Multiple Hardrives or Opticle Drives in a Computer That Really Can't




About: Just a guy, contact me on msn

So I made this instructable after years of trolling and reading around i finally had the guts to make my own. In a nutshell I'm showing you how to install hardware (in this case two IDE hard drives and two IDE optical drives) into an IDE machine.

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Step 1: The Stuff

A Computer (i have two, I'm using the not so great one)
Drives! Be they optical or hard disk, note that a computer will not boot up with out an operating system.
IDE ribbon cables i have many you probably only have one or two.
POOOOWWWWWWEEEEEEERRRRR (immature eh?) you need appropriate molex power Connections! or if you are doing this with sata... this guide is for IDE mind you... use sata power.
Tweezers you'll see

Step 2: Get Your Hardware Together

Get your hardware together, then stick it next to your machine

Step 3: Drive Switchs

Get out your tweezers and prepare for pokes, on the drive(s) it should show a little diagram according to which drive is slave main you should put the switches. Have Fun Good Luck.

Step 4: Know Thy Master

Get your IDE ribbon cables and locate the end that says master, and the one some where between it says slave. some cables dot have markings, soo the diagram looks like this


Step 5: Power

Put the Molex (m) wire into the Molex (f) socket on the drives.

Step 6: A Few More to Go

ok so the drives and power and switches and all that are all connected but we havn't put the IDE into the mother board yet.

Step 7: Dry Run

Dry run kind of like a wet one but not wet, hook everything up DO NOT close the case, if some thing doesn't work you will have faster access to parts to repair.

Step 8: Not Hot Swappable

dont change parts out while it is on, bad idea. but now you can connect four hard drives or 3 optical drives or 3 hard drives, ill just make another diagram =)


Hey You're DONE

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    27 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 8

    This is the poor mans method. It's better to get a bigger case if you want more.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What do you mean by "Multiple hardrives or Optical Drives in a computer that really can''t" because I thought it would be something like tricking the PC into using two drives as one. I want SCSI in mah computah now. always set the jumper to cable select. makes upgrading easier.

    6 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I understand, but haven't seen the wiring, whereby you can connect identical IDE drives in tandem so that they function as a single logical device. This involves a small logic circuit to handle the head addresses so that they are directed to the correct drive, and once you've set the bios to the new head count, the whole bundle appears as one device.

    Note that such a configuration is not truly a RAID because if one drive fails, its portion of data is unrecoverable.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    nope i mweant 4 HDD in one pc when said max (as said by the manufacturer) is 2 , two HDD as one is raid +5 (right?) one of the RAIDs, SCSI adapters are not exactly cheap and i only had one and i sent it to a friend who uses it alot, most decent adaptors i see are running (NEW not eBay) around $200-$300


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yeah, I was just kidding about that. but you said "in a computer that really can't". what does that mean?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I think the title should be " Drives on a PC case that can't fit them all in the inside ".


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You could always buy a Motherboard that has raid built in with a couple identical SATA or Solid State HDDs. It is a lot cheaper than $300 dollars!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I hate this formatting. get with the html tags instructables.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to run more than 4 IDE devices, get a Promise controller (or equivalent)... those give you two more plugs for up to 4 more drives.  As a bonus, some of the regular Promise controllers can be hacked to turn them into RAID controllers.  You may be able to scrounge one from a scrapped computer or from a computer recycler; they were popular for upgrading a computer to ATA 66 or 100 without replacing the mobo.


    9 years ago on Step 2

    What makes your keyboard custom?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    One thing i noticed is that when i connected a CD drive in the same ribbon cable that my main hdd was connected to is that: First, it bluescreened, crashed complaining that it can't access the HDD the CD drive is the only thing that was visible in the BIOS. seems that hdd+Cd drive in the same ribbon cable is a no no.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    lol you guys are a hoot! Thank you for sharing this info I am sure people out there really wanted to know that. I know alot of pc makers do not like buyers modding their PCs and hence put in the instructions this is not supported or can not be done. But good info!

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I'll tell you one thing, that is a complete lie! You can do this kind of thing on every and any computer, execpt maybe macs.....


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It's good, but Optical not Opticle drive, and you may want to explain in more detail about setting a drive jumper to slave or master, and the difference between them, because it is a common mistake. Other than that, seems good.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the drive setting advice, yeah im surprised to see someone comment already, and the whole optical thing, i have errors like that strewn everywhere, i did normally put optical tho, i think?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I think you've gotten your genders confused also. Looks like in the picture that the male is on the HDD and the plug is female.