Hi everyone,
I am currently trying to repair an older computer. The computer has no operating system on it and I am having difficulties putting one on. I just got the BIOS updated to the most current version. I have been tinkering with it here and there and I was wondering what the proper configuration should be for the cd rom, floppy disk, and hard drive. What is supposed to be set to what? (i.e. master, slave, cable select).
Thanks in advance,


Your motherboard will identify the locations where you plug the 80wire ribbon cables (widest cable in the computer). You should have two slots, however, depending on your motherboard the labels may be different from anyone else’s. Mine say Primary IDE and Secondary IDE.

(one hard drive setup)
Set your Hard drive jumpers to either cable select or master. Connect the hard drive to the end of the IDE cable. The motherboard end of the cable should be labeled accordingly. I don't know what mine says on the motherboard end, but I know it's blue. And the hard drive end says HDD0 (black) an the middle one says HDD1 (gray).

(two hard drive setup)
Set your hard drive jumpers to either cable select or to the appropriate setting (slave or master). The Master HDD should go at the end of the cable, and the slave in the middle.


(one/two CD-ROM setup)
CD-ROMs should be installed the same way as HDDs are, however, you will connect the 80wire ribbon cable for the CD-ROM into the secondary IDE slot on your motherboard referenced in the 1st paragraph.

While in BIOS don't forget your boot order. You can really boot any order you heart desires, but I recommend the following:


Some BIOS configuration utilities allow you to specify a devices configuration settings. Most notably will be HDD settings; i.e. sectors, tracks, speed, ect... While this is true, most utilities will also allow an auto function where BIOS will automatically detect the settings of the device. I highly recommend this.

Have you tried to boot the computer with a Windows CD or perhaps a floppy? What OS are you attempting to load? Is this a new HDD?


Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of 1.18 million developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts learning and sharing knowledge.