Install PCI IDE Card For Use With Upper Bay Drives
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Drive sled kit can be purchased from:

If you are going to install a CD-ROM then note that there is no bezel designed for a CD drive in the upper bay. I just fabricated my own CD bezel from an old bezel I had and it came out ok. With some more planning and a little talent you could make a very nice CD bezel.


You must first have removed the front & top covers

Second, you must have installed the IDE PCI card on the mother board

This page assumes you know how to install a drive in the upper bay. If not then click here. We will be installing an IDE HD on an IDE PCI card. Below shows the PCI card already installed on the mother board. You can see the two IDE bus ports shown by the red arrows. Each bus can run two drives. A Master and a Slave. This article will show you how to install just one drive.

IDE card on mother board

Below is a closer view of the IDE card. This one was made by UltraTech. It is an Ultra ATA/66 card which means the IDE bus speed is 66Mhz. The stock 6400's IDE bus speed is only 16Mhz.

closeup of IDE card

Below is the IDE cable I used to attach the card to the drive. This is a new kind of cable that I found at Fry's Electronics. Normally you would use an 80pin ribbon cable for Ultra ATA drives but this cable is so much easier to work with in the 6400's case. The biggest problem with installing an IDE card, or even a SCSI card, in the 6400 is the ribbon cable getting in the way of the power supply fan! This cable practically eliminates that problem :) This one was 18" long and they do sell a 24" long version and also cables with plugs for master and slave drives. Some even come in pretty colors like red or blue.

IDE cable

It's easiest to install the cable by plugging it in to the mother board before installing the mother board. There is just no room to do it after the mother board has been installed. Then, route the cable out the left side as you slide the mother board in to position. It is not totally necessary to have the plug marked PRIMARY attached to the HD and the plug marked SYSTEM BOARD attached to the IDE card but it does makes more sense :)

inserting mother board

Then install the IDE drive on your drive sled. I used a Western Digital, 80G, 7200 RPM, ATA/100 drive. Any modern IDE drive will work. Caution with large capacity drives though. Only an ATA/133 PCI IDE card can access the largest of todays drives. Every card at ATA/100 or slower can only access up to 128GB of HD space. To use larger drives you must have an ATA/133 card. Some ATA/100 cards have flash upgrades to make then ATA/133 so check with the manufactures.

IDE drive on sled

As you slide the drive in, you need to attach the IDE cable and power cable to the drive. Since I used the 18" IDE cable, it was kind of cramped getting the cable attached to the drive. The length was fine for use but just a bit short to make install easy.

plugging in IDE cable

Below is a top view of the case showing the IDE cable and power cable attached to the drive.

cable attached

Below is the drive installed in the upper bay. If you wanted to, you could run another IDE cable to the drive in the stock location to speed it up. You can even use a master/slave cable to the top bay so you can use the other plug on an IDE CDROM drive in the stock CDROM location. I suggest checking with the IDE card manufactures web site first though as some IDE cards originally where not compatible with removable drives such as CDROM's.

IDE drive installed in upper bay

Remove in reverse order


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This page last updated 4/3/2003