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New barebones, reversed IDE cables ?

Posted on 2004-04-26
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Does it make a difference if your HD is on the Secondary IDE cable vs. Primary ?

I just got a new barebones system delivered to me and with out takeing my time I jumped right into it (probably not the best way to go about it), I was a little excited... and I setup my ide cables as follows:

Primary Master = 8x   DVD RW+- drive
Primary Slave   = 16x DVD-ROM drive
Secondary Master = 80gig HD
Secondary Slave = NONE

And It's running fine, with no problems, does it make a difference Primary vs. Secondary ? Should I switch em or leave it alone ?
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Question by:basskozz
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26 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10925121
Could this be causeing this problem:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20968592.html

???

-BassKozz
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Assisted Solution

by:_
_ earned 50 total points
ID: 10925143
See other Q.
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Accepted Solution

by:
matalyn1016 earned 250 total points
ID: 10925396
In short no…… Some purists say it makes a difference but it really doesn’t. On almost all dual FIFO system boards the BIOS will scan both channels for a bootable O/S. If this where an older machine, say an IBM 8086 it may have mattered.

Hope this helps...
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10925452
Thanks Matalyn1016,

let me jsut clarify, there is absolutely no difference in preformance and stability in having the HD on Primary vs. Secondary... Correct ?

-BassKozz
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike_helps_you
Mike_helps_you earned 25 total points
ID: 10925462
By the books, your primary hard drive should be on the primary cable. I have not had any issues doing it otherwise in Windows 2000 or later. Had issues in Win98 and earlier though.
Also, possible issues with some MB bios'.
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Expert Comment

by:matalyn1016
ID: 10925476
on the newer boards.... none!
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Assisted Solution

by:Paul-B
Paul-B earned 75 total points
ID: 10925734
In most cases it should pose no problems. It is considered poor practice however. Where it can cause you problems is with some DOS based HDD utilities and the likes. Other possible problems that can occur are things like certain removable media devices (usually not CD/DVD drives) such as IDE Zip Drives, IDE Card Readers, etc. being used on the Primary instead of the secondary when you go to do a clean install of Windows XP, it's likely one of those will take the C: drive allocation and the hard drive ends up Drive D: or later. Now I know, XP will run fine not being on the C: drive.. this is true. However, You will find later down the road when you get some program/game with a funky installer that just wont deviate from being installed on drive C:

So the bottom line is, If you have it all up and running and your HDD is drive C: and it's all good, I wouldn't worry about changing it. But if it was me, the next time I did a clean install I would switch the HDD to the Primary Channel.

Hope this helps.

pb
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 10927471
Convention calls for the Boot sector to be located on IDE0 as Master and yes it could be the cause. T
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Assisted Solution

by:BigSchmuh
BigSchmuh earned 50 total points
ID: 10929321
Officially, the IDE bandwidth is guaranteed only on the primary channel but I do not know of any MB with a low secondary bandwidth.
==> You can easily switch your IDE cables on the MB side, don't you ?

Now, the UDMA is to be checked:
-From your BIOS (but usually it's ok here)
-From Win2000 in the "ATA/ATAPI IDE Controller", both IDE channels have an "Extended parameters" tab where you will find a limitative combo defining the supported "Transfer mode"
==> By default, the secondary channel has a limit in Win2000 that you can easily fix (requires a reboot)

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10930632
Now I am confused,

some of you are saying its fine and some are saying its not...
Who's right ?

-BassKozz
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Expert Comment

by:BigSchmuh
ID: 10930693
You are the only one who can confirm that your Secondary channel#0 (=your hard drive) is not using DMA.
==> Check the Device config-"ATA/ATAPI IDE Controller"-Secondary channel-"Extended parameters" tab and look for the "Transfer mode" of #0 device

I think this is important to have a hard drive using DMA...
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10930803
BigSchmuh,
It says It's using DMA in my BIOS, but I'll have to check windows2000 device manager when I get home...
How can I get my DVD drives to work with DMA ? in windows

-BassKozz
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10930850
The bios says all the drives are using DMA, but in Windows only the HD is using DMA.

How can I change this ?
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Expert Comment

by:sfhotter
ID: 10931798
As a rule if I don’t have an separate controller to plug my hard drive into i use:

Primary Master: Hard Drive
Primary Slave: DVD-ROM
Secondary Master: DVDRW
Secondary Slave: Empty

From my exp with newer systems the only real noticeable performance problems comes into play when burning CDs and DVDs.  It’s always a good idea IMO to have the Burner as one of the masters.

For the most part is a matter of opinion...
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10932406
I have a friend that actually has his OS (he ran 2000 and XP like this) on the primary slave.  It was originally done by accident, but he has not has any trouble running his OS.  Only trouble he really had was that his MB blew on him, and he had forgot his setup, and had a hard time getting computer running again.  (it's OK now)
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10932660
So if i switch it now(reverse the cables Primary to Secondary and vice versa) after win2000 is installed will my comp not work anymore ?
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Expert Comment

by:BigSchmuh
ID: 10933355
I think W2K is able to override most of the BIOS settings (not all).

Whatever the case, just TRY to switch your cable and see.
==> I think it will boot, run correctly and remove your DMA problem definitely (as stated in my very first post...)
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 10933489
Generally speaking you have the possibility to use 4 IDE devices. Primary channel: master and slave PLUS Secondary channel: master and slave.

Some Operating systems (like win9X and older) want to use the Primary master for the boot record and startup files. Later MS operating systems don't care, as it seems.

Some utilitities that are based on "DOS" or similar older standards assume the primary master to be the "prime mover" in the system. That shouldn't cause much trouble for you.

Some non-MS Operating systems do have a thing about which drive is the primary master etc, but if you're convinced you are not going to experiment with dual-booting different MS O/S's or even MS and Linux O/S's, just leave it as is if it works OK.
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:multihull
ID: 10933739
Hi,
There's a lot of information going your way.

Basically if it works with the HDD on the secondary you can leave it there - no problem no degradation.

For the DVD read / Write to get the better performance copying from one optical device to another it is considered better to have the drives on different IDE ports (according to Nero). I have noticed having them on different ports appears to be the better performer.

Muktihull
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10934291
multihull,

By different ports you mean put one on Primary and one on Secondary ?

As far as the DVD issue goes, I am not having problems burning my DVD-ROM drive is Reading at speeds WAY below what the drive says it can handle (its reading at 2.6x when It should be reading somewhere around 16x)....

Please help

-BassKozz
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10935167
Anyone know how to turn DMA on in Windows 2000?

Both my DVD drives are running with DMA off, while my HD has it ON.

-BassKozz
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 10937551
Yeah...configure your drives using convention and it will happen automatically. T
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 10939692
Convention ?
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Expert Comment

by:multihull
ID: 10944283
basskozz,
convention, the normal way of doing things - the normal layout is initial hdd on primary 1, a cd reader on slave 1, optical (DVD/CD) burner on primary 2 and anything else on slave 2.
Yes I did mean ide 1 & 2 for ide ports.
If your devices are in a conventional layout and something is not working properly you can consider and evaluate any answers, if it is not a conventional layout you will get a lot of information of how to reconfigure it, but not necessarily resolve or answer your question.

My view for what it is worth is " the conventional layout is not the only way to configure the system - there is more than one way to skin a cat"

Matalyn at the begining gave good advice.
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Assisted Solution

by:goblin072
goblin072 earned 50 total points
ID: 10964751
Its fine putting two DVDs as Master/slave.   In theory you will get more throughput using each on separate IDE channels.

I have both mine as master/slave and I can read from both at the same time.  I can get each to about 12x same time.
That is only possible if I set each DVD drive to copy to a separate physical hard drive.

If I put each one as Master I might get more throughput but reading at 16x is hardly eating all the bandwidth.  

If you put a DVD drive on the same IDE channel as a HD it can slow the HD to the DVDs max mode with is only U-dma-2.

Two DVDs on same channel will work fine.

What video card do you have?   Do you have the latest drivers for it?

Have you tried Power DVD?   Try that app and see if movies are choppy.  They should be smooth as silk with your system.

Did you get DMA enabled for the HD, and both DVD players?

It might be a IRQ conflict.  What PCI cards do you have plugged in?

Also you could try taking one of the DVD drives off the cable and reboot with just one DVD drive.  Then try to play a movie.

Your system can be made to play DVDs well.  Don't give up.

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by:_
ID: 11238066
Thank you much.    : )
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