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Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive

Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive - PCSTATS
Abstract: Installing a hard drive for the first time? Need to partition a current drive into smaller disks? You can do it, and we can show you how.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 22 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Preparing an IDE Hard Drive For Installation

Before you do anything else, make a note of your drive's manufacturer and model #. This might end up coming in handy.

As we said before, Each IDE controller can support up to two devices attached to a single cable, meaning for each IDE connector on your board, you can have two hard drives, or a hard drive and a CD drive, or any other combination that strikes your fancy. The controller has to have a way to tell these drives apart though, which is where the preparation comes in.

Each IDE drive must be identified as either a master or a slave device. One master device and one slave device can be attached to each IDE connector. Hard drives and CD drives must be configured manually to be either a master or a slave. This is accomplished by means of jumpers located either on the rear or the bottom of the drive.

Most IDE hard drives have the jumpers set to the master position by default. To determine this, examine the top of your hard drive. There should be a chart there depicting the necessary jumper settings to make the drive a master or slave device.

Otherwise, the chart will be somewhere on the body of the drive. Depending on the make and model of the drive, there may be up to four options:

Master: This indicates the jumper position necessary to make the drive the master device on the cable.

Slave: This indicates the jumper position necessary to make the drive the slave device on the cable.

Slave present, or 'master, slave present': If your drive has this setting, and you plan to make it the master drive and add another hard disk or CD drive as the slave, you must set the jumpers to this position. Newer drives generally do not have this setting, which is simply covered by the 'master' setting instead.

Cable Select: This setting enables the IDE controller to determine which device will be the master and which the slave depending on their position on the cable. It's better to set your drives manually to be certain which is which, so avoid this. Set the jumpers before actually installing the drive into the case. You may need a pair of tweezers to move the jumpers if you are a fingernail biter.

There is no performance advantage derived from your new hard drive being in either the master or slave position, so how you set the jumpers should be merely a question of where you are fitting the drive into your system. If you have a single hard disk or optical drive already attached to an IDE cable and you want to add your new disk to that cable, set it to the 'slave' jumper position. If you are adding your new drive as the first IDE device on a new cable, then set it to master, etc.

Once you have the jumper set correctly on the back of the drive, it's time to install your new IDE hard disk into your computer case.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive
 Pg 2.  SATA and IDE Hard Drives
 Pg 3.  Physically Installing an IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 4.  — Preparing an IDE Hard Drive For Installation
 Pg 5.  Physical Installation of a IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 6.  Physically Installing a Serial ATA Hard Drive
 Pg 7.  Physical Installation of the SATA Hard Drive
 Pg 8.  Confirming the Installation of a Hard Drive
 Pg 9.  Partitioning and Formatting a Second drive in Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 10.  Partitioning and formatting for the Installation of Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 11.  Partitioning and formatting a Second Drive in Windows 9x/ME
 Pg 12.  FDISK Commands continued
 Pg 13.  Partitioning and Formatting a hard drive for Win9x/ME Installation
 Pg 14.  Troubleshooting hard drive installation

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