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IDE Hard Drive Naming Conventions in Linux & IDE Cable Usage

How to install and configure IDE hard drives and IDE drive cables under Linux.

Linux naming conventions and drive mappings for IDE hard drives:

Linux name
verbose name
hdaprimary master 
hdbprimary slave 
hdcsecondary master 
hddsecondary slave 


When installing new hard drives or swapping out old drives, it may be necessary to change the jumper settings on the new hard drive(s) to specify that the drive will operate as a master or slave. See the photo below.

Photo of Installation Instructions from a Seagate 300GB IDE Drive







Instructions for Installation and Setting Jumper to  Master / Slave for a Seagate 300GB Hard Drive


For round IDE cables, the System Board connector is blue and at one end. The Slave drive connector is grey and in the middle. The Primary drive connector is black colored and at the opposite end, as shown in the photo below.

Photo of a Blue, Round, IDE Cable

Round IDE Hard Drive Cable. Round cables are preferable to ribbon cables because they are easier to place inside the system and because they obstruct airflow less.

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