Question about IDE devices. . .


Jan 6, 2004
A friend has been having problems with his new 250GB harddrive.

Prior to any of his problems, he had two identical 80GB 2mb cache harddrives on the same IDE chain. One as master, the other as slave. He used to be able to import video from one harddrive to the other without problems.

Now he's installed a new 250GB 8mb cache harddrive as a slave and videos imported onto it are now skipping frames every few seconds.

What I'm wondering is, does the way IDE communicates with devices on the same chain cause his problems?

I'm not entirely sure about the way IDE communicates between devices, its my assumption that you generally want the faster better performing device on the master setting and the slower device as the slave.

Things like having a CD rom would be bad to throw on the same IDE channel as a Harddrive are bad because CD roms are inherently slower, thus driving the speed of information down with the speed of the slower device correct?

If thats true, are there disadvantages to putting identical devices on the same IDE chain? Would reading and writing to and from both cause any slowdowns as well?

Any information about this would be really enlightening since the way IDE works has been bugging me for awhile as well.


The Analog Kid
Mar 16, 2002
Make sure ultra DMA mode 5 (or6) is enable in both bios and windows

Make sure drive is set to slave (if it is, try cable select)

Make sure mobo is compatible with drives larger than 137gb. You may need to do a bios update.


Jan 6, 2004
All well and good, but what I'm really trying to figure out is exactly how do IDE protocols work?

Can one drive be active at any one time on the same IDE channel?
Can both drives be sending/recieving information at the same time?

Stuff like that.

Even an article that could explain all of this would be greatly appreciated.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
Apr 12, 2002
there should be no problems with communication..

you generally want your faster drive setup as the boot device... then if all other things are identical (ie udma and spindle speeds) they can be plugged in as master/slave with no problems..

your understanding is not far off and I am unsure as to why there is a problem..

when video skips is there extra cpu overhead? coz thats what it sounds like...

try setting the larger hdd as master as well and see if that helps... :)

as for your questions in your second post... both answers would be true afaik... specially with swapping going on..

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