"If u have 4 ide devices(2 hdd, 2 optical drives) connect them like this
-PRIMARY CHANNEL= HDD & OPTICAL DRIVE
-SECONDARY CHANNEL= HDD & OPTICAL DRIVE."
It makes no difference at all what mix of optical or hard drives you have on the same IDE data cable, unless the main chipset is ancient, as in, first released before about 1998. The drives are accessed by the cpu one at a time, and each drive can achieve their full rated speed the mboard otherwise allows for.
If one or both drives on the same IDE header require a 80 wire data cable, of course you must use one.
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.
For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.
Do you want to install a SATA drive or an IDE drive or does it matter ?
One or more than one ?
Most if not all drive controllers with RAID capability also support non-RAID use, and usually don't require that you set up a RAID array for the drives connected to it - that's almost always optional.
If you don't have enough free drive headers
- you don't need more than one optical drive. E.g. if you connect only a burner drive that will burn both DVDs and CDs, the only time you save if you have another drive to insert a disk in to be read when you're burning is ~ half of the time it takes to insert the same disk in a single burner drive and then having to place a blank disk in it to burn to.
- buy a PCI SATA drive controller card, or a PCI EIDE (PATA) drive controller card, or a PCI-E X1 SATA or combo SATA/IDE drive controller card, and connect the drive to that (they support at least two drives, if not more.) Make sure the drive controller chipset supports ATAPI if you want to be able to connect optical drives to it.
- buy a USB connected adapter you can connect a SATA drive or a EIDE drive or either to - BUT the max burst data transfer speed will determined by the max speed of the USB connection, not the max speed of the drive (they support one drive at a time).
- buy a external drive enclosure for each drive (or one you can install more than one drive in) - USB and firewire connected ones have the lesser max burst data transfer rate - an eSATA connected one has a much better max burst data transfer rate, but you must connect to an eSATA port for each enclosure, or have a spare SATA header on the mboard or on a card in a slot for each one you can connect a eSATA port in a plate you install in a card slot space wiring adapter to.