Best Use for Multiple Hard Drives

Hello All,

Ok, stupid question time... :)
 I have been building and upgrading systems for quite some time now and I have a collection of six Hard Drives. This is in addition to what are in my running systems. There is a lot of good stuff on these drives that I would like to be able to access on demand. Currently, I have two of these hard drives as ATA Slaves in two running systems and the other four just sitting in the closet. One of my motherboards is capable of RAID, but I am totally clueless about this and a bit intimidated. I am not sure if I can even use RAID for what I am looking to do.

Some of these drives were C: drives, bootable with OS's,  and others were just used as storage. I want to keep all the information from these drives and access it when I need to. I will not use any of them to boot to. If I need to purchase hardware or whatever.. I am prepared to do so, as long as it is not too expensive.

Any suggestions appreciated!

Current System:
Gigabyte GA-7NNXP
Athlon XP 3200+ 400MHz
3x 512MB 3200 DDRAM
Geforce FX 5600 256Mb Video Card
WD 120GB 72,000rpm Hard Drive
Sound Balster Audigy Platinium EX
Linksys BEFW11S4 wireless router and card. Linksys cable modem.
Belkin USB Hub
Altech Lansing #251 5.1 surround sound gaming speakers
KDS Rad-7C 17" LCD
LITE-ON DVD+RW LDW-401S  (DVD:4x/4x/12x, CD:40x/24x/40x DVD+RW/CD-RW)
LITE-ON LTR-40125S  (40x/12x/48x CD-RW)
GlobalWIn Saphire 520 PSU
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi karenmarie1963,

I think your best bet is to buy a PCI IDE controller wich will give you the opportunity to add four more devices to your system.


Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:

Look for the fully internal IDE controllers unless you want to attach another case for just the drives.
karenmarie1963Author Commented:
Hello LucF,
Thanks for the speedy reply. Here is the link to my motherboard.

Is that ready to go for what I want to do? Or do I need to buy a card.

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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
I see that board allready has 4 IDE connectors so you can attach a total of 8 ATA drives on that board. You don't have to use any kind of raid configuration if you don't want to. Make sure you put the drives with the same ATA level on the same cable. (if you don't know the ATA level of the drives, use the smallest ones togheter and the bigger ones toghether on a cable)

You might allready know this, but when you put two drives on a cable, one has to be set to master and one has to be set to slave (little jumpers on the back of the harddiskdrive) or both drives have to be set at CS (Cable Select)


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karenmarie1963Author Commented:
WOOHOO!! I told my hubby there was a good reason to spend $200.00 on a motherboard!! I just didn't know why at the time! LOL.

Ok, if I understand it correctly... out of EIGHT drives this board can take... two are the DVD RW and CD RW and that will leave me SIX Hard Drives to put on this board.  KEWL BEANS!! I have thousands and thousands of dollars worth or software on these drives, not to mention pictures, music and emails. I am sooo glad it will be so easy to access them all.

As far as the jumpers and stuff on the motherboards... I learned that the hard way a few yerars back. I also learned that there are still HD manufacturers that have their own set up. Ha!

Thanks so much, I REALLY appreciate your time and how quick and friendly you are!

:) KarenMarie
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>WOOHOO!! I told my hubby there was a good reason to spend $200.00 on a motherboard!! I just didn't know why at the time! LOL.
You really made my day!!

>Ok, if I understand it correctly... out of EIGHT drives this board can take... two are the DVD RW and CD RW and that will leave me SIX Hard Drives to put on this board.
Completely true.

Glad to help,

I saw this question and wanted to add something.  Just remember that if you are going to run a total of 8 drives.  You are going to need a wopper of a power supply.  In this a mean high quality, high wattage.
karenmarie1963Author Commented:
ok, here is the power supply I just ordered. And the CPU fan and if you look at the third link, it is thge case I have.. in black. Pleas elook at all the pics, so you can see how the cooling and fans are. Do you think this will be ok?
I think all of those things will be fine.  The power supply, if you got the 450 W or more ones would work fine.   I do have a problem with the posistion of one of the fans.   The fan that is on the side, top.  I would guess that they have this fan blowing in.   I would either not have one there or it would be blowing out.  This is the concept that hot air rises.  If hot air is at the top I want to be able to get it out.  Plus with it blowing in it would effect the back fan pulling air out.   You want to try to get an air movement from front bottom to back top and out of the computer.  

i hope that all made sense.  

one more thing.  With all those drives I also hope that you got round cables.  They are well worth the investment.  You can get them off of ebay for a buck, a lot less than if you would get them at a store.
karenmarie1963Author Commented:
you would not beleive the stuff I have! LOL!

I have five round cables and one for a floppy. Got them a while back, when they were going for $15.00 each!

And about a billion flat ones!! :)

Thanks so much!

Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
I looked at the specs and see you allready have the 520Watt Powersupply so you will be fine.
>> GlobalWIn Saphire 520 PSU

Have fun with your computer ;-)

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