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HDD and 2 CD's - how best to set them on the IDE

Posted on 2003-02-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have 1 HDD, 1 CDR (DVD) and one CDRW, 2 IDE channels.

What is the optimum set up for these?  

Things to consider (to hopefully answer questions in advance):

1) I don't do an awful lot of burning and often do it when I am not actively using the system.

2) I do want to be able backup CD - CD at times.  I have enough free HDD space to do a manual intermediate copy if I have to but would rather not.

3) MB: Asus P4G8X Delux
   HDD: Western Digital Caviar 80G 7200rpm HDD(8Mb Cache)
   CDR: Pioneer DVD, forget the exact model
   CDRW: HP, 12 speed burner (I think)

4) CDR gets used quite a lot for games, copying files to the HDD etc.

I imagine I want the CDR and the HDD as the two masters, as they get used a hell of a lot and the CDRW doesn't .... so I guess the question is, given the above info, should I put the CDRW as slave to which device?

Thanks muchly in advance.



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Question by:Stevess
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20 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8037857
Pri/Master: HDD
Pri/Slave : CDRW
Sec/Master: CDR/DVD

This will allow best speeds when copying from the DVD drive to the harddrive (installs) and will allow CD-CD copying to work without kicking in "burn proof" or needing an intermediate image file (if the drive even has burnproof/buffer underrun protection, which I kind of doubt).  Also when burning from HD to CDRW, the speed will be fast enough to prevent buffer underrun (but I wouldn't advise doing much else while burning that is HD intensive as it could overload the Primary IDE bus...)

-dog*
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

by:
slink9 earned 200 total points
ID: 8038255
What about the CDRW slowing down the hard drive access since it is connected in the same chain.  I suggest having the hard drive on it's own controller with the CD and DVD on the secondary controller.

I base this on the fact that I had a 60G 7200 ATA100 HD with the slave as an old 6G ATA33 drive.  It sped up things tremendously when I took the old drive out of the system.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:mrcicp
ID: 8038455
dont ever put a CD-RW and a DVD on the same channel, can cause various problems, from read/write errors to as bad as no power getting to one of the drives, personally I would slave the DVD onto the hard drive so you can write cds from data off your hard drive that little bit faster, or have it as dogztar suggests above if you are more likely to copy cds
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Expert Comment

by:Chys
ID: 8038489
Basically u should separate the 2 cdrw/dvd drives. And depending on ya usage, dvd-interaction-with-hdd or cdrw-interation-with-hdd, the one with more usage should go on a different IDE....
e.g.
1)Install lotsa apps and games using dvd drive
Pri/Mas - HDD
Pri/Sal - CDRW
Sec/Mas - DVD
2)Burn lotsa cds
Pri/Mas - HDD
Pri/Sal - DVD
Sec/Mas - CDRW

I guess Case 1 should be ya case.....
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Expert Comment

by:Chys
ID: 8038501
Also, take note that if u like to copy CD-CD... NEVER put the 2 drives in the same IDE....
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8038777
Listening to the advice above then I guess I have been doing it all wrong for many years.
I agree with what slink9 suggested
HD on primary IDE alone
CDRW as Master on secondary IDE
DVD as Slave on secondary IDE

I have mine setup this way (plus a second HD as slave on primary IDE) and I have no problems coping a CD directly from DVD to CDRW.

As mentioned above if you place a DVD or a CDRW or CD-Rom on same IDE as HD will slow the HD speed from ATA 100 or 66 to ATA33 (or slower)
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 8039052
Finally, somebody agrees with me.
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Expert Comment

by:Chys
ID: 8039671
: ) It's really up to u to believe who.... I have problem reports whereby putting 2 optical drives (for cd-cd duplication) on the same IDE. The main reason why it has never happened to u b4 is bcoz of the buffer underrun technology...
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 8040917
I like Chys' alternatives as it covers usage options rather than just one solution.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Baddog
ID: 8040990
Steve,
   I agree with slink9,,the faster HDD should be on its own 80-pin connector and the CDs on the secondary channel. Recently worked on a system that was getting "Failed to Write to Drive C" error. User had following config:

Primary Master: HDD 80-pin connector
Primary slave:  CD-ROM
Secondary Master: CDRW 40-pin cable

Swapping CDRW and CD-ROM made no difference as he kept getting the same error.  I changed his config to:

Primary Master: HDD 80-pin connector
Secondary Master: CDRW
Secondary Slave:  CD-ROM


Unable to write to drive C errors are now gone. And of course, he was not overly concerned about on-the-fly or disc-to-disc copying.

The other option he had was to install a 40-pin cable on the primary channel and revert to ATA-33 capability. This option, he did not like.
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Expert Comment

by:dforcey
ID: 8043143
The first response you got was 100% correct for the purpose you state in your question.

Here's the rationale behind my choice of setups:

1. You want the (2) CDs on separate channels to maximize the ability of each to perform to its fullest while transferring data CD-CD.

B. The writer takes more processing than the "player", so the writer should be a Master.

With different computing priorities, that setup could change, but Steve (and most others) are concerned with CD-CD transfer, as well as HD-CD transfer.  

Now, Steve's concern with games-transferring files from cdr (I'm assuming this must be a DVD-type disc, or else why wouldn't you just use the CDRW drive?) might suffer from this arrangement.  Then Steve needs to make the decision of what is more important.

If EVERYTHING needs top-level performance/access, install SCSI controller/drives.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 8043256
This can be argued until the end of time, but the fact is that both ways are correct, depending on the intended use of the system.  The best setup is to get yourself an Ultra IDE controller add-in card and put your hard drive on it with the CD/DVD on separate integrated controllers.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8044865
Well stated slink9, that would be the best way possible to connect the drives.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:mrcicp
ID: 8045731
its fine to have a cd rom and a cdwriter on the same channel (i have that on my machine) but not so when using a cd writer and a dvd on the same channel.  Its up to you if you want to listen to these guys but your asking for trouble putting a cd writer and a dvd rom on the same IDE  channel.  You need to slave one off your hard drive to be safe from future problems (I build systems every day for my job, sometimes it works ok having them both on same channel, sometimes it doesnt, I wouldnt take that chance if I were you), hope it all works out cool whatever you decide, MR C
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 8046206
By the way, you can purchase an Ultra-IDE 100 or 133 controller from www.tigerdirect.com for $40 or less.  Go with that.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8046476
slink9:
>>What about the CDRW slowing down the hard drive access since it is connected in the same chain

Well, I haven't done any benchmark tests myself, but I was under the impression that the only time the HD would be slowed down was if the slave device (CDRW or DVD, etc) was being accessed at the same time (i.e. copying from the HD or the DVD on the other channel, etc).

I wish there was a true difinitive answer to this question; seems like this comes up here about 3 times a month...

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:Stevess
ID: 8046904
Thanks everyone.  Obviously no straight answer.

Would love to have spread the points about, but it only lets me select one person.

Thanks heaps everyone, really appreciated from everybody!
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8047092
Well OK..good luck copying DVD-CDRW like that though...hope you burner has burnproof (tm) or similar.

-dog*
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 8047438
dog*,
notice my experience with having the two different speed hard drives on the same channel.  I tested the throughput with SiSoft Sandra and it improved tremendously after removing the slower drive from the chain.  This, of course, was while accessing only one of the drives.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8057109
I dunno...I wish I had the time and hardware to test various configurations and get a hard answer.  I was hoping Anandtech would have something, but no luck.

Ah well.

-dog*
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