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Is there any performance advantages when the hard disk is the master or it doesn't matter?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You will have to set the CDROM as the slave.

This thread has exactly this question. One of the post asserts that setting the CDROM as master will cause the hard drive to operate slowly.

Though this post from 2004 states:

The CD ROM drive should be on the secondary channel, jumpered as master. Windows does not work well with a hard drive and CD ROM drive on the same channel on the same ribbon cable

Though things could have moved on since then,

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The board has a single PATA channel, so I've no choice, but putting both the CDROM and the PATA HD on it. Of course, there are SATA channels, but I can't use them, because none of the devices is SATA. – Tom Feb 15 '10 at 19:57
@Tom - in that case make sure the CDROM is the slave. – ChrisF Feb 15 '10 at 19:58
I set it to CS and let the BIOS decide. – Tom Feb 16 '10 at 8:25
In CS the Cable selects which is which, not the BIOS. The drive connected to the middle of the cable is Master, the drive at the end of the cable is Slave. – Chris S Feb 18 '10 at 21:55

If the HD is set to Master or Slave, then the CD drive must be the opposite. If the HD is set to CS (Cable Select) then the CD drive must be set to CS as well (this assumes you have a somewhat modern IDE cable, usually with different colored connectors for each drive).

If your computer is using both drives at the same time they'll each get half of the IDE cable's bandwidth. So there may be a performance hit. Having one or the other set to master should not impact the other's performance. Also, if a drive is set to slave there must be a master on the cable as well (for most drives).

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