Cables and Connectors Cases CD-ROM and Optical storage mediums Central Processing Units Floppy disk drives Hard disk drives Computer memory Modems and routers Computer monitors  
Go To The Computer Tutorials Website Go To The PC Reference Library Website Go To The Frequently Asked Computer Questions Website Go To The Technology World Blog Go To The Forums Website
View The Website Map To Help You Navigate Around This Website Site Map View Advertising Information About How You can Advertise Your Products or Services With Technology World. Advertising Interested In Making a Donation To Technology World? Click here to find out how! Donations Interested In Making a Donation To Technology World? Click here to find out how! Articles At A Glance
Jump To:
Home > Installation Tutorials > How To Install A New Hard Drive Using A RAID Controller Card
On This Page:
Mainboards Logo  
Document Details:
Title: How To Install A New Hard Drive Using A RAID Controller Card
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Categories: Hard Disk Drives
Installation Guides
# Of Pages: Creation Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008 7:14 PM
Skill Level: Basic PC Hardware Knowledge
Windows Driver Installation Knowledge
Last Modified: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:46 PM
Before installing your hard disk drive please shut down your computer and unplug all cables attached to the back of your computer. These include power and monitor cables, your keyboard and mouse.

Document Details

Article Overview

Hardware Installation Procedures

Configuring Through The BIOS

Configuring Through The Operating System

Downloadable Formats
Article Overview [ Top ]
The following learning objectives are presented in this article:

This hard drive is a Maxtor 500 GB EIDE PATA.

Understand how a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) configuration can improve the performance of a computer system.
Understand how to install a RAID controller card.
Understand how to configure jumper settings on a hard drive and the differences between master and slave configurations.
Learn what connections are needed to connect a hard disk drive to a RAID controller card.
Hardware Installation Procedures [ Top ]

Preparing The Hard Disk Drive

Before installing your new hard disk drive there are a number of pre-installation steps you must complete before any parts are installed within the computer. Before the hard drive can be installed and used you will need to install a compatible controller card. A controller card is a separate expansion card that plugs in directly to a PCI slot on the computer's motherboard. This will define the RAID configuration.

Choose A Mounting Area

The first step is to determine the appropriate area within your computer that hard drive should be mounted into.

Make a note of where the openings are needed by the hard drive to be mounted properly internally.

Open The Computer Case

To complete this task you will need to open the side panel of your case (the metal box that holds everything together). There are typically two screws that need to be removed to get access to the internal side of the computer.

Install The RAID Controller Card

The RAID controller card made reference to during this installation is manufactured by VIA and utilizes a VT6421A chipset.

This controller card provides 3 Serial ATA (SATA) ports and 1 UDMA port (which supports two IDE Parallel ATA hard drives and three Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives).

For the purpose of this tutorial you will need to have an open PCI expansion slot for installing the controller card.

You will need to remove the metal bracket that's attached to the chassis.

Find an open PCI slot and gently align the controller card perpendicular to the slot. PCI slots are white in color. In the illustration to the right it shows two types of PCI slots. Select the smaller of the two for this installation.

Gently press both edges of the controller card until it's fully edged into the slot.

Secure the card to the metal bracket with a Phillips screwdriver.

Configuration Of Jumper Settings

Before mounting the hard drive into the selected area, you will need to configure jumper settings on the hard drive so that it can peacefully co-exist with other components inside of the computer.

Jumper settings are a way of identifying what designation a particular storage component plays within the computer.

A jumper setting is a term that refers to the how the drive is configured within the computer. These jumper settings take the form of plastic coverings that short out a series of pins on the back of the hard drive to designate the particular function of the drive.

Master Designation

If the drive's jumper settings are configured as a master device, the other device connected to the same data cable must be configured as the slave device.

Slave Designation

If the hard drive being installed is configured as a slave device, then the other storage drive must be configured as a master device for both devices to peacefully co-exist on the same IDE channel.

Cable Select Designation

The other option is two setup both storage devices using the CS (Cable Select) method, in which the orientation of the cable determines how the drives function inside of the computer. Both devices must be configured for cable select or neither will function properly with the system. There is also some performance loss when using the cable select designation, so it is advisable to use to always use one of the other two drive designations for the setup

For the purpose of this tutorial, the hard disk drive being installed will be setup as a single storage device, thus it will use the master designation.

The next step is to configure the jumpers on the hard disk drive. To complete this task you will need a pair of needle nose pliers or a pair of tweezers to remove the jumper cap that is already installed on the hard drive.

If there is no jumper cap installed you will need to obtain one of the appropriate size and place it on the pins to configure the device as the master.

Be careful when removing the jumper cap; you should grip the tweezers by both hands and use just enough force to remove the cap and place it on the new set of pins. Be careful not to use too much force as this might cause the pins to become bent and may damage the hardware.

If your drive is not setup to use the master designation, carefully remove the jumper cap located on the back of the hard drive.

Place the jumper cap on the correct pins so that the hard drive is designated as the master device.

The Maxtor drive being installed has been setup to use the Master designation and for the purpose of this tutorial we will keep it like that. However, if you want the drive to work with other storage devices you will need to configure the drive accordingly. Consult the manual that accompanied your hard drive for further information.

Click here for a document detailing various jumper settings for a wide variety of hard disk drives.

Mounting The Hard Disk Drive

Gently slide the hard drive into the open drive bay.

Securing The Hard Drive To The Chassis

If you have problems securing the drive to the metal chassis try gripping the screw with needle nose pliers and glide the screw into the hole. Once you have the screw in place tighten it slightly with an appropriate phillips screwdriver.

Generally there are four screws to secure the hard drive to the PC case.

It is important to secure the drive to all four openings, but don't over tighten the screws when the hard drive is ready to be mounted.

Secure the hard disk drive to the mounting holes with a Phillips screwdriver.

Connecting The Power Cable

On the back of the hard disk drive there is one power connector used to give the drive its juice required to function with the rest of the computer.

This 4 pin hard drive power connector is known as a Molex power connector.

It is easily identifiable as four large pins that must connect up with the power connector found on the power supply cable.

Connecting The Data Interface Cable

On the back side of the hard disk drive there is a 40 pin male data interface connection. This connector conforms to the UDMA 100 transfer protocol.

This port is used to connect the hard disk ribbon cable to the internal port on the computer's motherboard.

There is usually one pin missing in this area; the hard disk connector on the motherboard is also missing one pin.

This power lead comes directly from the power supply unit and provides power to the hard disk drive.

This 4 Pin Female BERG connector provides the power to the hard disk drive.

Connect the 4 ping BERG power connector to the 4 pin connector on the back of the hard disk drive.

It is important to connect the power connector in the correct orientation or you might damage the power connector and cause a short, which may lead to a smoke fire and damage to the hardware.

When connecting the power cable to the drive you don't typically have to use a lot of force; if the power connector does not fit in easily then try turning the cable upside down and re-insert the power connector into the drive.

It is important to note that the power connector should fit properly in only one direction. If the connector does not fit in easily you might be inserting it upside down; reverse the direction of the power cable and try again.


Connect the 40 ping data interface cable to the 40 pin connector on the back of the hard disk drive.

It is important to orient the data cable properly as inserting the cable in the wrong direction will damage the connection pins on the drive.

A good rule of thumb when installing the interface cable is to remember that the red stripe on any hard drive ribbon cable represents pin 1 on the hard disk drive connector. Pin 1 is always closest to the right on the data connector.

This stripe needs to connect to the pin furthest to the right on the data connector on the back of the hard drive..

Connecting To The Controller Card

Connect the other end of the hard disk drive ribbon cable to the connector on the RAID controller card.

It is imperative that the hard drive ribbon cable is inserted into the correct direction as you may cause damage to the card if the cable is inserted backwards.

The red stripe on the ribbon cable must match pin # 1 which is to the closest left on the controller card.

That will complete the physical part of the hardware installation. You can now close up your computer's paneling removed in the first step of the installation
Installing And Configuring The Device Through The BIOS [ Top ]

Hard disk drives don't require additional configuration through the BIOS. Assuming everything has been installed correctly the RAID controller card should automatically detect the hard drive and configure it accordingly. For this installation you don't need to make any changes to the BIOS settings. The BIOS chip located on the RAID controller card will handle any configurations required by the operating system to detect and use the hard drive. Click here to read how to complete the installation in Windows XP.

Configuring Through The Operating System [ Top ]
Assuming everything has been configured correctly after your computer restarts your operating system will detect the newly installed hardware.

Insert the drivers disc into the CD-ROM drive or click here to download the drivers.

Once the operating system is started you will see a Found New Hardware Wizard screen that will help you install the drivers required by the heardware.

On the first screen select the option No, not this time and left click the Next button.

On the next screen select the option Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) and left click the Next button,

On the next screen Select the option Search for the best driver in these locations.

Select the option Include this location in the search.

Left click the Browse button and select the location the driver files are located.

Windows will search the location specified on the previous screen for a driver file. If it finds a compatible driver Windows will automatically install the files to get the hardware wowrking.

The driver installation procedure will take several minutes to complete,

After succesful installation the following screen will be shown.

To complete installation you'll need to restart the system, click Yes button to restart the system as shown,

If the driver is successfully installed you'll find an entry for the card under SCSI and RAID Controllers in the Device Manager as shown below


You'll find the disk as disk 1 in the Disk Management as shown below.

In the above figure Disk 1 is an unpartitioned disk so the disk will not be listed under My Computer, you can make partitions, formate these partitions according to your requirements here in the Disk Management.

Follow the same steps for all other compatible windows based operating systems and click here for Windows Vista Installation.

Downloadable Formats [ Top ]
This article can be downloaded as a PDF file for offline viewing and printing. To view this file you will need to download and install a program that is capable of reading PDF files.
This area is currently underconstruction.
AD Browse For More PC Hardware Information: AD
PCGuide Index Menu
Cables and Connectors Cases CD-ROM and Optical storage mediums Central Processing Units Floppy disk drives Hard disk drives Computer memory Modems and routers Computer monitors