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How Can I Connect 3 Hard Drives To My Motherboard At The Same Time?


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#1
superstar

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I currently have 3 hard drives in my system but can't connect them all. My 80 pin hard disk drive motherboard ribbon cable only has connections for a max use of two drives.

The first hard disk drive I always use is my primary master windows xp drive, and the second is a slave secondary drive I use to store data. So in essence I'm always using my first and second hard drive at the same time.

But I than have a 3rd hard drive which is always unattached because my 80 pin hard disk drive motherboard ribbon cable only has connections for a max use of two drives like I said before. I do have windows on this drive too but only use this hard drive to test new software. The problem is When I use this drive I have to detach the two previous drives I mentioned. It's bothersome because I always have to go in my pc case and detach my the ribbon cable off my two other drives just to attach this 3rd test dummy drive by itself. Than when I'm done with the test drive I have to detach it and reattach the real drives I use.

I'm sick and tired of doing it this way and want to know the following:

1. Is there a way for me to attach all 3 drives at the same time so I do not have to open my case to disconnect the ribbon wire, and unplug their molex power cables? I would assume there is some sort of ribbon cable I can use instead of the one I'm using now... If so please show me a link because I can't seem to find one. I don't want to lose hard drive speeds by using such a new cable either so please let me know.

2. If question one is possible how can I set up my pc to choose which windows/hard drive to boot from?



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#2
Timotay

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Could you buy a external hard drive? attach using USB and your away!!!
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#3
shard92

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you could also either connect with your optical drive if you only have one... ( ide can have two devices on each cable or controller ) or you could get an ide card to add to your computer and connect that way....
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#4
Kemasa

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Are you sure that your motherboard does not have a second IDE channel? If you have a CDROM/DVD, then that is also an IDE, so you can connect one drive on that channel.

If you have only one, then you can only connect two drives that way, but as mentioned you can add a IDE board or connect it with a USB enclosure.
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#5
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Thanks for all the replies. But the fact is that I don't just want to use the drive as data storage in say something like an enclosure. I want to have windows on it. I'd like to be able to choose which windows to boot from two separate hard drive sources.
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#6
Kemasa

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If you have a CDROM, it will be on a second IDE channel, make it the slave and put the hard drive as the master. You should be able to use a boot loader to select which one you want to boot from. I prefer grub, but I know Windoze has one too. You can also add an IDE card for additional devices.
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#7
PedroDaGR8

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I know this is an old thread. Just going to provide an answer, for the search engines and maybe anyone else on here.

In this case, there used to be a company that made a device called the Trios Harddrive selector. It allowed you to have up to three OS drives and to select between them by buttons mounted on the front of this device. Unfortunately, the maker of this device went out of buisness, but you can still occasionally find it on ebay and other sites.

Another option is the Mitron Duplus DUP-35 HDD Selector. It only works on two HDs and is not as advanced as the Trios but it should do the job just fine for what is described above.
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