Run Two Hard Drives
Storage is always important in computers, and one way to increase it is by adding a second hard drive. This can easily be done in most desktop computers.
There are two main types of hard drive: SATA (Serial ATA) and PATA (Parallel ATA). SATA drives have a small, wafer-like connector at the back and PATA ones have a wide connector with lots of pins (two rows of 20). Determine which kind of drive you have before you begin.
1. Connect SATA cables and power cords (also smaller and wafer-like) to the drives, mount them in your case and locate the SATA connectors on the motherboard. Older motherboards might not have SATA connectors but anything made in the last few years should have at least two.
2. Connect the hard drives. Consult your motherboard’s manual to figure out which SATA connector is the primary one and which is the secondary one. Make a note of which drive is connecting where (it is best to make the hard drive you plan to boot off of–i.e. which one has your operating system on it–the primary drive).
3. Go into BIOS. When you turn on your computer there should be a prompt near the bottom of the screen telling you to press a button to go into setup or BIOS. In BIOS go into the boot order section. Select which SATA drive you are booting from. Check to make sure both drives are recognized by the computer.
4. If you have PATA drives you need to figure out which drive you are going to use to boot up. Whichever one has your operating system on it should be your boot drive.
5. Look at the back of the drives. There should be a small collection of pins (two rows of three or four) with a little plastic jumper on them. There should also be a diagram on top of the drive describing jumper positions like “master” and “slave.”
6. Place the jumper in the “master” position on your boot-up drive. On the other drive place the jumper in the “slave” position.
7. Locate the PATA connectors on the motherboard (they are also referred to as IDE connectors). There should be at least two. Consult your motherboard’s manual to find out which is the primary and which is the secondary. Connect the power connectors; they have colored wires and white, plastic heads.
8. Connect the “master” drive to the primary connector and the “slave” to the secondary. Alternatively, you can use an IDE cable with three connectors on it for both hard drives together, but make sure the master drive is first in line and you use the primary connector on the motherboard.
9. Go to BIOS as instructed in Step 3 of Section 1. Instead of selecting the SATA drive, select the master PATA drive, and check to make sure both drives are recognized by the computer.