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04.12. Can I use more than 2 or 4 hard drives?




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This item is from the Yet Another Enhanced IDE/Fast-ATA/ATA-2 FAQ, by John Wehman and Peter den Haan with numerous contributions by others. (v1.92).

04.12. Can I use more than 2 or 4 hard drives?

For DOS and Windows you probably want BIOS support for all your harddisks. Older BIOSes support drives on the primary channel only, just two; newer ones add support for the secondary channel for a total of four. Few BIOSes support more than that; MR BIOS is an exception.

If the BIOS supports just two drives and you want more, there's a software solution available: 3drives (see the net.resource guide). Some interface cards also ship with the necessary support. Creative Labs has drivers for CD-ROMs on the tertiary and quaternary port.

Other operating systems such as Win95 and OS/2 support both primary and secondary interface without aid from the BIOS. Linux will support a nearly arbitrary number of interfaces; you'll have to pass kernel parameters to specify the ones beyond the first two.

 

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previous page: 04.11.  I heard that Win95 provides support for large IDE disks.
  
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