IDE Cables and Connectors
While some hard-drive cables (IDE cables) have only a connector at each end, most have a connector at each end and a connector at the center. The primary drive is usually connected at the far end of the ribbon, and the secondary drive is connected to the middle connector.
Most mainboards support two IDE connectors. Because each IDE connector can run two drives (one as primary, one as secondary), youll be all set to add up to four hard drives, CD-RWs, DVDs, etc. If you want more drive capability, youll probably need to add an expansion card giving you another IDE connector. Four drives are usually more than adequate for most systems.
One handy PCI expansion board is an IDE, serial, parallel, and other multiple function I/O controller board. This board will give you more of every type of port, if you find you need them. These PCI expansion boards were more common in the past (before internal CD-RWs and USB ports) when people often ran an external zip drive from the parallel port and a printer from another parallel port. If the devices got into arguments, putting one on its own controller board solved the problem. Today, expansion boards adding extra USB ports are common.
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Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005
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