View Full Version : Adding a second drive - Advice?
06-21-2001, 10:35 AM
So I notice my little brother has an old hard drive in the garage sale pile.
Bunny Brain says, "Hey, he's got a hard drive there..." Small Geek Brain whispers seductively, "More storage, slave drive..." So I give the man my $2.50 and gaily skip home with a 1.2 gig hard drive.
Bunny Brain and Geek Brain get together and decide the next move should be to go online* and read as much as possible about setting up the Master/Slave situation. 'Kay. Jumpers, ribbons, mounting the drive. Got it. CMOS settings, primary master, primary slave...alright. Fdisk,partitions...uh-oh. This is starting to get scary. Personal accounts of systems completely trashed after installing the slave drive incorrectly. Yikes! Geek Brain cops out saying, "Don't ask me, I don't know anything about this stuff..." Bunny Brain dives for cover. From the dark, secret depths of the rabbit hole is heard the cryptic message, "Ask the Dopers..."
So here I stand before you, a big cottontailed moron with more hardware than sense. Anyone wanna help a bunny out?
What have your experiences with setting up a slave drive been like? Is it really this hard to set this other drive up as a slave? Is it really this dangerous? What would be the safest way to do it? Is there any software available (hopefully freeware) to guide me in setting the slave drive up?
Any and all advice gratefully appreciated.
*Note: searching the terms "Master/Slave" will certainly get you an education :eek:, but will not help much with your computer. I reccomend specifying "master/ slave DRIVE"
06-21-2001, 12:30 PM
Absolutely no problem at all. Just be sure to set the jumpers on the second drive to "slave." (How do you tell if it's on slave, if you have no manual? If it crashes when you start up, you've it wrong. :D)
Other than that, Windows should do most of the work for you.
06-21-2001, 12:58 PM
I could probably put together a pretty decent walk-through for you if I had the following info:
machine make & model
secondary drive make & model
current BIOS version or whether or not it has been flashed.
current FAT (file allocation table) version being used (FAT16 or FAT32).
From this information I can determine what the size limitations are on your present system, whether or not it comes with an available IDE controller (most systems do and can support multiple devices), whether or not the slave is a standard EIDE drive or an Ultra-DMA or ATA/66 drive, what the jumper settings should be, etc.
Most drive manufacturers (Maxtor, Western Digital, etc) have installation software available online for the purpose of partioning and formatting the drive, but DOS's FDISK and FORMAT utilities, while not as user friendly, will get the job done just as well.
06-21-2001, 06:13 PM
Not only do you have to set the new one to Slave, you have to set the old one to Master, cause that is NOT the setting its on right now.
Are these IDE drives? SCSI?
06-21-2001, 06:21 PM
Hang on there, handy. I know very little about hardware, but isn't a computers primary (and only) hard drive set to "master" right out of the box? If it wouldn't be, wouldn't the BIOS then settle on something else for a start-up disk, like the CD-Rom on the same power supply?
Anyone jump in and tell me if I'm talking out of my rear, please. But I do think a single hard drive is set to "master". Mine certainly was when I installed a second hard drive.
06-21-2001, 06:25 PM
Some older hard drives had a different setting for "Master with slave", and "single drive". Anything I've scene recently Just had the only setting for MAster with or without slave. A 1.2 Gig drive is old enough that it may be either way.
06-21-2001, 06:28 PM
I realize I didn't say that very well. If the 1.2 Gig is just going to be a slave then its age isn't important, The specs on the first drive are what matters.
06-21-2001, 07:05 PM
handy and wolfman are correct. Some drives do have a different setting for "Master" and "Single", and some require no jumpers at all for "Single", requiring you to add a jumper to make it "Master with Slave" configuration.
Given the make and model of both drives, it is easy to determine what the situation will be.
06-22-2001, 02:32 AM
Thank you all for the encouraging replies...
Kent4mmy, handy, Coldy, Una and the rest - Oops, sorry about that. I should know by now that the first rule of begging computer help is to detail my system. My excuse is...uh...my dog ate it? ;)
Gateway Essential 400c (I know, I'm sorry)
7 Gig Hard drive
128 MB Ram
BIOS Version 4R4CB0XA.15A.0017.P07
Pretty sure its flash, there's a chip in there with "Intel" and "Flash" printed on it. If I'm looking at the wrong doo-wackie let me know.
And I checked my settings and under 'Primary Master' the answer is none. Same for all other choices - primary slave, secondary master and secondary slave.
This one is IDE.
Connor 1.2 gig IDE drive Model #CFA1275A
I have changed the jumper from C/D to A/C which is what is listed on the drive itself as the setting for slave.
If I've left anything out, let me know.
As far as I can tell without shutting down and pulling my hard drive out, its not currently set to be a master. I will disassemble it tomorrow eve and find out for certain. When I do, I should move the jumpers to the proper position for master, right?
Side note - my IDE ribbon seems to be a little on the short side. Is it possible to buy longer ones or are they just this one standard size?
I probably wont be around til late tomorrow night (gotta work the garage sale), but I eagerly await your input.
Thanks so much,
06-22-2001, 03:14 AM
As to the length of ribbon, they do come in different lengths, though there is a max length and I have no idea what it is. Odds are you have one of the shorter ones, though, since the long ones are usually more than anyone needs.
And are you sure you have no devices under any of the IDE settings (primary master, primary slave, etc.)? It's possible that your current HD is hooked up via a PCI IDE controller, but that seems an odd way to go (though not totally unlikely, given the age of your computer and drive issues at the time).
Anyway, you should set the settings for that drive to master (if it's not already there, which it probably is), and the "new" one to slave.
06-22-2001, 10:32 AM
Bunny - you mention that your system came with a 7 gig drive, but you don't say who made it. Gateway uses Quantum, Maxtor, Western Digital, IBM, Seagate, and Fujitsu drives in their builds. Which do you have?
In regard to the slave drive...according to Seagate, who made the CFA1275A, the block should not be jumpered if set up as a slave (on a two-device IDE interface) in an ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) environment. See http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/ata/cfa1275a.html for details.
Also see http://www.gateway.com/support/product/drivers/bios/4R4CB0XA.shtml for the latest revision of your BIOS. You may benefit from flashing your chip with this latest revision.
Some HDD's can be configured as single, master or slave. As Handy pointed out, if your system's HDD is set to single, attempting to add a slave drive will prove to be futile until the primary is jumpered to master. That's why I need to know what make HDD is presently in your system.
Also, there should be (famous last words; should be) an empty bay available just under the primary drive so you short cable will reach.
If, after doing the install, you run into problems, it may be necessary to consider factors such as a CS (cable select)configuration, ultra DMA, or others.
Just keep in mind that boths drives need to be chained to the primary controller on the motherboard for it to work.
06-23-2001, 05:34 PM
Sorry I'm so late here, the garage sale took longer than we thought. Whew!
Anyway, I looked at my HD and its a Western Digital Caviar 28400 Enhanced IDE Hard Drive.
About the Slave Drive: So I should take the jumper off entirely? Its entirely possible that the sticker that listed the jumper settings was wrong, as it has the name of a lcal computer store printed on it, too. I'll try it and see what happens.
Also, a big fuzzy thank you for pointing me to the BIOS update. I am ashamed to say that for all the things I do to try to improve my performance, I never thought to update that. I will get on that soon as well.
And yes, there is room under the current HD for the slave, but the slave doesnt seem to want to mount there(not enough screw holes in the HD). I think I need some of the metal track dealies for it.
Hope I've covered it all. Thanks again. You've been so helpful and nice, too!
06-23-2001, 06:16 PM
hea bunny, I work for the cow gods in the sky at tech support. if you want you can e-mail me your system serial number and I can tell you exactly what you need to do to get it installed, or you can post it here if you dont care about it being out on the net
06-23-2001, 06:20 PM
as a side note, all gateway drives until within the last 6 months or so were all set to master by default. Only recently have we began to use cable select....
06-24-2001, 10:42 PM
Kinoons - I am having a problem with your email, the messages keep bouncing back to me.
Anyway, my serial is 0013305057. I really appreciate you offering to get me the 'straight dope' on my system,lol.
06-25-2001, 12:03 PM
It looks like kinoons has just what you're looking for so I'm gonna step aside. Good luck!
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