How to install more hard drives when all IDE slots are occupied

Question

I have 2 200gb harddrives, a DVD ROM, and a cd burner, thus occupying all 4 IDE places. Is there a way to set up another harddrive as well, by sharing the slots, treating them as one drive, or something similar? I have managed to fill up all 400gb, and can't (for operational reasons) put data onto a CD or tape, as I need network access to all the data remotely.

Answer

This question was answered on July 21, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

If you do not have any SCSI devices installed on your PC and you have open PCI slots that arent sharing IRQ resources then I have a solution for you.

You can purchase an IDE/ATA Controller Card and add as many additional hard drives as the computer can handle However, it is very important that you know the specs of your Mother Board becauase IRQ conflicts can occur IRQ conflicts can render any other cards attached to your Mother Board useless causing them to not function properly or not function at all if you do not know how to manually configure the IRQ channels So first things first, check to see which slots share which IRQ channels.

IDE/ATA Controller Cards can be purchased for about $50 - $200 depending on whether you need ATA60, ATA100, ATA133 or ATA133 w/RAID ATA133 w/RAID being my first recommendation since larger sized hard drives usually run at ATA133, and you may want to use the RAID features in the future to improve system performance (RAID can take 2 physical hard drives and make them function as one large volume) Also, most ATA133 Controller Cards are backward compatible with ATA60 and ATA100 for older devices.

If this is not an option for you then you can always go for an External Hard Drive which operates via USB or USB 2.0.

Hope this helps...

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Author

Posted by sean of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on July 21, 2004