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PATA Drive Jumper Settings


Note: Much of the information provided on this page is obsolete as SATA has replaced PATA as the standard drive on new computers. SATA drives have no master / slave relationship, and therefore don't need to be jumpered.

So if you are building an all-SATA system, then none of the information on this page applies to you, and you can skip this page if you like. If you're building a system that uses SATA hard drives and PATA auxiliary drives, then the information on this page applies only to the PATA auxiliary drives, not to the SATA hard drives.


Setting the Drive Jumpers

Once you decide on the drive positions and assignments in your new computer, the jumpers must be set accordingly.

At this point, let's mention again that all devices attached to the IDE channels -- hard drives, optical drives, tape drives, ZIP drives, and whatever other IDE/ATA devices may someday exist -- must be configured either as masters, slaves, or cable-select devices. If there is only one device on the channel, then it is the master. (Note: Some drives have a separate jumper setting for "single" drive.)

You can't have two masters or two slaves on the same IDE channel. This is one of the most common mistakes made by new home computer builders, so double check your assignments and jumpers before firing the machine up for the first time.

The diagram below shows the jumper assignments for one popular line of EIDE hard drives. Your drive's jumper settings may be different and can be found in the drive's documentation and/or on a label attached to the drive. (Diagram courtesy of Maxtor Corporation.)


Typical hard drive jumper settings.


Hard drive jumperThe blue boxes represent the little jumpers that came in that little plastic bag that came with the drive. The jumpers usually are white, black, or blue in color. The pin settings are printed on the drive's label, on its logic board (as in the picture on the right), or both.

To bridge a connection, you slide a jumper over the corresponding pins as in the picture on the right. Plastic tweezers come in handy for this. If you use metal tweezers, be careful not to touch the metal pins. (Or better yet, just use your fingernails.)

If you dropped the jumpers in the carpet, good luck finding them!


The Cylinder Limitation Jumper

Some hard drives include a cylinder limitation jumper (CLJ) to work around the limitations of older BIOS's that are not able to support larger drives. Unless you are using a motherboard that was built the year of the flood, this is not likely to be an issue for you; so most likely you will leave the CLJ off.

(Once again, if you are using all SATA drives, then none of this stuff applies to you.)




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