Hard Drive Removal and Installation
When removing a Hard Drive, please keep in mind that it is one of the most sensitive parts of the computer. Any trauma or impact to the drive can damage it which can result in loss of functionality or valuable data. Please keep this in mind when removing or installing a new drive.
The two configurations of hard drives that we see most often at CHFA are IDE/ATA and SATA drives.
These show up more often in older computers. They can be used to connect a variety of things including hard drives, optical drives and other disk drives to the motherboard. Many computers produced in the last five years or so no longer use this interface for hard drives although it is often still used for optical drives.
In order to install multiple Hard Drives using IDE, each drive must be designated either "master" or "slave". These terms identify the primary and secondary drives. Often, the main drive or "master" contains the operating system.
These replaced IDE cables within the last decade. SATA cables are not only smaller and less bulky, they also provide faster and more efficient data transfer. SATA drives no longer utilize a "master/slave" configuration when a computer has multiple hard drives installed, as newer motherboards have multiple SATA slots.
This picture shows the visual differences in SATA and IDE when hooked up to a hard drive. Please note the difference in power cables.