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I don't need the secondary IDE controller on my motherboard and want to disable it so I can free up the resources (IRQ line, etc.) that it is using. I disable it in the BIOS setup but Windows keeps redetecting and installing drivers for it

Explanation: You have a modern motherboard that contains a primary and secondary IDE controller. You want to disable the secondary controller and do so by changing the BIOS setting that controls it. However, Windows 95 keeps redetecting and re-enabling the secondary IDE controller despite its being disabled.

Diagnosis: This problem is caused by the drivers that Windows 95 uses to support PCI controllers. You may have to manually remove the driver for the secondary controller under Windows 95. In some cases you won't be allowed to remove the secondary controller driver because it will say that the secondary controller is "part of a multifunction device" driver that contains the primary and secondary controller drivers. You must change a setting on this "parent" device to disable the secondary controller. If you just remove the parent device then Windows will redetect both primary and secondary controllers again.

Note: If you have any other IDE controllers in the system, such as one that is part of a sound card, it will also show up, usually as "Standard IDE/ESDI Hard Disk Controller". Just ignore it.


  • Check the obvious: make sure that you really did disable the secondary controller in the BIOS setup.
  • Remove the secondary controller by changing the appropriate setting of the parent IDE controller device in the Device Manager.
  • See this section in the Optimization Guide for more ideas on how to free up unneeded IDE channel resources.

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