2 Drives:

The set-up:
AMD 3200+, VIA KT600 chipset.
512 MB RAM.
ATI Rage 128 viddy.

If I’m putting 2 drives in a PC, is it advisable to slave one to the other? And should they be on individual IDE thingys?
Does anyone have the skinny on the inner routing of this type of situation?

Example: The guy doing this for me thought about IDE 2 holding the DVD-ROM and the sound files drive. IDE 1 has the floppy (for loading small files) and the apps drive. He framed it to me as more of a question…

I was thinking of one drive to house apps, plug-ins, etc., and the other for storage and playing of wav files. Am I in the ballpark?

Thanks for the time- I don’t take this forum for granted!


It is recommended to put your 2 hard drives on separate IDE lines. This should lead to a slight performance increase, since the data stream writing to the disk will be entirely independent of your OS/program drive.

That said, I must confess that in my previous DAW setup, I had my two hard drives on the same line and two CD drives on the other. I never had any problems with it that way. It was the easiest way to hook up the 2nd HDD when I added it.

My present setup uses SATA 2 drives, so it’s no longer an issue.



So it’s good to use separate IDE’s- doesn’t matter which is which, I take it…

Thanks, Don.

I also have my 2 hard drives on IDE bus 1 and my 2 optical drives on IDE bus 2. DVD reader and OS hard drive as masters, CD burner and storage hard drive as slaves (I think the burner should be the master but this is how my system came setup). Works fine for me, though I haven’t tried it in the other configuration due to the length of my IDE cables (the distance between the device 0 / device 1 headers). Should I get some longer ones to test it out?


With my experience and Mike’s, I’d say it won’t make a hair’s worth of difference. You could try disconnecting your DVD and/or floppy and hooking of your hard drives to that IDE line. You could also invest in a longer IDE cable. I doubt if you would be able to tell any difference. Since neither Mike nor I had any trouble with the 2 HDD’s being on the same IDE line, and no one else has chimed in with any problems, I say go for the easiest route.

Hi !

It used to be a problem earlier on slower PC’s, as the 2 hdd’s on one IDE channel can only read or write to one of the drivers at a time, sometimes causing dropouts.

It is still best practice to have your OS (and the programs) on the one drive on the one IDE, and then the data files on the other IDE channel.

But with the faster PC’s it shouldn’t be an issue anymore (just like you don’t have to tweak the ohio out of P4’s to get good performance anymore. The pc is probably just fast enough to deal with it)

On my setup (1gHz cellery) I have found however that it works better if the DVD Writer is on a different IDE channel than the drive where I want to write data from.
Something in the DVD writer wanting to have an uninterupted datastream made it happier.

My .02.


O.k., so better is better; but if it’s superfluous, then it becomes unnecessary, and that’s what we’re looking at. I could consider having the wav files (data…) HD on the IDE that’s not connected to the DVD ROM. Righty!

Thanks much, people, for the advice and insight!