switch between two hard drives

June 15, 2005 at 11:40:48
Specs: Windows XP Professional, Pentium 4 2.4GHz, 256MB R

Hi everyone,

I would like to build a switch that allows me to switch to a particular hard drive before I turn on the computer. Is there a switch that allows me to connect with 40-pin IDE cable.

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June 15, 2005 at 12:06:18

Don't know of a "switch" hardware solution. But there are bays that allow you to pull out the drive and insert another one. May be if you want to start with a different operating system then you can have a boot menu.

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June 15, 2005 at 12:11:52

Switch or not, both hard disks gets powered up the same second the PC is turned on, it will be nice to know where you're going with this thought.

List of Lists.

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June 15, 2005 at 12:53:17

Yup they make them. Here is one such switch - http://www.cyberresearch.com/store/pc-accessories-computer-parts/computer-accessories-pc-peripherals/hubs-switches-switch-boxes/DSW_54KA_4278.2.htm

Do a Google search for hard drive swithces and you will be presented with many options.

As far as building one yourself, I wouldn't do it. leave it to the pros who know what they are doing. Not to question your skills but you would have no way of testing it to make sure the data transfer rate is up to spe3ed or if you are losing/corrupting data.

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June 15, 2005 at 12:55:15

Thank you. Let say I have 2 or 3 hard drives in my computer. I want to switch to a particular drive as a master drive before I turn on the power of the computer. I knew about setting multiple boosting operating system, but that is not what I want.

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June 15, 2005 at 13:11:14

Thank you Kurt. However, the price of those switches are too expensive. One I saw is $225US for 4 drives

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June 15, 2005 at 13:22:00

Removable drive trays would be a viable solution.

Be gentle and always ground yourself before handling one.


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June 15, 2005 at 15:38:39

Vien, the one I linked to was just an example. You can find them much cheaper then that. A little Googling should provide you with a wide variety of price ranges.

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June 15, 2005 at 15:51:02

I use removeable drive trays occasionally and they work fine. If you use a switch remember the maximum cable length is suppose to be 18in.

An alternative. Some BIOS's support booting from different IDE hard drives. I have a motherboard that allows the choice of 4 IDE's

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June 15, 2005 at 17:13:30

Most newer bios' have an option to select a drive to boot from.

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June 15, 2005 at 17:15:37

wizard-fred, my motherboard also supports 4 IDE drive as well, however, it is unlike a system with only one master hard drive in it. Anyway, I really appreciate all of your
opinion and suggestion folks. I think that there is no such switch out there that allows to disconnect all 40-pin IDE cable, except that we have to use some kind of chips to build a small curcuit to do this. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about chips.

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June 15, 2005 at 17:20:33

Oh, before I also thought about removable rack, but it is very convenient because I often change the drives and that will be soon to damage the hard drive

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June 15, 2005 at 18:35:32

If I understand, you want to change the Master/Slave setting of 2 hdd's on one IDE cable. IF so take a look Tom's Hardware .
I did about the same useing a double pole toggle switch instead of the key switch.

If it will work good depends on your bios being able to auto detect the different hdd paramiters unless you use the same spec on drives.

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June 16, 2005 at 02:06:06

BIOS's that support selectable hard drive booting over-rides the restriction of booting only from master.

Removeable racks won't damage your drives unless you remove them with the power on.

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June 27, 2005 at 01:54:16

I have an external firewire case that I swap old (30 to 160 gig) hardisks in and out of like floppy disks for backup--Can't get enough data on Plastic even double layer DVD to bother with.

Anyway I've thought of building an enclosure with a 40 pin switch but the closer I come to that project the more I realize that the to buy a switch like that will cost more than a 300+gig SATA hardisk and building it would be like putting one of those clipper ships inside a bottle. :-)

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