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Can I Add Additional Hard Drives?

Posted on 1998-09-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
My PC currently has 3 harddisk and one cd rom. Taking up primary master, primary slave, secondary master and secondary slave in that order.

I am wondering if it is possible to add any more IDE harddrives? I do not wish to use SCSI because I can't be bothered with the hassle and extra cost.

Please tell me if
1. it is possible to add more harddrives and how?

2. are there any inherent problems with it, like drivers, high cost, imcompatability etc

Thanks
bush
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Question by:bushhead
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16 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bchew
ID: 1125228
No.  Your PC will only support 4 IDE drives.  Your only option for more is to go SCSI.  Sorry.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1125230
for the moment bchew, cos jason's comment does sounds better.

jason : how do these 'other' IDE controllers allow me to add on more ide devices? is it like a pci/isa addon card or just a special ribbon/software or some sort?

bush
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:simonlam
ID: 1125231
jason,

pls provide more info on the piggy-back device mentioned.

my understanding is IDE can accept only ID0-3 (4 device in total; 2 on primary and 2 on secondary channel).

bushhead,

the other way you may consider is to use a soundcard with interface to proprietary cdrom drives.  however, these drives are old technology and very slow.  also, pls bear in mind you may need to change your power supply to drive all devices and put in more fans for ventilation.  finally, i strongly believe you should move onto the scsi option whenever possible.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:frache
ID: 1125232
You can't connect more than 4 IDE peripherals. Ok that's right..
But you can swap !!
You can use "tray (or drawer)" ( box with connector).It's not hot- plug : you must swith power when you change your disk.
You can use identical drives or if you have a recent bios, choose auto-detect for IDE parameters (head,cyl....)

Price : 40 to 50$ / cheaper !!

0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:danpaul091498
ID: 1125233
Actually your system will support as many drives as you have available resourse for. If you got a spare IRQ you can set up
another pair. Most people believe that only four devices are supported, but that's not true. The main problem has to do with power. With four HD's your already reaching the limit of many drives.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:danpaul091498
ID: 1125234
Actually your system will support as many drives as you have available resourse for. If you got a spare IRQ you can set up
another pair. Most people believe that only four devices are supported, but that's not true. The main problem has to do with power. With four HD's your already reaching the limit of many power supplies.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:simonlam
ID: 1125235
danpaul,

majority of HDD controller in the market are pre-programmed to IRQ11 and IRQ14.  where can we get a card that allows me modify the settings to IRQ15.


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Expert Comment

by:michaelham
ID: 1125237
Actally standard IRQ's for Hard Drive Controllers are 14 (primary) 15 secondary.

0
 

Expert Comment

by:second
ID: 1125238
You can add more IDE/ATAPI devices with a separate PCI UltraDMA/33 controller with 2 chanels (4 devices) that allow work-together with chipset-onboard-controller for total 4 chanels (8 devices). Such controllers sell "Promise" and others. The problem with power is easy to slove. If the Powerspully of your case is engof, but you don't have so much power connectors, you can buy a Y-Power cable ( one input, two output - like the FAN's cable). If the PS of the case is weak you can exchange it very easy. The problem with free IRQs is harder. A normal system with modem, blaster, free COM, PS/2 mouse leave IRQ 10,11,14,15 free for IDE chanels and if you use only 3 chanels (6 devices) you can add a Ethernet or SCSI or other IRQ-needing peripheral. If you use USB many IRQs will free, so it will not be a problem to use 8 devices. 4 chanels, 8 devices, BUT as sayed jasson there are CD-ROMs and HDDs with SDX interface wich allow the CD to connect to the HDD wich allow you to use 8x HDDs + 8x CD-ROMs, but the SDX is not very avalible and HDD/CD are hard to find.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bchew
ID: 1125239
Just a thought but nearly all of these suggestions sound at least as complex and likely cost nearly as much as simply adding SCSI...
0
 
LVL 2

Author Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1125240
frache : your answer sidesteps my question. so i can't award you the points at the moment. i need all the hdd's to be running at the same time, and powering off is not an option

bchew : it sure seems like more hassle, but remember that SCSI devices need to be configured as well, and the added costs of the harddisks really make me think twice.

danpaul : when you say that you can add as many as possible as long as you have free IRQ's, that is by means of adding another PCI/ISA card right? like an additional IDE controller? if yes then jason already stated that before you


jason's and second's answers are generally in the direction i was looking for. jason gave me the information first, but second was more descriptive? this gives me a hard time in deciding, so whoever gives me more relevant information after this gets points i guess.

another thing, nobody brought up the topic of RAID? anyone care to dabble in that?

bush

0
 

Expert Comment

by:Nordic
ID: 1125241
Go SCSI... The hassle of trying to bring up more than 4 IDE drives piggy-backing CD-ROM's is certainly FAR more than configuring SCSI. If ever you want a CD burner, a Zip/Jaz drive, a DVD, etc., you'll need SCSI anyway. SCSI disks, CD-ROM's, etc.  cost more, but they also deliver.
If you want to do a RAID, sure you can use 3 IDE disks in NT4 to do a RAID 3 or 5 - and throw away the capacity of one disk doing so. If you want a "serious" RAID, with 5 - 7 disks, SCSI it is...


 
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:simonlam
ID: 1125242
bushhead,
do you still wanna pursuit on this ide problem or going for RAID?
here is some tips.  buy an Adaptec 154X and 3 SCSI-2 HDD and run NT.  Setup the partition with strip set and you will have a very cheap software RAID solution.
i understand cost could be a concern but money does help in terms of technology!
cheers
0
 

Expert Comment

by:second
ID: 1125243
Nordic is not 100% right. SCSI is easyer way to use 7 or 15 devices, but the cost of  one good SCSI controller is more than Promise's UltraDMA/33 controller and SCSI devices are MORE MORE costly than IDE. And there are MORE IDE CD-ROMs, DVDs drives than SCSI. And the best CD burner at the time - HP 8xxx with 24x read, 4x CD-R, 2x CD-RW is IDE too. ZIP, JAZ are avalible in SCSI AND IDE. LS120, HiFD200 are only IDE, the best CD-ROMs - 40x CAV Nec, 40x MLS Kenwood are only IDE too.................

So: 1) You have limited budget: go to Promise
      2) You have a lot of money: go to Adaptec SCSI AHA 2940U2W - 15 devices - defacto standart in SCSI controllers
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1125244
sorrie, it was my mistake to post a comment on raid because i said before i wasn't interested in SCSI (money money!). it was a conflicting comment.

i think second has provided the most information so if you post an answer, i'll give you the marks

bush
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Accepted Solution

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second earned 20 total points
ID: 1125245
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