Problems adding 7th IDE device to my system

Here is my current configuration:

On-board controller:
Primary Master: WD 120GB HDD
Primary Slave: WD 60GB HDD
Secondary Master: NEC 2500A DVD±RW
Secondary Slave: Toshiba SD-R5002 DVD-RW

Silicon Image 0680 133 PCI IDE controller:
Primary Master: LG 8160B CD-RW
Primary Slave: Toshiba SD-M1802 DVD-ROM

I want to add a WD 120GB HDD to my system, but when I give it its own cable and put it on the controller, it’ll start up, the controller will recognize it and say that it’ll be added as ‘82h’ or something. Windows (98SE) will start up but will hang or restart or give me an error in VCOMM right before the high resolution screen comes up. I’ve seen this happen before when two optical drives are both set to Master or something or otherwise Windows isn’t happy with the current IDE configuration.

If I take the optical drives off the SI controller and leave the hard drive there by itself, Windows won’t want to start either. It will start if only those two optical drives are plugged in.

I’m wondering how I can arrange everything so that Windows can start up with all 7 drives? Put all the hard drives on board and all the opticals on the SI controller? Or something else?

I also have a lot of troubles regarding P-ATA/S-ATA controllers. The easiest solution for me is usually to have a working setup without having to wait for updated BIOS or driver or reinstall OS. I’m a lazy guy. Does your Silicon Image controller accept 4 optical drives at once?

Yes it seems to. I fixed it by moving all hard drives on to the on-board controller and all optical drives to the SI controller.
Fortunately, this controller supports optical drives well. A Promise Ultra/66 controller I was using couldn’t transfer from a DVD-ROM faster than 10.5x, couldn’t play some games with a copy-protected CD (Mafia, for example), and so on. This controller doesn’t have any of these problems, so I’m good to go. :slight_smile: