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PATA Drive Jumper Settings


Note: This is a legacy page. The information provided on this page is obsolete because SATA has replaced PATA as the standard for hard drives. It is being retained solely for historical reasons.


Setting the Drive Jumpers

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

Typical hard drive jumper settings

This diagram 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.)

The 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 this picture), or both.

To bridge a connection, you slide a jumper over the corresponding pins as in this picture. 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!

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 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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