Hi All - update from my ‘2nd Hard Drive’ thread… here’s the outcome.

I purchased a SATA to IDE converter as per Mark’s recommendation.

Leaving my set-up as was - IDE cable from mobo to 1st hdd (sda), then to 2nd hdd - (sdb), I connected the new set up from SATA on mobo to optical drive. Boot failed and sat at the options screen (post, bios, boot etc.) Hitting DEL to access bios had no effect.

I then swapped the SATA converter to sdb and IDE cable to sda and optical drive. Same - no boot.

I then connected SATA converter to sda and IDE cable to sdb and optical drive - bingo! Boot achieved as normal, BUT - system doesn’t ‘see’ sdb or optical drive! So no further on…

I suspect this is a motherboard issue as it seems that when a SATA connection is made it ‘ignores’ the IDE one. Changing various settings in bios re: SATA/IDE controllers has had no effect. Anyone shed any light?

Thanks as always


Hi Rich J

I’m not sure if what you’re trying to do will work because if your connecting 2 drives to 1 IDE cable how would it know which one is Master and which one is Slave if one of the drives is SATA, I’m certainly no expert in this sort of thing and I’m really just guessing so don’t take what I’m saying as read but maybe changing the jumper settings on the optical drive may work

Good luck


Hi Graeme - thanks for the reply. Both hard drives are IDE, as is the optical drive.

Original set up - 1 hdd of 160GB plus the optical drive connected by IDE ribbon. Unfortunately, there is only 1 IDE connector on the motherboard.

I found an old IDE hdd of 40GB which I want to install as extra storage and/or use as a test bed for other Linux distros. Mark suggested I get a SATA to IDE converter to enable the installation of the 2nd hdd. I have done but, whichever config I choose I can’t get the system to see all the drives at once. Connecting the primary and the slave hdd’s via the IDE cable works, the system ‘sees’ both drives but when I connect the SATA converter to the optical drive, the system won’t boot. Likewise if I connect the SATA converter to the slave hdd and the ribbon to the other 2. Connecting the SATA to the primary drive will boot the system but connecting the slave and the optical via the ribbon means they are not ‘seen’. It’s like the SATA connection ‘takes over’ and disables the IDE connection?

I’ve tried various bios changes and nothing has worked so far but I will give your suggestion a try re: the jumper on the optical.



Ok I think I’ve misunderstood your post but I think understand a little better now

if you motherboard has both IDE and SATA channels then it should be possible to have both, I have a mixture of IDE and SATA drives on my NAS and it works fine but I’m not using any converters.

Connecting the SATA to the primary drive will boot the system but connecting the slave and the optical via the ribbon means they are not 'seen'.

On that configuration have you made sure the jumper settings are properly set for slave and master ?

Graeme, you’ve nailed it! :wink: Changing the jumper on the optical drive has enabled it. Config is now - Primary hdd and slave hdd connected via ribbon on IDE mobo connector; optical drive connected via SATA converter from SATA mobo connector. All seems to be in order, all drives show with lshw and both hdd’s appear in KDE Partition Manager.

I’m just in the process of dividing the slave into 2 partitions as I want to try out a few distros and will be trying out copying files from one drive to another - no doubt I’ll be back soon with more questions! ;D

Thanks for the heads-up!


Good news :slight_smile:

Glad you got it sorted, well done


Yeah jumpers for master/slave/cable select can be a bit tricky on IDE … they don’t always behave the way they should, but there’s usually a configuration that works … just a case of finding it :slight_smile:

Didn’t the SATA ↔ IDE adapter have some kind of switch for setting master/slave ? … if not, I’d expect it was set to cable select.

I’d be surprised if you could connect 2 drives to a SATA port via IDE converter, as SATA is serial and IDE is parallel. I can’t see anyway it would work unless the converter had some fancy electronics in it (but even then, I can’t imagine the SATA drivers in the kernel would expect 2 different devices on one port/controller)

Did I miss something ? … who said anything about connecting two drives to a single SATA socket ?
(and just in case I did … that can’t be done)

It did but was only used if connecting a SATA hdd - when plugged directly into an IDE drive, switching wasn’t necessary.

You didn’t, I didn’t and I haven’t!! ;D

Thanks to all for the replies - I need assistance now in dual-booting and will start another thread.