You didn't supply any make, model or details but if the IDE is disabled in the bios or has SATA ports, too often the second IDE is disabled. There are also some boards which only had ONE TRUE IDE port and the second was on some fastrack raid controller which is almost useless for most of us.
Details matter. Give some.
In a recently acquired, older PC anything I connect into the secondary IDE channel does not show. I have tried switching cables and devices and nothing has worked (the cables and devices work elsewhere). Is this an indicator there is something wrong with this motherboard? Any other diagnostic tools for this? Also, I can only get the primary ide channel to recognize my dvd drive when I have it connected as the master and the hdd as the secondary. It will not recognize the dvd drive if it is set as the slave. Is this the best way to leave this since I need the dvd drive and can't get anything to work on the secondary?