Is it possible to daisy chain hard drives, and if so, how?

Just purchased a new PC, which has 2 hard drives already installed. My 2 old PC's both have 2 hard drives, with data that I use quite a bit. Is it possible to 'daisy-chain' them all, or is there a dedicated 'box' I can fit them to which would then link to my current PC, giving me access to all 6 hard drives?

You can chain them, with an IDE cable, but the data transfer will be slower than usual.
Cheers Smudge....

The only IDE cable I've seen has connections for just 2 Hard drives....Are longer ones available, do you know?
With IDE you can have a Master and Slave on both channels, that gets you four hard drives and nothing else. Your best bet is to Slave each of your old disc drives in turn onto a channel on the new machine and move the data onto the new local drives.
Maninthestreet said:
With IDE you can have a Master and Slave on both channels, that gets you four hard drives and nothing else. Your best bet is to Slave each of your old disc drives in turn onto a channel on the new machine and move the data onto the new local drives.
But the new PC is likely not to have 2 IDE connections, most new motherboards only have one because hard drives have moved over to SATA, this will limit him to 2 IDE devices, 1 is most likely to be used for the optical drive. therefore he'll only have 1 spare.

A check is needed to see if this is the case, if so a IDE PCI card will solve the problem, they are cheap as chips these days and quite easy to fit, providing of course there's enough space in the case for the bloody drives in the first place :cry:

edit to add, failing that, a couple of external hard drive enclosers should do the job
external HDD enclosures, with USB 2 connections are your best bet in any way. Move all your regularly used stuff over to the internal drives.

If you need all this storage space a raid array might be the way ahead.
Be very wary of using old drives, especially if you try to combine them - after 5 years or so you can expect them to die a horrible but slow death, especially if you've used them a lot as you say.

The only true consumable of a PC, but 5 years is not too bad though.

Edited to add: and hey presto, somebody else agrees with my 5 year estimate!


Get external enclosures with USB 2 and Firewire if you can get one (not uncommon just cost a little more)

Firewire faster than USB 2 for data transfer
Best bet has already been mentioned, if you have 2 drives and a brand spanking new computer then yes, you can connect them both in a master/slave setup to the 1 IDE channel that you have on your mainboard.

I wouldn't necessarily use them though, as has also been mentioned, simply connect them, transfer the data over to the much faster SATA hard drives in your system and then bin the old IDE ones. Chances are they are now very slow and unreliable.

Depending on the mainboard you have then it might be worth buying a couple more internal SATA drives if you really are a data storage whore, most decent ATX size mainboards have 4 x SATA ports, the ASUS P5N-E SLi for example, but once again if you have a brand new PC and the DVDRW drives are also SATA then they will be taking up SATA ports too.

Not sure where im going with this now tbh, basically a mainboard with a 680i SLi chipset will have at least 6 SATA ports, a mainboard with a 650i chipset will normally have 4 SATA ports, and if the mainboard you have or are getting has eSATA support then it might be worth buying an eSATA external drive because they are both external and fast as fook.
Good thoughts but if you do copy the data off your old drives may I suggest that you give a thought to saving them somewhere secure. If the new box throws a wobbler you'll already have a backup and you can never have too many backups ;)
Just had to do exactly what was asked about above.

External HDD enclosures with USB2 connections along with a 5 port USB2 hub to plug in to a USB2 port on the PC. Can then plug all of the HDD's in at the same time with their own disk identifiers (C Drive, F Drive etc etc)

All kit from PC world via their business section (had to wait 2 days for the HDD enclosures with USB2 stuff as they are apparently not "off the shelf"), job done.

Asked about and have worked with "RAID" before. For a normal application, wouldn't touch with a barge pole for reasons far too dull to go into here but the main one being money.
My thoughts are you are approaching it from the wrong perspective. Your cheapest option is Larger hard drive. You have not mentioned the capacities of either your new or old drives, but I would be frankly amazed if your new disks dont have enough room for your old data. Even then, assuming they dont I think it would be less hassle, better from a performance perspecive and possibly even cheaper to buy a large capacity 3rd SATA drive.
And as some one has already mentioend above, dont bin your old ones, keep them as backup. £15 from Maplins will get you a set of cables and a little box that allow you connect bare ide/SATA drives to your PC via USB. As there is no case or fan with this, it is not an ideal solution for long term use, but for backing up data it is ideal. Doing exactly that myself with an old 250gb and 80gb drives from my old PC

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