Does Adding a 2nd IDE Hard Drive (Master/Slave setup) Slow Down BothDrives?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by gary, May 7, 2006.

  1. gary

    gary Guest

    Have a Dimension D-8300 with original, factory Seagate 120GB
    IDE ATA/100 hard drive. Need to add a second drive for storage.

    The sales person at CompUSA told me that I would be better
    off adding an SATA drive vs. another IDE drive. He said the
    reason was that, when you add a SECOND IDE ATA drive in a

    IS THIS TRUE? And if so, to what degree is the performance
    of both drives degraded? You never know if the person
    you're talking to at CompUSA or any store actually knows
    what they're talking about, especially with all the
    different computer makes/models out there.

    I've added 2nd hard drives over the years to all my previous
    computers, and never noticed any reduction in
    speed/performance. Maybe it was there, just didn't notice it.

    I appreciate any help/confirmation on this issue.
    gary, May 7, 2006
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  2. gary

    S.Lewis Guest

    No. It's not universally true. It's can be true if the second IDE drive is
    not installed properly, jumpered wrong and with incorrect BIOS settings. It
    would then run much, much slower as would the machine itself at boot up.

    S.Lewis, May 7, 2006
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  3. gary

    Tom Scales Guest

    SATA is fine and a little faster, so it is probably a better choice.

    That said, the salesman is full of SH**.

    The performance difference is immeasurable.
    Tom Scales, May 7, 2006
  4. gary

    Hank Arnold Guest

    This guy should be taken out and shot. He's a fraud and just trying to
    make a larger commission. If not, at least we'll have him taken out of
    the gene pool.... He's full of crap............

    A SATA drive may be faster, but you'll almost certainly never notice it....

    BTW, Dell computers set up EIDE (or IDE) drives as Computer Select,
    *NOT* Master/Slave....

    Hank Arnold
    Hank Arnold, May 8, 2006
  5. gary

    Ben Myers Guest

    The other problem with ADDING an SATA drive to a system outfitted only with IDE
    is that the system will want to boot from SATA. At least, that's the way it is
    with Intel-designed boards and BIOSes. I would be very careful doing this with
    the Dimension 8300.

    The CompUSA sales person is full of horse manure... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 8, 2006
  6. gary

    Ben Myers Guest

    I'd like to see some newspaper, TV channel, or computer trade rag do an article
    or a series about the quality of sales people in the large retail stores. It
    would be fun to have "investigative reporters" who know their computers go into
    these stores asking questions while pretending to buy something.

    Hey, CompUSA is supposed to be all about computer geeks. Imagine the kind of
    sales expertise one is likely to find in Staples, Office Depot, Circuit City or
    Best Buy. Actually, an old friend of mine, once employed by DEC (R.I.P.)
    worked at a local Staples for a stint. He knew his stuff... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 8, 2006
  7. gary

    Joan Hansen Guest

    Gary, on my D 8300 I just added an WD 120 GB IDE drive with the 8 meg
    cache. I think going with a Sata Drive you would need a sata controller
    card. My XPS Gen5 has Sata hard drives. On the D 8300 I used Ghost to
    duplicate my original c: drive on the new hard drive and then switched
    the drives so I booted up to the new hard drive with the 8 meg cache.

    I don't think my XPS sata drives are much faster.

    Joan Hansen, May 8, 2006

  8. The drivess are still treated by the controller and the BIOS
    as if they were jumpered as Master/Slave when using
    Cable Select. I think you meant to say that Dell relies
    on Cable Select and not jumpers to set the Master/Slave
    differentiation between the drives.

    Timothy Daniels, May 8, 2006
  9. Hank Arnold said something like:
    cable select
    Thomas G. Marshall, May 8, 2006
  10. Timothy Daniels said something like:

    ...........erk. I'm really glad this has come up. Here's where my
    understanding has always fallen short.

    [Note: All the following is very likely to be nonsense---I just don't know
    WTF I'm talking about for sure here, and I freely admit it]

    Does the ATA chipset even give a crap? The point being: the system is
    expecting for a primary at the end of the cable, and a slave further inward
    (?). The CS business is only to tell the drive itself how to configure.

    Is any of that true?
    Thomas G. Marshall, May 8, 2006
  11. Ben Myers said something like:
    I'd place the knowledge and helpfulness level (as a combined metric) in the
    following order (top is best):

    My Golden Retriever
    Best Buy
    Circuit City
    (...4000 virtual "miles" downward...)
    Thomas G. Marshall, May 8, 2006
  12. Did you see this article by HardOCP:

    They compare buying experience from Best Buy, Fry's, CC, CompUSA, etc.
    and they know their stuff.
    Nicholas Andrade, May 8, 2006

  13. The IDE channel controler has no way to know which drive
    it's talking to or hearing from on the same channel unless
    the drives indicate whether they are One or the Other.
    The names given by the industry (unfortunately) for One
    is "Master", and for the Other it gave the name "Slave".
    The connotation between "Master" and "Slave" may have
    made sense at one time, but not in the past 10 years or so.
    The only difference between "Master" and "Slave" now has
    to do with the *default* HD boot order given by the BIOS.
    That HD boot order has the "Master" on IDE channel 0 at
    its head - and thus the HD whose MBR gets control at
    boot time. But if there is no "Master" HD on channel 0, the
    MBR of the "Slave" HD on channel 0 will get control. If there
    is no "Master" or "Slave" on channel 0, the BIOS puts the
    "Master" on channel 1 at the head of the HD boot order.
    If there is no "Master" there, either, the BIOS will give control
    to the MBR of the "Slave" HD on channel 1.

    But most BIOSes give the option to adjust the HD boot order,
    and in that situation, the "Master"/"Slave" designation is
    ONLY for the IDE controler to differentiate 2 drives on the
    same channel (i.e. same cable).

    BTW, it matters not a whit which of 2 drives on a cable is
    jumpered as "Master". You can jumper the HD at the end
    of the cable as "Slave" with the HD at the middle jumpered
    as "Master", and the IDE controler will still be happy because
    all it's interested in is that the drives are jumpered differently.

    The Cable Select mode is only to give PC assembly personnel
    less of a headache when setting up a PC and to prevent
    owners from jumpering both drives the same way. The
    industry had to decide whether to make the end connector
    "Master" or "Slave", and they arbitrarily chose "Master".

    Timothy Daniels, May 8, 2006
  14. gary

    Hank Arnold Guest

    Years ago (more than I want to admit), my sister wanted to buy a PC for
    her law office. This was back when Lechmere's existed and Packard Bell
    was a major brand..... She knew bupkus about PCs, so we had several long
    phone conversations on what to look for and features that were important
    to have. We also went over questions to ask.

    She went to Lechmere's and talked to a kid salesman and after a couple
    of minutes, he leaned over and said in a low voice, "You don't know how
    good it is to deal with someone who knows what they are talking about!".
    She nearly peed in her pants. ;-)

    The bad news is that she bought a Packard Bell......... :-(

    Hank Arnold
    Hank Arnold, May 9, 2006
  15. Hank Arnold said something like:
    Lechmere, not Lechmere's, and they were an incredibly good store. They
    managed to achieve something that is deeply covetted by any in the retail
    sector: They became the first store that many people went to to buy
    something. In this regard alone they were effectively the BestBuy of their
    era, but they were not obnoxious, and I wish they were still around.

    Oh lord no..... My brother did the same thing. It really looked like he
    was getting more for less money, until you discovered later on that 90% of
    the box was proprietary hooey and nearly impossible to replace boards on.
    Thomas G. Marshall, May 10, 2006
  16. gary

    gary Guest

    Thanks for all the tips. FWIW, I installed the new Seagate
    400GB ATA/100 drive as the 2nd drive, to be used mostly for
    storing large video files (recorded from TV) and photo
    files. Set the allocation size to 32KB during formatting
    due to the types of files being stored.

    In any case, after the install, I ran a disk-speed test on
    my 3 hard drives and here's the results, showing
    read/write/max safe speeds:

    1. Drive 1, Dell factory 120GB Seagate ATA/100 =
    30,905, 21,424, 19,281

    2. Drive 2, New Seagate 400GB ATA/100, 16MB Cache =
    70,285, 71,984, 63,256

    3. Drive 3, Maxtor OneTouch 2, 200GB External (Firewire) =
    20,212, 19,310, 17,379

    The Seagate drive is way faster, at least with the disk
    speed tests. Compared to tests run before installing the
    new 400GB drive, there was no noticeable drop in performance
    on any drives.

    So, I'm fairly satisfied with the new drive. Thanks again
    for all the tips and advise and anecdotes.

    gary, May 18, 2006
  17. gary said something like:

    *WHICH* new seagate drive? Can you supply a model #?


    Unix users who vehemently argue that the "ln" command has its arguments
    reversed do not understand much about the design of the utilities. "ln arg1
    arg2" sets the arguments in the same order as "mv arg1 arg2". Existing file
    argument to non-existing argument. And in fact, mv itself is implemented as
    link followed by an unlink.
    Thomas G. Marshall, May 18, 2006
  18. gary

    gary Guest

    It's just the standard Seagate 400 GB with 16MB Cache
    ATA/100 drive. They have models with less cache, but they
    were actually more expensive at my LEAST favorite computer
    store, CompUSA.

    The model # is: ST3400632A, if you want to look it up on
    Seagate's web site. Just enter that in any "search" window.

    gary, May 19, 2006
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