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Adventures with Round IDE cables

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Reviews' started by pyritechips, Feb 1, 2003.

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  1. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Jim
    Well, I finally collected on my birthday present. I got 2 new case fans (after much fiddling and shuffling of hardware I have them set up properly and cooling my board and CPU by as much as 10 degrees C!) and decided to try the new round IDE cables.

    Mine are Scorpio, ultra ATA-133. I bought a blue one for IDE channel 0 and a red one for channel 1.

    After much fiddling again to arrange my 4 drives in an orderly manner in the drive bays, I carefully attached the cables to the mobo and then the drives as follows:

    IDE 0: HDD1 master, HDD2 slave.
    IDE 1: CD-ROM master, CD-RW slave.

    I rebooted...

    ...and waited.

    It POSTed no problem, with a single, satisfying beep. The screen indicated "Finding IDE devices" (or something similar) and...

    ...nothing!

    I rebooted into the BIOS and noticed my DRAM clock was kicked back from 133mhz to 100. I manually reset it. I also looked at the IDE devices:

    IDE 0: [blank] master, {scrambled text} slave.
    IDE 1: [blank]master, [blank]slave.

    Well! I'm no hardware wizard by a long shot, but there's no way I flubbed all 4 drives! Rebooting several times changed nothing.

    I decided to work backwards, starting by eliminating IDE 1 entirely to simplify the situation, ie, reduced the variables. This time the computer booted perfectly, showing the 2 hard drives on IDE 0.

    I plugged in the new round cable into IDE 1 port and the CD-ROM onto the master plug on the cable and rebooted. It booted into the OS without a hitch. I shut down and added the final drive (CD-RW to IDE 1 slave) and it again booted fine.

    Question: Not understanding electronic hardware, did these new cables need to be "polarized" before they could send a coherent signal, recognizing the drives, to the mobo?

    Question: Has any of you installed round cables and experienced such anomolies?

    Conclusion: I like, and was surprised by, the flexibility of these cables. Their "pinky finger" size allows for unrestricted flow of cooling air within the case. Their small size also leaves the case uncluttered and the mobo and all the components easily visible and accessable. The 2 distinct colours also give easy identification of the 2 separate channels and their drives. Each connector on the cable has a large, easy to read tag labelled "System", "Primary", and "Slave" which facilitates easy and trouble free connections. The connectors also have a tab on the underside to fit the notch on the devices for error-free connection. I recommend these to one and all.
     
  2. Linkmaster

    Linkmaster

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    Hi Jim !!
    I think maybe they might not have gotten plugged in snug the first time. Had that hap to me several times. Also ever put everything together , the drives dont show up. Whoops forgot to plug in power!!
    Just my 2ยข worth!! LOL
    See ya tonite!!
     
  3. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Hi Tee-dub!

    Like I said, I can flub a plug-in, but all 6? After the first failed boot, I re-examined the plugins, and reassured myself that they were correctly and firmly seated. It still didn't show the drives.

    *Note: At no time were any jumpers moved.

    Also: about the power cord. I've done that too:rolleyes: but not this time. Like I said the system started and gave a sucessful POST, then the boot failed.

    I still like the polarization theory, though I'd like input from people with actual electronics experience. I mentioned in my first post how my second HDD was almost recognised. Where the system would normally display "Fujitsu MPF3204AT" it displayed Fu -^ , :2u *' l01" or something very similar, otherwords just scrambled characters.
     
  4. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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  5. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Hi buckaroo- you can call me Jim, or anything you want. Just please! Call me!

    But seriouosly: thanks for that link. I read the article and the information about possible data transfer errors does strike a cord.

    So far today all is well but I did have a problem last night that has happened before and I think is unrelated to the new cables: I heard a whining sound "winding" down and the HDD light come on and stay on steady. My primary HDD had shut down. Apparently this is due to a power supply difficiency. I have only a 250W PSU, supplying the system, 4 drives and 4 fans, including its own. I am considering a 350W unit.
     
  6. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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    Jim.......yeah, that article is interesting.

    You're probably right about the psu. My system is similiarily configured, except for the case fans, and it works fine with a 250 psu, but not all cpu's are equal and actual power delivery can vary.
     
  7. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Jim
    Ok I talked to my computer guru. He read this thread and he was: :eek: "I'm surprised it will boot at all!"

    Yeah, 250W is borderline now. If I experience any heavy usage I expect to experience more shutdowns. He also says a bigger PSU also helps system stability.

    More to come...
     
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