adding a hard drive - easy (??)

I’m trying to add a 120 GB drive to my computer.

Currently have:
cable 1: master: DVD, slave 40 G drive
cable 2: master: CD-ROM, slave: empty

I am adding my new drive as a slave on cable 2 and I also am plugging in power for the drive.

When I the turn on the computer, it freezes. I do not even get my boot menu. I have both Win XP and Win 2000 partitions on my existing drive.

Sorry for lack of hardware specifics, but, am I doing something fundamentally wrong here ?


Nothing in your post indicates you’ve done something blatantly wrong, but you haven’t provided a lot of info here. The first thing to check is that your BIOS supports 120G devices. If not, sometimes the disk manufacturer includes a utility that provides a software solution to this limit. Also check to make sure you’ve properly configured the jumpers on the drive to act as a slave. Most ship configured as master. Either of those could possibly cause problems at boot.

I suggest you read the disk drive installation guide cover to cover. Also, the hardware specifics would go a long way in figuring what else to check.

not that i can see. on the back of the drive are jumper caps to set which ide spot the drive is on. try removing them. also your hardware info might shed some light on the matter.

I have checked and set the jumpers according to the instructions - sorry, I meant to include that in my original question.

I am posting from work and my machine is at home, so I can’t provide hardware specific info.

It sounds like the new drive is spinning, and it never really stops. It’s hard to describe, but it sort of sounds like trying to read an old 3.5 floppy that was never formatted. I was wondering why I don’t even get the boot table displayed, but I guess a BIOS problem would explain this ?

PS: the machine is less than 2 years old and included a fairly new motherboard at that time, so I didn’t expect a 120 GB drive to be a problem.

Any other ideas ?

What is the set up for your master HD?
Why do you have a 40G slave to a master DVD?

I recently added a second HD and it was a total no-brainer. My HD ribbon had two plugs one for the master and one for a slave (which was not in use at the time), same thing for the power. I just made sure that IDE was set to auto in the BIOS, then booted. I did all the enabling and formatting directly in winXP. If i had ANY problems i might be able to help, but jeez there were none so no need for any troubleshooting. Sorry. As i understand it, most systems (mine is about 2.5 years old) come prewired to accept a second HD as mine was.

Try in order -

1: Your jumpering is a bit odd with the CDs chosen as the master drives. Change your jumpering and set both hard drives as masters on the first (40 gig) and second channels (120 gig) respectively and the CDs set as slaves…

2: Go to your BIOS menu and under boot options see what the boot order is. It sounds like your system may be trying to boot off the 120 gig drive or a CD. Set the boot order 1: floppy then 2: master hard disk and move the CD and net boot option to last place.

3: Double check jumpering on all drives. Make sure both IDE channel one and channel CD and hard drives are using “Master/Slave” jumpering and no drives are jumpered for “cable select”.

4: Double check that both IDE cables are correctly aligned ( pin 1 aligns with red stripe on both the drive connector and motherboard connector and are firmly seated. When installing new drives it’s easy to jostle the connectors out of the socket even if they look well seated.

5: Don’t assume a 2 year old MB will handle 120 gig drives. Check the website for BIOS updates.

6: Try a different drive cable.

OK, first, it’s not good to have the prime as a CD-drive. I dunno if it’s true anymore, but older systems would max out at the slowest prime data transfer rate (In the sense that the slower CD-ROM would dictate the max transfer protocols the system would use). It’s best to keep the HDs as the Primes (or put both HDs on the same IDE channel, fastest ones first).

But if you want to keep it this way, check your slave/master jumpers. C/S (cable select) might work but you’d have to change the jumper on the DVD-ROM. BTW, you might need to change the jumper on the ROM device as sometimes the jumper states “Prime only”.

It shouldn’t freeze if the HD isn’t supported by the BIOS. At worst, it’ll detect the wrong size drive (use AUTO and check the listing when it boots).

My guess? Either you’re using an old 100 WATT power supply and it’s not booting with available power (happened to me once) or you’ve bumped something while installing the drive (videocard etc).

Hello homercles,

In my investigations, it seems like having the 40 G drive as a slave to the DVD is not very common. The machine came configured this way, so I can’t say why it’s like this. The jumpers for the DVD and CD-ROM are configured as master, the jumpers for the existing drive and new drive are configured as slave. Is there a problem with the existing configuration (all drives seem to be operational) ? Given the physical location of the ribbons, and the physical location of the drives, it may have just been easier to attach these drives to the ribbons in this manner.

If the current set-up is not optimal, what is the process for changing it ? Can I simply change the settings for the hard drive from a slave to master, change the settings for the CD-ROM from a master to a slave, and then physically plug in the CD-ROM as a salve to the DVD on one ribbon, and the existing drive as a master on the other ? Can I simply make this hardware switch, or would I also have to change other (BIOS ?) settings ?

As a second thought, an even better setup scenario to minimize possible system drive handling conflicts would be to have the hard drives and CD/DVD on separate channels.

Channel 1:

Primary: 40 did boot drive master -
Secondary: 120 gig drive slave -

Channel 2:

Primary: DVD master -
Secondary: CD slave -

Most of the times modern BIOSes will auto recognize the drive order and drive parameters on startup, so yes, just re-jumpering and re-cabling is generally all you need to do, however, if you want to be doubly sure simply go into the BIOS setup and have the system auto-identify the drives one by one to insure proper recognition and drive order. There is usually a section or sub-section for doing in this in the most BIOSes.

As a side note I do recall I did have a problem once similar to the one you describe with a new slave locking the system bootup process, and nothing seemed to work until I deleted the existing partition and re-partioned the new slave drive in the new PC. For some odd reason the existing partition was giving the system a major bellyache at bootup even though it was set as a slave.

Astro: the drive I am installing is brand new – is it not formatted/partitioned at all. In your case, do you mean that the drive that you were adding was already formatted/partitioned, and you had to delete and re-partition it ? I hope you are not saying that I may have to re-format my existing drive …

No it was the existing slave partition that was the problem.

I’m pretty sure your problem is a jumpering/cabling related issue and trying the suggestions offered by myself and others will solve your problem unless the drive is defective.

Sounds too like your ribbon cable isnt on all the way or your cdrom drive has to be set to master on a two drive system, rather than just master on a single system

Also your bios might not know its there unless you let it know its there using their auto hd detect.

handy: currently, the cd-rom is the only device on this ribbon, and it is jumpered as a master. Are you saying I may need to change the jumper settings if a slave (my new drive) is connected to this ribbon ?


bossy, no sometimes the HD cable isn’t pushed all the way onto the back of the HD & you get weird behavior. Also, did you might try a new cable. It’s tricky to do but your HD should come with a manual that explains what to do for just about any system configuration.

Sounds really stupid, I know, but another possible cabling problem might be that the wrong end of the ribbon is plugged into the motherboard; the ribbon cable usually has the motherboard connector, a long section of cable, a drive connector, a short section of cable and another drive connector; if the long section of cable is between the drives, rather than between the motherboard and one of the drives, then the machine may not even boot up.

When I installed my second HD (Maxtor) it came with a floppy that had very specific installation intstructions. It even gave me a snap shot of what I had on the system and allowed me to choose which IDE cable and which jumper settings I could use. Once I made my choice the software said “OK now here`s what you need to do next.” Very easy.

I placed the HD with the OS as the master on IDE 1 and the new HD as slave on the same channel. The CD rom and the CD burner were master and slave respectively on the second channel.

See if your HD came with such a floppy.

Don`t forget to enable DMA on all devices, if applicable.

Fellow dopers,
What would happen if you set all jumpers on all devices as cable select?

Like this:


Thanks everyone - I suspect the problem was a bad drive !
I exchanged the drive and the new one installed easily - thanks again !

Mangetout in most cases an IDE cable can be attached at either end with no problems. There are some cables that are pinned out so there can only fit one way but in most cases the IDE cable can go to either end.