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I have recently taken my grandma's old pc apart, and have salvaged various parts, including the 20 GB Maxtor quantom fireball PATA HDD. I have my current dvd read/writer and hdd setup on the pata plug, and don't want to use my floppy disk pata plug (unused because I lost my cable). So I have bought a bi-directional PATA to SATA adaptor off amazon. but I am wondering, what do I set the Slave/master jumper settings to for this installation?

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With SATA you only have one drive per cable. I assume that your converter fits in with 99% of them and that it converts between one PATA drive and one SATA interface.

On the SATA side: No need to set anything.

On the PATA side: If it is the sole drive (and it will be) set to SINGLE or MASTER/SINGLE.
(for most drives the master setting equals 'master or single).

Long background: (You can skip this).

When we where young and had to walk up hill to school, both ways. Always against the wind .... there used to be hard drive, controllers for the hard drives and the rest of the computer. These where three separate items.

You needed to buy a controller which fit in your computer. (expensive) and a hard drive (also expensive). After a while someone build a drive with the controller integrated into the drive. This was more expansive than building just a drive, but a lot cheaper than building both a drive and a controller. This was a drive with Integrated Drive Electronics. (IDE).

To connect an IDE drive to a computer you needed either an AT bus (AT as in the ISA bus from a 286 area computer) or yet another expensive second controller. (for anything without an ISA bus). This is the reason it sometimes is called AT Attachement. This used parallel communication, and to avoid confusion with the newer Serial ATA standard we often write it as PATA.

The controller on this IDE drive only supported a single drive.

If you plugged two drives on a (P)ATA/IDE cable both controllers could get in a fight. Both trying to drive data over the cable. Therefor you needed to tell the controller if it was the sole drive, or if there was another drive. If there was another drive then one of them had to be the master, controlling both drives.

 SINGLE: One drive. One controller.
 MASTER: You also need to control another drive, which will be set to slave mode.
 SLAVE: Let yourself be controller by the other drive which will be set to master.

Master and slave protocols seemed to differ between manufacturers. Sometimes you needed to set a drive (e.g. a 200MB Conor) as master and the other as slave. Reversing that would not work. Usually it just was trial and error. Eventually things got standarized and compatability improved. Some people kept to the standard (e.g. WD), most of them fiddled a bit and ended up with only two modes: Master of slave. In their case 'master' means 'try to find a slave on the cable, if found set master mode, else work as single'

(end of background)

One more thing though: floppy disk PATA plug. There is no such beast. PATA cables are 40 pins or 80 pins (for modern ultra ATA drives). Floppy drives in a PC use a 34 pin flat cable. These are not interchangeable.

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Thanks for the explanation, it sort of answered my question, but not directly. Thanks. – Gubuntu Aug 14 '12 at 15:52
I tried to put the answer in the top part, after te 'thus'. No need to set anything on the SATA side. Single HDD on the converter needs to be jumpered either 'single' or to 'master/single'. – Hennes Aug 14 '12 at 20:28
You don't get this. I have a HDD on a PATA chain with a DVD reader/writer, the hard drive being the master, the DVD being the slave. If I were to add another PATA drive to my computer using SATA through a converter, would i Need to set my SATA drive as a master or a slave??????? – Gubuntu Aug 17 '12 at 12:57
Have tried as master and slave now, as I have installed it now, and in both modes it won't show up in both linux and my bios. Could anyone help!!! – Gubuntu Aug 17 '12 at 13:33
You can only have up to two PATA devices on one PATA cable/channel. If you have one cable with a Master and slave and you need a third device then use a second cable and set that device to single (for devices following the PATA standard) or to MAster (for just about anything else) – Hennes Aug 18 '12 at 0:38

If more than one PATA device is on the same chain one is set to Master, one is set to slave. When only one is on the chain, it is set to Master. Assuming the CD/DVD drive is on the PATA chain, try the HD as a slave. If it doesn't show up in BIOS, change the HD to Master. It won't "hurt" your system if this is set incorrectly, it just won't work.

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This is great. But you seem to have not answered my question as if you were talking about my setup. I already have a PATA HDD and CD chain setup and want to add a PATA hard drive through sata, so will I need the sata as a master or a slave??? – Gubuntu Aug 14 '12 at 16:05
"Try the HD as a master. If it doesn't show up in BIOS, change the HD to slave. It won't "hurt" your system if this is set incorrectly, it just won't work." – Everett Aug 14 '12 at 20:45
Doesn't answer what I said. You answered as if if I were replacing the hard drive, where as I am adding a knew one. – Gubuntu Aug 17 '12 at 12:53
On the hard drive that you are ADDING do the following - "Try the HD as a master. If it doesn't show up in BIOS, change the HD to slave. It won't "hurt" your system if this is set incorrectly, it just won't work." – Everett Aug 18 '12 at 22:06

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