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Plugging Hard Drives into to Optical Drives' IDE Cable?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Ben B, Aug 8, 2008.

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  1. Ben B

    Ben B Thread Starter

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    I've got an old Dell Inspiron 8200 PC that the office uses as shared storage, printer server etc, and it's been having issues seeing USB drives correctly (Although the laser printer that's on USB has never ever had a problem!?!)

    Yesterday it dawned on me that instead of plugging in the extra 2 drives I need I could put another couple of hard drives in, in place of the optical drives, that are never used on that machine.

    So after a bit vague googling it seemed this was possible, so I went ahead and removed both optical drives, replacing them with 2 hard drives, (so now the PC has 4 internal drives).

    ... and they work! You wouldn't believe the hassle I've had with NetworkAttachedStorage and various different USB drives, while figuring out that this machine doesn't like USB drives!)

    The thing is: the drives seem to be running really slowly. Is this because CD drives won't need to receive data as fast as hard drives do? Is there any way of setting it up to send data faster to these drives?
     
  2. gfxrelay

    gfxrelay

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    It could also be a problem with power. Try unplugging some of the drives and see if that makes a difference if it does you might need a stronger PSU. Also how many network storage devices do you have?
     
  3. Ben B

    Ben B Thread Starter

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    For some reason if I unplug one of the two I attached to the optical slots, then the remaining one dissapears! So I have to leave them all plugged in.

    Do you think any PSU will fit, or would I need a Dell one for this specific model? There's only one NAS device, a Netgear jobbie holding two drives.
     
  4. gfxrelay

    gfxrelay

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    Thats the dirty part you can try using a regular power supply and just leaving the power supply on the out side of the case and see if that fixes it.If your PSU is form factor built you'll have to order a new one from dell. I can't seem to find any images of this specific PC. But if it is a standart desktop PC it should not matter wich IDE port you use for your harddrives or optical drives
     
  5. Ben B

    Ben B Thread Starter

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    I assume I'll have the same power issues if I used a IDE PCI card to connect the drives?

    I read that the speed issue is usually to do with having a hard drive and an optical drive on the same ribbon. As far as the MoBo is concerned the two IDE ports are capable of the same speeds right?
     
  6. JSanguancheu

    JSanguancheu

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    How old is this PC? You may want to try replacing the IDE cable.

    Also make sure either both HDDs are set to cable select(CS) with their jumpers..
    OR
    The one on the end of the cable is set to Master(MS) and the middle one is set to Slave(SL).

    Does the BIOS detect both drives correctly?
     
  7. Ben B

    Ben B Thread Starter

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    The PC is about 5 years old. On it's last legs really!
    Both drives are set to CS

    The BIOS actually doesn't see them at all I don't think! When I first plugged them in I get a 'secondary drive not found' error, and continued regardless to find they were there anyway. That error doesn't happen any more, maybe I should check the BIOS again, I must have done something differently for the error to vanish.
     
  8. JSanguancheu

    JSanguancheu

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    Check the IDE cable.
    The cable that was used for the optical drives could have been a 40 pin type.
    HDD's use an 80pin IDE cable.
     
  9. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Go to the Device Manager and expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

    If the drives are on the secondary IDE channel RIGHT click on the Secondary IDE Channel LEFT click on Properties, LEFT click on the Advanced Settings Tab, and on the Window that opens you will see Device 0 and Device 1. See if they are set to PIO Only. If so, click the down arrow next to PIO Only and select DMA if available. After you set both to DMA if available click OK.
     
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