View Full Version : Arrgh! IDE Cables!

09-03-06, 06:54 AM
So, I've almost completed my new build, but I've run into one annoying hitch - I can't plug both my old IDE HDD and IDE DVD Drive in at once, if they're both seated in reasonable places, because the HDD case in my new case is mounted sideways. As nice as that is, it means that the IDE cable from the measly one IDE header these new motherboards have, won't stretch from the optical drive to the HDD.

So, I have 3 questions:

1. Do the 60cm IDE cables lots of distributors now sell have a larger gap between the two IDE plugs? My 45cm cable easily gets to the optical drive, but it can't do both because that 'between plugs' bit is only 15 cm long, and even with the optical drive in the lowest 5.25" bay, the length of cable is just not enough.

2. Are those SATA - IDE adaptors any good? I've only got one SATA HDD, so I've got 7 free SATA headers, one of which could possibly deal with my IDE drive, if the adaptors actually work well. I've only seen one advertised on one site, but I'm sure I could track more down if necessary.

3. Failing any of that, does anyone know if there are any PCI-Express PATA add in cards? I'm loathe to give up my one remaining regular PCI slot, as there's a good chance a sound card will find a home there, but I've got something like 4 free PCIe slots!

09-03-06, 07:43 AM
Not all IDE cables space the IDE connector at the same lenghs, I don't beleive there is any type of standard.

I've used longer cables for the same reason as your problem above and the longer ones did in fact have a larger spacing between the two drive IDE connectors.

FYI there are also, 94cm cables (36inches for us Americans who refuse to change) but I would try and stay as short as possible.

When in doubt bring a ruler with you and ask them to open the package so you can measure.

I don't recommend this but I've also popped the IDE connectors off and repositioned them, you may want to try this with an old IDE cable, just be careful.

good luck

09-03-06, 12:03 PM
There IS a standard...the IDE cable has to be no more than 18" long from one connector to the next, I believe. I could've sworn that was the case for the ENTIRE cable, but it just appears that there cannot be more than 18" between master/slave and slave/motherboard, for a total of 36".

I have a couple 24" round IDE cables and they've been magical (18" from mobo to slave and 6" from slave to master).