STEP 12 : Configure the Hard Drive & CD-ROM

Before physically installing your hard drive or CD-ROM, it is easier to configure them outside of the case. Configuring them involves changing jumpers, and doing this within the confines of the case can be quite difficult sometimes.

How to configure these drives depends on how many drives you intend to install and of what type.

Your motherboard has two built-in IDE channels, each supporting two devices. If two devices are on one channel, one must be the “master” and the other the “slave”. Usually, your primary hard drive (the one which contains the operating system) is the master and the other drive is the slave. If you only intend to install one hard drive and having nothing else on that IDE channel, then you can select the “cable select” setting for the drive, which tells the drive it is alone on the channel.

You can attach any IDE device onto your IDE channels in any order. But, it is recommend you use IDE1 for your hard drives and IDE2 for your CD drives. It is always best to keep the CD drives on a separate channel from the hard drives.

Configuring these drives is very easy. Often the jumper settings are printed on the top of the drive itself. On CD drives, the settings are described right above the jumper pins. On hard drives, the information is printed on the top of the hard drive, if it is printed at all. If not, then consult the manual for it or go online to try finding the specs. The manuals will also outline any special jumper settings such as use of the limiter jumper on Maxtor hard drives.

If a particular drive does not need to be jumpered at all, it is best to hang the jumper over one pin. This is the same as being unjumpered, but makes sure the jumper is there for future use if needed.

If you are using SATA Hard drives, you are in luck. Because each SATA drive uses its own channel, there is no need for jumpers or worrying about master/slave relationships.