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Please guide me - confused with SATA PATA Primary Secondary master Slave...!!!

Respected members and gurus,

I am a non technical person and am only good at using computers for my finance jobs and NOT configuring it.

From last three days I have been reading and reading and reading about SATA PATA Primary Secondary master slave and so on...but now i think i really need help as my head is spinning...


# Intel Motherboard 865GBF
# Two Hard disks

Disk One is PATA of 80 GB having windows 2000 advanced server loaded by my company (beyond my abiility to load it) for me with me being as administrator. However there is no other computer connected to it.

Disk two is SATA of 80 GB having two partitions C and D both partitions having windows xp professional
operating system and 40 Gb each.

Now on Disk Two i Used to work in Partition C with data saved on D. But one fine day without my knowledge the C OS crashed and so i started working on D. It has all the data.

Lots of valuable data is there in SATA hard disk two above in partition D.


# I have purchased one PATA Hard Disk of 80 GB to back up my valuable data on Partition D of disk one as I am feeling scared what shall happen if the partition D also crashes like partition C on second SATA hard disk.

In addition I am planning to purchase one either PATA or SATA (please say which one should i purchase...???) for backing up data which is there on PATA DISK One.


I am lost between PATA SATA primary secondary master slave as its truly beyond my technical capability to
understand. I have been surfing net and reading online materials for hours from last three days without any conclusion.


Please guide me as to how should the hard disks(all from seagte):

Hard Disk One PATA windows advanced server 2000 80 Gb
Hard Disk Two SATA windows XP professional edition
Hard Disk Three PATA (blank brand new)
Hard Disk Four SATA or PATA (decided by you people to be purchased soon)

be installed on my Intel 865 GBF motherboard so that all primary secondary master slave (i am lost in these terms) configurations are properly done.

What should be my ideal back up strategy and how should i go about it.

I know that there are many many knowledgeable and experienced members in this forum who have great ideas and knowledge to effectively deal with the above issue. Please be kind enough to elaborate on what u think should be my approach for

a. installation on motherboard
b. backing up
c. disk management strategy

which is optimised for best performance under my situation.

ALSO can i have all the three Hard Disks connected simultaneously to my system....????

Also can i access data of one disk while being booted into another hard disk.....????

Thank u for ur anticipated help and valuable advices.



sunandoghosh (at) rediffmail (dot) com

p.s. Please elaborate ur suggestion so that i can understand it with reasons if u deem fit for better

ALSO suggest please the best simple back up strategy.

You need to please speciafy a detailed simple step by step installation, partitioning, formatting and back up strategy for me. thank u so so much.

also if u want to add anything please add...

25,116 Posts
Welcome to TSF:

WOW >>> you are doing some big time research !!

there are mainly two considerations as far as I personally am concerned / there is speed & performance and then there is relaiblity and ease of installation.

A) IDE drives (pata if you will) are the oldest and most reliable drives and well known by computer technology / computers when boot ALWAYS go looking for IDE drives first / even when you have the boot order set to a sata drive 1st boot or a scsi drive as 1st boot / computers always love momma (IDE) they are like a little calf / they always want momma
as such IDE drives work the most reliably and the easiest to configure

D) SATA drives (serial ATA) drives are much faster but a LOT more finicky and crash alot more >>> the technology is alot newer and still has plenty of bugs to be worked out as far as I am concerned / when you see high end big dollar servers commonly using SATA drives then I will say they have gotten over the finicky hump ??????

To help you understand the Primary IDE channel can be occupied by only IDE drives / and it can run two of them on the primary channel >>> one as a master one as a slave >>> this is the blue connector on your motherboard (mobo)

then there is the secondary IDE channel / you can run two more IDE hard drives off this channel but the secondary channel is usually occupied by the cd-rom drives and dvd drives so in theory a system can run four IDE drives if you dont want to run any CD-rom drives or DVD drives >>> yeah I know thats not acceptable ~~~ not for me either

there is yet another controller on board your mobo / its called a SATA controller it can run two hard drives also / usually SATA drives
they are much faster in performance if you are gaming or CAD rendering etc / sata drives arent going to run accounting software any better really unless you are really doing some super computing / cooking the books for exxon LOL
The Sata controller also runs drives by assigning one as primary (master) and the other as secondary or slave

In your situtation I would have my business progs and my accounting data on a high quality HIGH speed IDE drive >>> your windows 2003 software

I would run the sata drive with win XP for play & gaming / personal computing and such / you could also if you desire have a partition on your sata drive and install business apps / i personally just wont save important data to it (unless you escercise REAL back-up procedures) / because they can get real flaky and bug out (no boot >> prompt you for drive is raw please format = disaster !!!!!!)

I am curious though how you are currently controlling the dual boot situtation ???? do you have one drive partitioned in half / which has Win 2003 server the other partition has win XP ????????? there needs to be a dual boot set-up in order for you to manage the two different OS's correctly
in you current situtation / do you get a prompt at boot up to select which OS you want to enter ????????

As far as back-up goes the ultimate back-up is cloning / cloning is a process which makes an exact "bootable" copy of a hard drive so when disaster strikes you simply unplug the problem drive plug in the "good" drive and off you go like nothing ever happened !!
The easiset program I have ever used for this purpose is / its kindergarten easy / I have never had anyone comeback after trying it to ask "how" to do it or whats wrong !! it just works real simply (i am not affiliated with xxclone I dont promote them nor anything else / the program is simply the easiest to use just liek seagate drives and their 5-year warranty rules !!! the drive world )

you can aslo do incremental back-ups of your hard drives with xxclone as often as you choose

I would do my occupational work and other vital data on the primary connector - master jumpered drive / Win 2003 & accounting progs

I would then / add a IDE drive to the primary cable and jumpered as a slave
use this drive for cloning

then I would use a Sata drive as a Win XP OS and play around environment , gaming and such / you could partition this drive to clone your back-up of the "play" drive to it ?????? but remeber the BEST back-up is to another differnet drive / then if the drive is mechanically unhealthy your still safe / backin up to another partition is not VERY safe its only slightly better than NO back-up at all

you would have to change your boot order in the bios to change between which OS to laod from / unless you want to have a dual boot system / dual boot systems have to have both OS's on the same drive but different partitions / which means for safety you would want to dual boot from the IDE drive / this means some performance loss when you desire to "Play" with the sata drive because your XP OS would be on the slower IDE drive

wew !!!!!

dont hesitate to ask more questions

My personal opinion is buy the fastest IDE drives you can and forget about SATA / or here goes more confusion

if you want the best of both relaible and speed >>>> then go for a SCSI based drive systems (thats what servers use) not real expensive this would give you the fastest drives available and equally or maybe even better reliability / a top of the line scsi controller and three (15,000 rpm ultra-3) 36 gig drives would cost you about $800.00 to $1000.00

now / its your call ???????? what are your goals and how much do you want to spend / and what is most important to you ????????

curious / why do you want to or need to run win 2003 server as a standalone product ??????? why not just run your accounting apps in the win XP environment

dont hesitate to ask more questions


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