How to Connect Two Hard Drives Together

By Randall Shatto

When you have two hard drives in your computer, one is a master while the other is a slave drive. This will allow you to keep your slave for storage and to run programs. The master will run the Windows operating system. When you keep Windows in a separate hard drive, you will notice that it runs smoother without lag or chunkiness. Windows XP as well as Vista requires a certain amount of hard drive space to manage the applications. When this drive becomes full, Windows experiences slow loading and possible errors.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriverTweezers

Step 1

Remove all of the cords and then both panels from your tower. You can find the screws on the back of your PC. Place the panels and screws to the side.

Step 2

Remove your current hard drive. Pull the IDE cord, which is the thin, long cord out of the back. Then detach the white power cord connector. There may be two to four screws holding the hard drive in place.

Step 3

Choose your master and slave drive. The master drive has the Windows operating system. This drive should be the smaller GIG size of the two. Only Windows and Program files should run on this drive.

Step 4

Change the jumper settings. On the back of both hard drives is a pin set with plastic connectors. The information regarding the jumper settings is on top of the hard drive. As all drives vary, you need to follow the instructions for your hard drive. Set the master and slave drives according to your decision in step 2. Push the jumpers into place with your fingers.

Step 5

Screw the master hard drive back into the tower. Hook the IDE cable back into the long pin connector on the drive. Plug the white power cord in also. Push firmly as the connections are tight. Make sure you have them snugly into place before continuing.

Step 6

Screw the slave drive into the tower near the master. There is a middle connector on the IDE cable; plug that into the slave drive. Take the second white power cord coming from the master hard drive and hook that into the slave.

Step 7

Replace both panels of the tower. Then turn on the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some IDE cables go into the device both ways. If you receive an error or a series of beeps, turn the IDE cable around.The cords are tight-fitting. If you have trouble removing them, wiggle them back and forth.