Installing a 2'nd HD - conflicting info.

Discussion in 'hardware' started by luciddream, Sep 4, 2010.

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  1. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I'm going to install a 2'nd HD in a Dell Dimension 3000. I'm seeing conflicting info. as to how to go about it the best way. First of all it appears the primary IDE channel on this PC has only 1 connector. Everywhere I look it says both the primary & secondary are supposed to have 2 each... doesn't appear to be the case here. So that makes the first part of this equation pretty cut & dry... I install the boot HD to that connector (making it Primary Master).

    Here's where the dilemma (& conflicting info.) comes in:

    On one site I saw somebody mention that it's better to put the HD's on separate channels (one on the primary, and the other secondary)... that it'll be faster that way. Another person says that will in fact make it slower, and/or could cause problems. I guess this is kind of moot since I only have 1 slot on my primary channel anyway. Doesn't leave me much choice in the matter, but I'd still like to know who's right here.

    And since it seems I'm forced to put the 2'nd HD on the secondary channel, would it be better to make it the master or slave there? The other drive on that channel (secondary) is a DVD/RW.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    luciddream,

    Simply buy an 80 wire IDE cable with 2 connectors. Plug the cable into your primary IDE channel. Set the jumpers on your HDs to cable select. Connect the primary HD to the end connector and the secondary HD to the "middle" connector.

    I'm sure you will be able to squash a second HD in somewhere.

    Connect your optical drive to the secondary IDE channel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  3. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Putting the disks in two separate cables it is faster (but is noticeably only during heavy usage).
    e.g. for Ultra ATA/100 the transfer rate of the controller/cable is 100 mb/s:
    -so when you want to transfer data from one disk to the other on the same cable the actual transfer speed is 50 mb/s (one reads at 50mb/s and the other writes at 50 mb/s).
    - but if they are on separate cables one reads at 100 mb/s and the other writes at 100 mb/s.

    The person who said that putting them in two different cables makes them slower and can cause problems probably had a 40 pin cable on the secondary channel or had an old controller that did not support indipendent device timing.

    On modern IDE controllers it does not matter if you put it as a master or slave since they support independent device timing (personally I prefer making master the fastest device on the cable).

    Brian always install your fastest devices on separate cables. When transferring files from one to another you will see a huge difference in speed.

    Panagiotis
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    Interesting. Most of my computers are SATA and I have never done tests on IDE speed in the past. NightOwl did some tests with Ghost which suggest both HDs on the primary channel wasn't slower than two masters.

    http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1160114366;start=0#0

    Do you have any numbers? There is nothing like objective data.
     
  5. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    I do not doubt of those results since I do not know neither the write speed capability of the second drive that NightOwl used, if his ide controller was Ultra ATA/100 or Ultra ATA/133 and if he had enabled in bios the setting "PCI IDE BusMaster" (the default is disabled at least on Via controllers).

    e.g. In case he had Ultra ATA/133 (and the BusMaster was enabled) if his second drive max write speed was 65mb/s (read at 65mb/s + write at 65mb/s =130mb/s which is lower than the controller limit of 133mb/s) then he would notice zero difference during the backup; but he would see a difference during the integrity check (as he did in his 3rd and 4rth examples) since the read speed of the disk is usually faster than the write speed.

    The faster the disks that you use, the biggest is the advantage/speed increase when placed on different cables. Lets just say that it can be from 0% (if slow disks are used) to 100% (if very fast disks are used).

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  6. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Thanks to both of you. I'm not even sure whether my secondary channel is 40 or 80 wire cable... I'll have to check that out. If it's 40 I'll get an 80 wire cable for it.

    Assuming I did that... I gather it would be beneficial for me then to put my HD's on separate channels (both as master) based on what I read here?

    Let's say (theoretically) somebody wanted to use their 2'nd HD JUST to hold their pagefile. I gather that then you would certainly want to put them on separate channels as masters? I'm considering this.

    And how much would it affect my optical drive (DVD/RW) performance wise if it were the slave instead of master on that 2'nd channel? I don't use it very often, so it won't be a deal breaker... just curious.

    Thanks for the great help :)
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    Do you have any objective test data for us? It sounds good but it sounds like opinion.
     
  8. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Correction to my previous posts. :oops:

    Two devices on the same cable on PATA do not operate at the same time. Only one device can perform a read or write operation at a given time so the example of 50mb/s read on one drive + 50mb/s write was wrong.
    Instead is more like:
    One drive reads at e.g. 100mb/s and then (after the read operation is complete on the first one) the second writes at e.g 65mb/s and so on.

    For making an example lets say we want to copy a file of 6500mb from the first to the second.
    If the drives are on the same cable the time needed will be:
    -Read operations on the first drive 65s + Write operations on the second one 100s = Total time 165s
    -The average transfer speed is 39,4mb/s.

    If the drives are on different cables the time needed will be:
    (Since the first drive reads at the same time with the second the transfer speed is limited only by the write speed of the second drive.)
    -Write operations on the second one 100s = Total time 100s
    -The average transfer speed is, the same with the write speed of the second drive, 65mb/s.

    So we can see from the above example that the average increase in speed when transfering files from one drive to another is 65%.

    Panagiotis
     
  9. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    @luciddream
    You are welcome. :)

    Correct, put them on separate channels (both as master).
    The pagefile benefits when put on another disk but I doubt you'll notice a difference between disks that are on the same channel compared to those that are two different channels.
    About the DVD recorder. Having it as a slave will not affect it at all.

    @Brian
    See my previous post. The performance on my older systems was similar to that example.
    During imaging the difference in average speed was not so big, mainly because imaging times depend also from the processing power and the available ram.

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  10. pinso

    pinso Registered Member

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    Hello folks,
    i too would like to know the end results for this, once i had a 10 GB Seagate HDD which i connected at the secondary connector of Primary IDE. For a whole month my Primary IDE Slave would fail to load in Windows:many times i had to reconnect the cables and go to BIOS to see if its recognised.
    But eventually that HDD failed and the Read head made strange noise, its basically useless. At first i thought it was a Hardware failure so i tried another 10 GB SAMSUNG HDD and it is showing the same systoms so i have removed it for time being.

    After going through this topic i tried to connect it as Secondary IDE Slave: although it worked but my Secondary Master i.e., DVD ROM seems to take a lot of time reading the CD\DVD'S. So i reverted it back to as it was. Now this 10 GB Samsung HDD which is sitting useless.

    I THINK ITS BEST TO GET A BIG HDD AND PARTITION IT.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    Thanks, but unfortunately you haven't provided any objective test data. It's still theory which may or may not be correct. I'd do the tests if I could.
     
  12. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    "One operation at a time" is not theory:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_ATA ("One operation at a time")
    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/conf_Performance.htm ("Master/Slave Channel Sharing")
    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/confRecommendations-c.html

    Sorry, I cannot provide you exact data because I am on a laptop (that has only sata controllers), and I do not remember the exact results of the tests I had performed back in 2005.

    ps. As for the test http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1160114366;start=0#0 ,I would not take it much in account (after rereading it) , since the controller used is the "Via Apollo Pro 133A" (Ultra ATA/66). Especially when it did not really provided the 66mb/s speed:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/issues,169-2.html .

    Panagiotis
     
  13. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    After ripping open my PC my secondary channel is indeed 40 wire cable. I have 2 bands of ASUS 80 wire left over from helping a friend put a PC together, because he had SATA drives and didn't need them. So I'll use one of them for the secondary channel as recommended here, and put my 2'nd HD as the Master & DVD/RW as slave there.

    The 80 wire that's in there hooked up to my HD now does indeed only have 1 connector, as I thought, and it's extremely short (JUST long enough to get from it's slot on the MB to my HD slot). I guess I'll just keep that the way it is since it's the only device I plan on having on my primary channel anyhow.

    pinso... what you say concerns me though. The last thing I want is to encounter the problems you described, but it sounds like you didn't have yours set up at point the way I plan on having mine (first you had it as primary slave, then secondary slave)... mine will be secondary master. Unless I'm interpreting what you said wrong. The fact that it happened to you twice, with 2 different HD's certainly makes "coincidence" less likely. But I would think that if the process itself were flawed it'd be a well known thing, but the vast majority use this setup with no problem.

    Generally I agree it's best to just have 1 large HD and partition it. But I figured I'd find something useful to do with this old one, and since I already have all my important files backed up twice (external & key drive), figured I'd try to apply this pagefile tweak I heard about. I'll post my results, but I probably won't be doing this for a few more weeks. I'm going on vacation in a few days.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    Thanks. I've been out of town and I'll study your info.
     
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