Installing an ATA Hard Disk

To install an ATA/IDE hard disk, you physically install the drive in the PC, configure CMOS Setup to recognize the drive, and finally configure your operating system to use the proper transfer mode. Each of these steps is described in the following sections.

Physical Installation

The general procedures for installing any hard drive are similar, but the exact steps required vary according to the specific drive and case. Most cases contain drive bays, which form a part of the chassis structure designed to secure drives in place. Others use removable drive cage or drive tray arrangements, in which you first secure the drive to a removable carrier and then attach the carrier to the chassis. Whatever the arrangement, once you’ve removed the cover it will almost certainly be obvious how to physically secure the drive within the case. If not, refer to the hardware documentation.

On a well-designed case, the screws that secure the drive will be readily accessible on both sides. Some cases are so badly designed that you may have to remove the drive bay assembly itself, or even the system board to access the screws on one side of the drive. Once you have removed the cover and decided where and how you will physically install the drive, take the following steps:

  1. If you are also installing an enhanced ATA interface card, configure that card per the maker’s instructions, attach the IDE cable(s) to it, and install the card in an available slot. If that card will ...

Get PC Hardware in a Nutshell, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.