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Re: Hard drive cable question -

Gene Heskett wrote:
On Wednesday 22 February 2006 18:48, bobgoodwin wrote:
Does it matter which forty pin connector plugs into the master and
slave drives?

I have come to the realization after struggling with some problems
that there are a lot more wires in the ribbon cable than there are
connector pins.

Then you have an ata100 or faster cable. And yes, in many cases, the drives position on the cable is important. As in scsi systems, the last drive on the cable must assume that its job is to terminate the cable and try, by the termination enabled when is either jumpered as Master, or is in CS mode and the last drive, to absorb the echos from the signal transitions. By playing mix and match, possibly with the drive thats functioning in master mode, on the middle connector, and a drive set as slave on the end connector, you are just asking for data integrity problems. The signal edges under those conditions will ring like a bell causeing data errors galore.

Also, if the cable is a cable select cable, as evidenced by having a black connector on what should be the motherboard and, and 2 other colors are used for the other two connectors, then the drives should be jumpered for CS, and the master drive must be on the far end of the cable.

Just jumping in here. It may be different where you guys are, but here in Australia the motherboard side is typically BLUE. The master BLACK and the slave GRAY. I have a bag of close to 100 of them sitting here (useless now with the advent of SATA, but such is life...anyone want them? - going very cheap :)). If the colours ARE different over there, it should still be fairly easy to tell. There are typically two connectors closer together than the third. The end with the connector that is far away goes into the motherboard.

Also as a reference, these 80 pin cables should NEVER be turned end for end, as its only the black connector that is suppposed to be plugged into the motherboard that has the proper grounding connected to the alternate wires in that 80 conductor cable, thereby serving as interconductor shielding by haveing a grounded wire between each active wire, thereby reducing crosstalk by a considerable amount.

I now see that Maxtor designates the connector at the end of the cable
as the "master" and the one just below it as the "slave."  I presently
have only one drive jumpered as master with FC4 running on it and it
doesn't seem to care which data cable connector is attached to it,
but when I put in the second drive, jumpered as "slave" the computer
won't boot.  I decided the drive was bad but now I'm wondering? It
may be the wrong connectors plugged into the drives.

I thought "cable select" cables had wires obviously crossed in the
ribbon cable but that may not be true with this 80 wire ribbon?

Untrue, that is used only rarely even in the scsi world.

Can someone clear this up for me.


Bob Goodwin   Zuni, Virginia

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