I have a cd-rom and a hard drive running on my 1st IDE slot. There is another plug there the same size I'm guessing I can hook an extra hard drive up to that? What would need to be configured to get this working? I have XP Pro.
That is probably your secondary IDE slot. You can hook up to two more IDE devices. Just buy another drive and connect it as a master drive to that empty slot. Most motherboards now can only be connected in one orientation. Otherwise you have to know about the wire marked in red as pin 1. Just make sure the connector fits. Then you can either run a boot disk that the HDD company packs with the HDD to format and partition if you want. That boot disk will formate the HDD usually faster than windows can.
You can connect a second IDE drive in a daisy chain with the device just installed and connected the jumper(s) to make this one a slave. If you do make sure that the first drive doesn't have a jumper setting as "master with slave." If it does then just change the jumer of the first drive to this and still have the second drive as slave.
This may seem like a lot but I'm just trying to cover all bases and the installation manuals will be a lot easier to follow. If you screw up and kill the drive, you can always exchange it at the store . Drives are very easy to install now that they simplified everything. Optical drives are even easier since most of them are plugin play. Installation is a snap and at least for large HDDs it's the formatting that takes a long time. Just make sure to read the instructions and you'll be fine.
I would suggest to you, enable your second IDE controller and install your CDROMs on it. Then take your new hard drive and set it to slave. install it on your first IDE controller with your original hard drive. This works...
Well if you have two HDDs on one slot and decide to install like a CD ROM and a CD RW on the other you may want to have one optical drive per slot because if you try to copy a disk, you can copy on the fly faster as infor will be transfered from one IDE slot to the other in sync. As in the other case it will have to "slow down" for the optical drives are using the same cable. It all depends on if you copy disc more than burning a lot of info and stills depends on which HDD you will burn off of.
I have the configuration stated by Larz but I always burn with images first!!:happy:
I have always heard that if you have 2 CD drives and 2 harddrives, to hook the two harddrives together on one IDE port and both CD drives together on the other IDE port. Something about the slower (CD) device slowing the faster one (HDD) being on the same IDE cable. Haven't done any experimentation so I'm not sure about the truth to that statement.
scriptasylum is right. Most CD(RW) drives don't go faster than UDMA2, some are even PIO. The slowest drive on the channel will decide the channel speed so it should look like this for best performance with 4 drives on 2 channels:
The secondary can be the other way around, don't think it matters much.