above didn't stay up long enough for me to see any changes, but Windows XP still did not load up.

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Mind you that this is not a sure thing.

In reply to: BIOS screen text

With the ATAPI CDROM on Sec Slave with no Master you will encounter times the XP CD won't load. For me that's an easy move the drive to Master on its channel.

I can't know if your XP CD is any good or if you are booting from the CD but do try the old tech trick of duplicating the XP CD to fresh media since you will see XP CDs that don't boot but the copy does.

Also, if the HDD has some bum boot information I often use DBAN to write all zeros so the XP CD can boot and we do over.

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the optical drives

In reply to: Correct cabling/jumper settings for IDE drives

set one to slave, the other to master. Using 40 wire cable it doesn't matter which plug they are on. If you find they interfere with one cable end in motherboard and the drives on the middle and other end, try a trick I used in past. Hook the middle plug on cable to motherboard, then use the 40 wire cable ends for the drives. That cuts out any cable caused cross interference when using both at the same time.

The hard drive can be CS on the 80 wire cable, but only if the motherboard supports it. Otherwise put hard drive on end of cable and blue plug on motherboard and have the hard drive set to master.

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The first thing I do is toss the 40 pin cable.

In reply to: Correct cabling/jumper settings for IDE drives

That way I can use CS across the board and I'm done.

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Problems solved and friends made!

In reply to: The first thing I do is toss the 40 pin cable.

I haven't posted here for around a month. So, I'm sorry for leaving you guys hanging. My desktop system is working now! I finally got Windows to load by booting from the XP installation CD. Apparently, the 250GB hard drive didn't have an operating system on it. WSUS Offline Update helped me upgrade XP to Service Pack 3.

Thanks to everyone who posted cabling/jumper setups for the drives. Just today, I hooked up my CD-ROM drive again. My system wouldn't detect the DVD drive anymore but did see its CD counterpart. As it turns out, the CD-ROM tray would not open anyway. My Floppy drive was similarly useless! No floppy would actually open when inserted. So, I completely unplugged the CD drive and removed the floppy drive. My system is fully functional again and ready to be used if I ever need it. (I would have taken the CD-ROM drive out, but I don't have a big enough cover to fit the bay.)

I just want to thank each and every one of you who responded to this topic as well as my previous one. This was a chance to learn more about PC hardware and you guys certainly took me to a good way! When I look at upgrading to Windows 10 this December, it may be time to completely revamp my system. Until then, I have a desktop computer again. Keep up the awesome work!

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