Hard Drive - ATA-IDE

ATA-IDE types

ATA-IDE was the standard interface for computers back in the 1980s and was designed to ensure compatibility with hard drives, CD or DVD drives. ATA-IDE is commonly referred to using other terms such as IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics), ATA, or PATA (Parallel ATA).

IDE is markedly different from ESDI (Enhanced Small Disk Interface) and SCSI since the controllers are found on each drive. Therefore, the ATA-IDE hard drive will connect directly to a controller or motherboard. For the ATA/IDE, data transfer will range between 5MB/s and 133MB/s speeds.

We have integrated drive electronics, IDE, hard drives, IDE connectors, and IDE cables that will help you in upgrading your systems and replacement of components. Depending on your needs, you can get hard drives across different storage capacities and read/write speeds including 160GB-7.2K RPM or 160GB-5.4K RPM, 250GB-7.2K RPM or 250GB-5.4K RPM, 300GB-5.4K RPM or 300GB-7.2K RPM, 320GB-5.4K RPM or 320GB-7.2K RPM, and all the way to 750GB capacity.

Each IDE channel is able to support two drives since the IDE ribbon cable has three connections – one to the motherboard and the other two connections for two drives.

How will your computer tell which drive is which after installation of a new ATA/IDE HDD seeing that you can connect up to 2 drives? The ATA-IDE uses a straight-through cable but can be configured with jumper blocks on the rear of the drive to denote it as primary (master) or secondary (slave). The jumpers are used across the board for optical drives and removable media drives as well. All ATA/IDE disk drives can have three basic configurations that are selected using jumper blocks including master (MA), slave (SL), and cable select (CS, CSEL).

We recommend the following settings at the time of installing a new hard disk or other ATA/IDE device to ensure fast and efficient performance on your computer/system.

  • Master/slave – You need to jumper a drive as master so that it becomes the primary drive on the cable. Where you have both the hard disk drive and optical drive on the same cable, the hard drive must always be jumpered as master. Secondly, the cable should be connected to the ATA/IDE connector number one on the computer motherboard.
  • Slave – You need to jumper a drive as a slave so that it becomes the secondary drive on the cable. In the scenarios where you have both the hard disk and optical drive on the same cable, the rule of thumb is to jumper the optical drive as the slave.
  • Cable select – Finally, the position of the hard disk drive on the cable will determine which drive the system takes to be the master or the slave. The majority of the time, cable select will call for the use of an 80-wire IDE ribbon cable. The 80-wire cables also support Master and Slave settings for the support of two drives. However, we also have the specially designed 40-wire cables that are used by some computer vendors to support cable selection.

There are different types of IDE hard drive disks depending on the system and storage capacity. Hard drives require a cable/connection for both data and power. Unlike SATA, parallel ATA will have cable lengths of up to 18 inches. The ATA-IDE has both a 40-pin connector and an 80-pin connector that are attached to a ribbon cable. The connector in a 40-pin is distinctive in black color, while the 80-pin connector has three colors – black for the master drive, blue for the controller, and gray for the slave drive. For every cable, there are two or three connectors where one connector is attached to the interface that connects to the motherboard while the others are connected to drives.

The 2.5-inch form factor ATA-IDE HDD is commonly used in notebooks or laptop computers makes use of a single 44-pin connection for both data and power. The ATA-IDE hard disks used in desktops make use of a 40-pin connection plus a 4-pin power connector. If you are experiencing challenges installing a new ATA-IDE HDD, it could be that you are having problems with the power and data cables and connectors. We can help you with the right cables to ensure that your computer rig is up and running once again.

We also have integrated motherboards that will support the use of both ATA/IDE and SATA so that you can build systems that meet your needs/specifications. Keep in mind that only one of the two can be used at a given time since both cannot be used simultaneously. Alternatively, we have adapters that will allow the use of an ATA/IDE hard drive with a SATA motherboard and a SATA drive with an IDE motherboard.