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how many hard drives can you have?

i have three physical hard drives for o/s + storage, along with my 1 cd-rom. can i buy ribbons that allow more than 2 hard drive's/cd rom's per ribbon (my motherboard only has 1 primary and 1 secondary slot)?


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PCI hard disk controller card

In reply to: how many hard drives can you have?

Only 2 drives per ribbon (master + slave). Add more IDE slots with a PCI hard disk controller card.

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Yep. . .

In reply to: PCI hard disk controller card

I saw a post here a while back from a guy that had 8 drives. Over a T-Byte of space.

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You'd be better off telling us about the problem than

In reply to: how many hard drives can you have?

asking the question about the max number of HDDs you can have in your system.

What is it you're trying to do and please provide specifics ? For example ...I have X hard drives
drive 0 is ?? GBs Drive C: is ?? GBs with ?? GBs free space. Drive D: is ?? GBs with ?? free space ...and so on. The other thing are you backing up your system ?


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What the?

In reply to: You'd be better off telling us about the problem than

dude.....the guys problem is that he wants to know how many hard drives he can have with his system knowing the specifics and how he plans to back-up his system is totally irrelevant...u noob.

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Dude...that's really an illuminating comment....but how

In reply to: What the?

does it answer the question asked by the poster ?


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lots more if you go external...

In reply to: how many hard drives can you have?

Well, if you really want a lot of space, you can add external drives. Some of the newer drives, like the Maxtor OneTouch series, now have in/out firewire ports. That means you can daisy-chain a string of external drivers together and have only one firewire connection to your computer.

I have done this with two 300 GB external drives.. and the system just adds a new drive letter for each one. In my case, the drives are E and F, but there is only one connection to my computer. If I want to expand, I can continue to daisy-chain additional drives to the chain. It makes for quite a flexible expansion system. I would guess you are limited to the number of drive letters left to assign.. but I doubt I will ever need that much myself! Happy

btw.. you can always reassign the drive letters if you want, and if you disconnect and later reconnect the external drives, they 'remember' what drive letters were assigned. So, you can make you external drives P, Q, R, etc. Makes is easy to recognize them as external drives.

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do you have the power

In reply to: how many hard drives can you have?


I have 4 hard drives 1 cdrw and 1 DVD writer installed. I have a few more full old hard drives lying around too that I switch in and out sometimes. I had the same question as you a while ago so I?ll share what I remember from my research.

1. My old case didn?t have room for more drives so I got a new one.

2. My power supply didn?t have enough plugs. I tried y connectors for a while until I eventually got a new power supply.

3. Is you power supply strong enough for all the drives you want to install? There is a page some where that will tell you how much power you need to safely run all the stuff we like to add to our computers. I think cnet has one if not I?m pretty sure any power supply web site will like Pc Power And Cooling Power Supplies: How Much Power Do You Need?

4. I read some where that the order you hook them up will affect your speed. For example you want your newer drives on your 1st or primary slot on your board, and do not put them on the same ribbon as your cd drives. I think one site said that master and slave position as far as speed don?t matter any more. You should check the information for yourself since it was maybe a year ago since I did.

5. As some one already said you can always throw in a controller card if you have the slot available on your mobo. I did that for a while too. I had problems because I wanted to boot from it and couldn?t figured out right. I can?t remember if I ever did.

6. My biggest suggestion that I would like to stress is please buy quality cables and ribbons. I have started fires (only 2x) using old ones I had lying around. I now have rounded ones that work great with plenty of fans to compensate for the increased heat from the extra drives. I also now monitor the temperature inside my case and of my drives.

Good luck. I hope I helped give you some things to think about in your planning. As far as your question, ?how many can you have?? ? I have no idea.

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Extra HD

In reply to: do you have the power

Thanks, that is really the soltion i need. Most complete reply. Thanks again

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There really is NO limit!

In reply to: how many hard drives can you have?

It essentially depends on just how you want to configure things.

Most cases limit you to 4 or 6, I have a large Antec "tall ATX" case that has 10 bays.

Each IDE controller can drive 2 drives (master/slave) and most motherboards and add on controller cards come with 2 IDE controllers for a total of 4 drives per motherboard or controller.

I believe that SCSI allows thirty drives per bus.

As someone has already pointed out external firewire/USB drives could likely have 20 or 30 more.

Then you can add start to add servers to your LAN (especially a gigabyte LAN) and each server can have 10 drives or so.

Finally you can configure a VPN over the Internet ...

Somehow I doubt if you really want THAT much storage!

Backing it all up gets to be an issue even with a single 300Gb drive, at some point you will spend all of your time doing backups.

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Limited to drive letter allocation

In reply to: There really is NO limit!

Isn?t there a limit imposed by the drive letter allocation? Drive letters A and B are allocated to Floppy drives and if you assume that a further letter is required for a CD/DVD drive that leaves 23 letters to allocate (C would normally be allocated to the operating system).

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Agreed ...but he's already got 3 HDDs, 1 CD and probably

In reply to: Limited to drive letter allocation

a floppy drive A: and it may or may not be tha case he could use drive letter B: for an HDD. Assuming he can't, that leaves 20 drive letters for more HDDs... and then there's the controller issue which needs slots of some sort...probably PCI (need 5 slots for the 20 drives) and then there's the power supply issue.

Ergo the reason I asked if the max number of drives was the real issue or something different like needing more disk space. Poster never responded.



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You can still have more

In reply to: Limited to drive letter allocation

If you were to go into scsi arrays then you could combine hundreds of hard drives together under a single letter thus solving that problem.

Also I'm sure that you could edit linux to allow far more than 26 drives but the only situation I can see this being used is with network drives.

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Probably true but really don't think he was asking that ...

In reply to: You can still have more

To be honest...don't think poster really asked the right question but since he's not been back to clarify, we'll never know what the real problem or question was. I'm thinking it was a diskspace issue...but who knows.


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You will need an IDE controller card, not some special cable

In reply to: how many hard drives can you have?

According to your posting, your motherboard has 2 IDE channels, which are both in use, holding the maximum number of supported devices. There is no such thing as a cable that would "allow more than 2 hard drives/ CD ROMs per ribbon", as you had asked for.

Some motherboards have 2 or more SATA channels in addition to the standard 2 IDE channels, which means that you may be able to add 2 or more hard disks by switching to SATA hard disks. Please note that many motherboards can only boot from an SATA hard disk when one or more SATA hard disks are installed, so only go that route if you have your Windows XP CD, and discs for all other software programs that you need to install.

If you need/want to install more IDE peripherals, either hard disks or CD-ROM drives, then you can always add a PCI controller card. Some of these cards offer RAID functionality or other special features. Promise Technologies is one of the most famous manufacturers of this type of product.

In any case, I am surprised that you need so many storage devices. Most PC cases can hold only 2 optical drives and 2 hard disks, so the 2 IDE channels offered on a standard motherboard are MORE than adequate. In fact, many PC's being sold today have motherboards that can support many more devices that what the case can possibly hold, such as 4 SATA channels, 2 IDE channels, and a standard floppy disk header.

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why cant anyone give a straight forward 'yes or 'no'?

In reply to: You will need an IDE controller card, not some special cable

why cant anyone give a straight forward 'yes or 'no'?

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I take it

In reply to: why cant anyone give a straight forward 'yes or 'no'?

you saw the date of this discussion. If not it is 2006, that's nearly 6 years ago.

Things have moved on since then for example, IDE drives have now largely been replaced by SATA drives or SSD, so the original question would seem to have been superseded by events.

Do you have a question about this? If so, start your own discussion as I am locking this one.


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