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Thread: IDE cables

  1. #1
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    IDE cables

    I see referance to 40 wire with ATA33 IDE cable, and
    80 wire with ATA66/100/133 IDE cables.
    There really aren't 40 wires in the one cable and 80 wires in the other cable are there ? The ends look the same etc. I have looked at about 10 different wires in my small connection, and they all look the same to me, and I can't find any labeling on them to identify what type they are. Does this difference really mean anything ? For example, if you are installing a newer hard drive or even a CD Rom in an older computer, are there capatibility issues between the different wires and hard drives / CD Roms etc. ? Stop laughing and educate me please. Many thanks.

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    The word "connection" above should be 'collection"

  3. #3
    Bronze Member xsivforce's Avatar
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    ATA33 has 40 wires. ATA66 has 80 wires but 39 pins (one blocked), which makes it backward compatible with the DMA33 IDE cables. Yes, that means this cable will work with an old ATA33 hard drive/motherboard/CD ROM. The connectors are pretty much the same except the ATA66 also have color coded connectors as follows:
    Blue connector - to Motherboard
    Grey connector - to 'Slave' Device
    Black connector - to 'Master' Device

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    xsivforce---------Does that also mean that if I have an older computer that might have the older 40 wire ATA33 cable, if I am trying to install a newer CD Rom there might be a problem ?

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    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Assuming that you are talking IDE, not SCSI, you should not have a problem. Most computers, still in use have an IDE drive controller built into the motherboard. Make sure that you have current drivers and it is always a good practice to change out the drive cable.

    A SCSI drive will also require a separate controller card as would a system old enough not to have a built-in IDE controller.

    However, if you are dealing with a system that old, consider purchasing one of the $200 computers featured in a thread recently. You would be much better off.

    $200 Computers

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    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    hi mike13,


    you will need that 80 wire cable if you want to achieve udma 66 or above

    if you use the normal 40 wire cable on a udma 100 motherboard and hd it will only do udma 33.

    the performance gain is worth the effort to get a cable

    you can use a udma 133 hd/cd(udma33 ) or similar in an older computer with a normal ide cable but you will be throwing away your money (you really want performance)

    some hd makers have released software to force the hd to udma 33 do to hardware errors with non udma 66'100 boards,

    egghead
    ------------------------------------------------------------



  7. #7
    Titanium Member Tinker's Avatar
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    I hope this ** read ** will help you out mike13......


  8. #8
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Good article Tinker.

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and leads. The reason I am trying to learn about these cables is --my friends daughter bought an old 486 computer with monitor (stop laughing, she didn't know any better. It has Windows 95 and no CD Rom. I have been trying to install an older CD Rom in the computer just so I get get Internet Explorer so they can e-mail one another. I can not find it on the computer, it must have been deleted or something. There is only one cable for me to work with, the one that the hard drive is connected to a card that is plugged into the motherboard. The hard drive is an old Maxtor with the jumpers underneath the unit. I understand that if the little jumper is there, then the hard drive is set to master. And I guess that is what I want. I then added an older CD Rom (1993), set it to Slave, but got a hard drive error when I tried to start the machine. I then tried the setting at both cable select, and also at master. No luck, same message. Not knowing if the old CD Rom was any good anymore, I tried the CD Rom from my wifes computer (Hitachie 1998). Same error messages except that on cable select (I think), the computer did boot up without an error message. I was making progress, but the computer did not recognize the CD Rom. I then went on the internet with my computer , P4, and downloaded the proper driver for the Hitachie CD Rom. I then installed the driver on the 486 machine, but it still does not recognize the CD Rom. I believe that I read somewhere, probably with the info. that I downloaded with the driver from Hitachie, that I will have to rerun CDSETUP from one of the Windows 95 floppies. Well that is another problem, we do not have Win 95 on the floppies. I have 95, 98, 98SE, Me, and XP on Cd's, etc but not 95 on floppies. I would like to get a CD Rom working on her computer, but if I can't, then is there a way to at least get Internet Explorer back, other than trying to find someone who has 95 on floppies ? Many, many thanks.

  10. #10
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    A CDROM build in 1993 is most likely a 1X drive which was not plug and play. My first PnP drive was a 2X Sony that I purchased in approx. 1995.

    Suggestions:

    1. The first one is to consider breaking the knees of the bum that took advantage of the young lady. Can you and the girls parents show up at the sellers to try to get the girls money back?

    2. That vintage computer probably has a controller card in it. Hopefully there are two IDE connectors on it. If there is they are probably marked primary and secondary. Connect the HD to the primary connedtor and using a second cable connect the CDROM to the secondary cable. I have had older CDROM drives that just wouldn't run as a slave.

    3. Consider purchasing a new CDROM. It is easy to find new 52X drives for approx $25 including shipping. The new drive will be PnP which Win 95 will recognize and attempt to install. Regardless it is easier to install drivers on hardware that Win has recognized.

    4. You still don't know if the HD is any good. You may do all of this only to find out that the above mentioned bum may have sold the system with a bad HD. If that turns our to be the case, even a 20 GB drive is approximately $70. And the BIOS will probably not support large drives.

    5. Then you get to memory. Many 486 machines were sold with 16 MB of 72 pin memory. Win 95 will run with 16 MB of memory, but just barely. Additional SIMMS are hard to find and they are not cheap.

    6. You should be able to boot using a boot disk which, if you don't have one can be make in the device manager on any 95, 98, ME computer. That disk contains an option to boot with CDROM support. You may get lucky.

    7. I return to my earlier post which contained information on $200 computers. It comes with Linux installed. You start the girl off right with Linux or reformat and donate your Win 95.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by efc; March 2nd, 2003 at 23:26 PM.

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    EFC- Thanks for your reply. I agree she should not have purchased this antique, but what is done is done. Here is some additional info. The computer does boot up and run Win 95 properly. I have checked the hard drive and there are no bad sectors. In addition to trying that old CD Rom from 1993, I also tried the one from my wifes computer, 1998. The card that I am talking about that plugs into the motherboard has one 40 pin connection that goes to the hard drive. There is another slightly smaller connection that goes to the 3.5 floppy. There are about two more connections, but those cables are much smaller, maybe 6 or 8 wires. There are no other places on the card or motherboard that would accept a 40 pin cable. If it is impossible to get a CD Rom to work on this computer, and I think that is the case, is there any way to get Internet EXplorer and the connection Wizard on this machine other than getting a hold of the Win 95 floppies ?

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    What you can do, to get Internet explorer on is download it from the net, the internet explorer I believe 5.5 is the latest version available for windows 95, create a zipped archive, and break it into floppy disk sized parts, then copy the parts over to the 486 machine, unzip..

    Internet explorer 5.5
    http://searchalot.com/IE/DOWNLOAD/WIN32/EN/ie5setup.exe

    If you dont have winzip installed, it will fit on 1 floppy, make sure to install it.
    www.winzip.com

    After that you should be able to install internet explorer on that old PC. I used this method on an older winbook laptop 486 model that was in a similar situation, and was able to get connected to the internet..

    ABout the CDROM:
    try a PCI IDE controller:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=3753

    As long as she has an available PCI slot this will work. If not she may need an ISA ide controller:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=3668

    Once installed, simply plug the CDROM into the IDE controller, with the appropriate 40 pin IDE cable..

    That would be your best bet, and she won't have to spend that much more money.

    With that she could also later add a secondary storage solution, if the case allowed.

    That is my suggestion.
    Last edited by Big Booger; March 3rd, 2003 at 00:26 AM.

  13. #13
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Booger is right. Now that we have the additional information a controller card should solve your problem. Here is a post that I found on expert exchange which also supports that answer.

    "Anyway, is this unit compatible with a 486?"

    Speed is not the issue as a 50x CDROM is a lot slower than a 486. The trouble is that not too many 486 machines came with fully ATAPI compliant IDE BIOS routines. Your 486 may or may not, and it sounds like not.

    "Will this unit work as a SLAVE to the hard drive on the IDE bus?"
    Yes, but again, depends on the level of this system's compliance with ATAPI.

    "How can I tweak or modify the IDE adapter to get the system to detect the CDROM at startup?"

    Does this 486 have PCI slots? Not many did, but if it does then the easiest and surest way to get this drive to work would be a new PCI controller card for IDE devices. "Promise" makes very good ones, for example. This would also allow the 486 to use the new large capacity drives. If it doesn't have PCI slots, good luck fnding a new ISA or VESA slot card.

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