Hard Disk Drive Chain Of Command

Hard Disk Drive Chain Of Command

There are four channels on an ATA interface, with each drive populated in a master/slave configuration. There are four connections utilized by the EIDE interface. The following table summarizes these connections and lists the typical device attached to these connections:

Connection Unit Drive ID
Primary Master Hard disk drive # 1 - Typically the primary boot up drive used to install and run a Windows operating system. Device 01 on channel IDE0
Primary Slave Primarily used as a CD-Rom drive. The secondary master can also be configured as a second or third hard disk drive in the system. Device 02 on channel IDE0
Secondary Master Hard disk drive # 2 - Typically a secondary boot up drive or storage drive. Device 01 on channel IDE1
Secondary Slave Used as a tape drive, or any other backup drive such as an Iomega Zip or Ditto drive. A 120MB super floppy can also be configured as the secondary slave or boot up drive. Device 02 on channel IDE1
Table #.# - Four available Hard Disk Drive designations and the elements they are most likely to control.

The primary master is typically reserved for the hard disk drive you are booting from, but on newer systems, these settings can be changed to reflect a CD-Rom or tape drive as the primary master. You may want to use a tape drive as the primary master, if you are experiencing problems with your system or you suspect your hard drive is failing and don't wish to boot up using the hard disk.