View Full Version : Ultra ATA100 controller card

01-16-2001, 06:09 AM
I am getting (in the mail) tomorrow an IBM Ultra100 HD and a Promise controller card, since my MB only supports Ultra33.
I was looking at the manual online for the Promise Ultra66 (there was no manual online for the Ultra100) and notice that it has 2 IDE connectors on the board, which I assume I will use for my new hard drive and the one I am getting tomorrow.
However, my question is, how will I set up my CD-ROM and CD-RW? Shall I leave them the way they are now, or set CD-ROM as primary master and CD-RW as primary slave ? The manual doesn't give any sort of hint on how to configure your existing hardware with this card.

01-16-2001, 12:25 PM
Hi WorknMan,

I have an idea. Maybe a few others will as well. If it were my system, I would use the new controller card for the harddrives, using the two connection cable, and setting one to master and the other slave. Make sure the master HDD is connected to the end connector.

Then, I would leave the CD-ROM and CD-RW connected to the motherboard secondary IDE channel, again, setting one as master and the other as slave. Usually, CD-ROMs and such will drag down the performance of the system if they are hooked together with a nice fast harddrive.

In summary, use the controller card for the harddrives, setting one to primary master and the other to primary slave. Use the motherboard IDE channel connection for the CD reader and writer, setting them as secondary master and secondary slave.

Hope this helps. I think it is sound advice, but perhaps someone else will have a better idea. Hang tight for awhile and see if anyone else answers.


Big Blue 66

01-16-2001, 12:44 PM
It might be a good idea to leave your currnet hd on the primary mb ide channel until you get the new drive formatted and figure out how to boot from a drive on a controller card...

Since you're going to have 4 ide devices and 8 places to plug them in, you've got lot's of choices, obviously the new drive will be master on the cards primary channel...but then if you split up the cd drives, one as master on the mb secondary channel and the other as master on the cards secondary channel, you'll get better cd to cd copying, this just leaves the old hd as master on the mb primary channel...at least until you get everything humming the way you want it...

As long as each drive is isolated on an ide channel, it has to be the master, only when you have two drives on the same cable do you set one as slave...just remember to plug the master drive into the end of the cable, slave in the middle...good luck

01-16-2001, 01:02 PM
Well cripes, thanks for catching my error, Goonz. I had completely spaced out the fact that the new controller board will have two separate IDE channels. While it's a good idea to have both harddrives connected as master to each channel (that's assuming that worknman wants to retain both harddrives, otherwise, your idea works better), hooking a CD reader or reader/writer up with the harddrive as slave will slow down the harddrive. However, I can see that it might be a small price to pay for better performance with CD copying. I stand corrected. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

As an aside, last year I purchased an Ultra ATA 66 HDD for my older computer at home. I purchased also a nice ATA/66 controller card. After hooking everything up, I was sorely disappointed to find only a 33mhz transfer rate. So I took the card out and am now using the mobo IDE channel at PIO Mode 4, which I assume after much research, is only half the transfer rate I was getting before. Oivay!

To make a long story shorter, after much research and finally getting a manual for my motherboard, I find that I have to tweak a jumper on the motherboard to bypass its transfer rate or something like that, in case a controller board is added. So guess what I will be doing this weekend? Live and learn.

The motherboard jumper issue may be something for worknman to keep in mind, too.


BB 66

[This message has been edited by BigBlue66 (edited 01-16-2001).]

01-17-2001, 03:45 AM
Well, now the job is done and everything is humming along happily http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif
I decided (for the time being) to take my old hard drive out of the system and just use the new one.
Right now, I have the new hard drive on the controller's IDE1 master.
I had the CD-ROM and CD/RW on the motherboard's IDE primary master & slave, but I was getting random fatal exception errors, so I put them both on the secondary IDE port and so far so good.
The difference in transfer rate and speed with this new card and drive is incredible (going from Ultra 33 to Ultra 100) .. I wasn't aware there would be this much difference.
Once I got Win98SE installed, I transferred 1GB of files and it took about 10 minutes. Then I installed the driver for the controller, rebooted, and did the same transfer in under 3 minutes http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif It feels like I upgraded RAm and CPU .. everything just seems to be much faster.
How can I tell for sure whether my computer is reading the new drive as Ultra 100 ?