Understanding IDE/ATAPI Connections

What is IDE?

IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) is the built-in system a PC computer uses to connect drives to the computer. You may have also heard it called ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment)—they mean the same thing.

How IDE Works

There are usually two places on the motherboard for the IDE cables to connect. These are the primary and secondary IDE channel connections. The hard drive usually uses the primary connection. The IDE channel connections are usually located next to each other either end-to-end or one above the other. They are also generally labeled on the motherboard as "IDE 1" and "IDE 2" or something similar.* If you are unsure of where the IDE channels for your computer are located, refer to your computer's documentation.

The IDE channels can support a maximum of two drives each. If there are two drives connected to the IDE interface cable, one drive must be configured as a master and the other as a slave. If only one drive is attached to the cable, it is configured as a master.

* IDE channels may be marked with other labels. Sometimes the following labels can be found: "Primary IDE" and "Secondary IDE" or "IDE 0" and "IDE 1."

| top of page |

What is ATAPI?

IDE (ATA) was originally designed for hard disks only, not removable devices such as Zip® drives, CD drives, and tape drives. ATAPI, which stands for Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface, is designed to bridge this gap and support removable drives. ATAPI devices use the IDE channel to communicate with the computer.

| top of page |

Jumper Settings

The jumper is the small plastic piece that surrounds two pins and can be removed and placed in different locations as needed. There are different jumper configurations that can be used with ATAPI devices such as your Zip® drive. There are also jumper blocks located on the back of your CD drive and hard drive. If you want to change your system's master/slave drive configuration refer to Possible System IDE/ATAPI Configurations. The diagram below shows the possible jumper configurations for the Zip ATAPI drive.

1. Jumper Block
2. Slave Drive (Factory Setting)
3. Master (Drive 0)
4. Cable Select
5. Reserved (do not use)

Slave (Drive 1)

Use this setting if you are connecting the Zip® ATAPI drive on the same cable as your CD drive or another ATAPI device that is configured as the master.

Master (Drive 0)

Use this setting if you are connecting the Zip® ATAPI drive as the only device on the secondary IDE channel or when installing to an IDE add-on card. Use the jumper provided when configuring the drive to the "Master" setting.

Cable Select

Use this jumper setting if your computer features "Cable Select." On a Cable Select system, the master/slave configuration is automatically determined by the system. Contact the computer manufacturer if you need additional information. Use the jumper provided when configuring the drive to the "Cable Select" setting.

| top of page |

Possible System IDE/ATAPI Configurations

Your computer may be configured in one of the following ways. If you need to change the jumper settings for your CD drive, check its documentation to see how to configure it as master or slave as needed.

| top of page |


BIOS support for the Zip® ATAPI drive should be disabled in the CMOS Setup. If your system includes autodetection, it should be turned off for the Zip ATAPI drive. The BIOS for many computers does not correctly support the Zip ATAPI drive.

| top of page |