Install Multiple Hard Drives On One Ribbon Cable

Multiple hard drives of different capacities can be installed in a single computer.

Multiple hard drives can be installed on a single ribbon cable if the drives are designed to interface with the computer using IDE or SCSI. The difference between the two is the way the jumpers should be set and the number of drives that can be used on a single cable. IDE devices typically allow two drives per data cable while SCSI devices can take several more, depending on the controller and the cable.

Instructions

IDE Drives

1. Shut down the computer and disconnect it from the power source.

2. Attach the alligator clip of the anti-static wrist strap to the fan opening or other metal location on the computer case. Wrap the other end of the strap around your wrist. Remove the cover from the computer case.

3. Set the jumper settings on the primary drive to “Master” or “MA” according to the diagram or markings on the drive. Refer to the hard drive user’s manual or manufacturer’s website if necessary for an indication of set the jumper for a particular drive.

4. Set the jumper settings on the secondary drive to “Slave” or “SL” according to the diagram or markings on the drive. Refer to the hard drive user’s manual or manufacturer’s website if necessary for an indication of set the jumper for the second drive.

5. Mount each drive into an available drive bay in the computer using four mounting screws and a Phillips screwdriver to secure the drive in place.

6. Connect one end of the data cable to the motherboard or hard drive controller port, orienting the missing pin hole in the cable to the missing pin on the controller port.

7. Connect the middle connector on the data cable to the secondary hard drive, repeating the procedure for orienting the missing pin hole on the connector to the missing pin on the drive controller port.

8. Attach the other connector on the data cable to the primary hard drive, aligning the missing pin hole in the cable with the missing pin on the drive’s controller port.

9. Connect the power cables to the hard drives.

SCSI Drives

10. Shut down the computer and disconnect it from the power source.

11. Attach the alligator clip on the anti-static wrist strap to the fan opening or other metal location on the computer case and wrap the other end of the strap around your wrist. Remove the cover from the computer case.

12. Set the drive identification jumper on the primary drive to “Drive 0” and set subsequent drives to sequential ID settings. Set the “Terminate” jumper on the last drive in the chain or alternately install a hardware terminator block. Refer to the controller card or motherboard user’s manual to determine the exact sequence of jumper settings needed for a particular installation as the exact settings can vary by device.

13. Mount each drive into an available drive bay in the computer using four mounting screws and a Phillips screwdriver to secure the drive in place.

14. Attach the data cable to the motherboard or SCSI controller and then attach the connector closest to the motherboard to the lowest numbered hard drive. Attach the ribbon cable to the other hard drives in sequence, using the next closest connector to the motherboard for the next lowest numbered drive.

15. Connect a hardware SCSI terminator to the last drive if necessary. Note that some drives use a jumper setting to perform this function. Refer to the hard drive user manual or manufacturer’s website for a specific brand and model.

16. Connect the power cables to the hard drives.