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check master/slave setting on internal drive

This is a discussion on check master/slave setting on internal drive within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I just bought an external box that allows me to hook up old (or new) drives to my computer. (So,

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
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I just bought an external box that allows me to hook up old (or new) drives to my computer. (So, I was told by the geek at the store). It is a Rocketfish enclosure box which hooks to computer via a USB. I have a couple of old drives that I wanted to access. This is suppose to do it.

Question is: The instructions say to make sure the internal drive is set to "master". (makes sense) Is there a way for me to read that info via the system console or system info or do I have to eyeball it? OR, is the question irrelevant because, of course, it is set to master.

Thanks for your assistance.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #2
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If you have one internal hard drive then it is set to master. You can check all information on your hard drive in your setup menu. You can enter setup at boot by usually pressing F2, F1 or Del at boot. If you watch closely at boot it will tell you what key to push to enter the setup menu.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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When they say internal drive, they mean the drive you are putting into the enclosure, not the drive inside your PC.

You have to eyeball the jumper and set it for master before installing the drive into the enclosure.

You can check the internal drives without eyeballing them.
You can check in the BIOS screens as SA Spurs1 suggests, or use Device Manger, or the System Information tool (Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools)
Master drives will be shown as Location 0, Slaves as Location 1
In System Information, look under Components | Storage | Disks.
SCSI Port: 0 is the Primary controller, 1 is the Secondary
SCSI Target ID: 0 for Master, 1 for Slave

Yes, it says SCSI even if the drives are IDE


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Old 05-08-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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When you take the drive out of the PC, you can see this in the back
(pic only for illustration - not the same on all models!)
The other thing you'll be able to spot is the model number and make of your drive. If you search for it on the manufacturer's web site, you'll see what the jumper settings should be. If you're lucky, they printed what the settings should be on the sticker on top of the drive! So set that to master and you should be good to go.

I wish you'd asked prior to buying the drive whether the enclosure box was for ATA or SATA. Master and slave is only relevant for ATA (parallel ATA aka PATA aka IDE aka EIDE) (as opposed to SATA aka serial ATA), so you know the enclosure is ATA. ATA cables allow 2 drives per cable (one master, one slave). SATA cables only have 1 drive per cable. But hopefully you bought the correct enclosure for the interface of your drive.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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Most drives have a diagaram of the Jumper pin Settings on top of the drive.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:42 PM   #6
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thanks to all for the insight and practical solutions.

Just to make it clear what I am trying to do in case someone wishes to make a different suggestion.

I am not installing my main drive into the enclosure. I am using it to look into some old drives which I took out of my previous computer several years ago. It will not operate as a master, only secondary. there is some old info that I want to find which is on one of the drives.

Thanks again. I was able to determine through the device manager that the internal drive is set to master (0) which is as it should be, but the instructions cautioned me to make sure.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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How can it be that the old drives cannot be set as master? The contents of the drives do not have anything to do with the drive configuration in case that is what you're wondering. Just set whatever drive you put into the external enclosure as master. It connects via USB so the system will see it once you plug it in and it will be assigned a drive letter which will be whatever the very next drive letter is after C.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:15 AM   #8
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We use rocketfish all the time, they mean the drive you are inserting into the enclosure must be set as master. Even a non bootable drive can be set as the master drive. Master slave has nothing to do with booting and the Operating system, it has to do with which of the two drives on an IDE bus will control the bus stiming signals. It is a hardware setting only. Make sure any drives you insert into the enclosure are set as master ( or for WD Master/no slave present )
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
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Master or CS setting will work on external enclosures.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:42 PM   #10
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Thanks to all. It is greatly appreciated.
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