The Hard Drive IDE Cable
Next up, well examine the hard drive IDE cable. Depending upon the layout of the connectors on your mainboard, it might be easier to install the hard drive cable first. Order doesnt matter, as long as everything gets plugged in properly. For example, if the cable from the floppy will go across the sockets for the IDE cables, you can install the floppy cable last. Sometimes ribbon cables will push and shove amongst themselves for space. Thats normal. By now, youre an expert on connecting ribbon cables.
A cable for a hard drive probably came with both your hard drive and with the mainboard. Dont throw out the extra cable. Rather, keep all your extra parts and manuals together. This will make future repairs easier. You can usually use either ribbon cable.
These 40-pin IDE connectors have 80 connectors today (Dont ask me how. Its magic! Actually, each pin has a dedicated ground). Some older IDE hard drive cables might not work with newer IDE drives. If your hard drive instructions say you must use the cable that came with it, go ahead and use that one.
Today, one end of the hard drive connector is usually blue and the other black or gray. Connect the blue end to your mainboard. Connect the gray end to the drive.
The same tricks you used with the floppy cable are used to properly orient the hard drive cable.
The hard drive ribbon cable will have a red stripe down the side with Pin 1. And, Pin 1 is usually identified in the manuals for both the hard drive and the mainboard.
Also, the cable is likely to have a notch that will match up with a cut-out notch in the drive and a similar cut-out notch in the mainboard socket for the IDE connector. Often, there is a missing pin at the top center of the connector.
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How to Build Your Own PC (http://www.PCGuide.com/byop/) on PCGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005
Adapted with permission from a work created by Charlie Palmer.
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