Hard drives and optical drives are manufactured with different interfaces that are used to connect the drive to the computer. When you install a storage drive in a computer, the connection interface on the drive must be the same as the controller on the motherboard. Some common drive interfaces are as follows:
■ Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE), also called Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA), is an early drive controller interface that connects computers and hard-disk drives. An IDE interface uses a 40-pin connector.
■ Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE), also called ATA-2, is an updated version of the IDE drive controller interface. EIDE supports hard drives larger than 512 MB, enables Direct Memory Access (DMA) for speed, and uses the AT Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI) to accommodate optical drives and tape drives on the EIDE bus. An EIDE interface uses a 40-pin connector.
■ Parallel ATA (PATA) refers to the parallel version of the ATA drive controller interface.
■ Serial ATA (SATA) refers to the serial version of the ATA drive controller interface. A SATA interface uses a seven-pin connector.
■ Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) is a drive controller interface that can connect up to 15 drives. SCSI can connect both internal and external drives. A SCSI interface uses a 50-pin, 68-pin, or 80-pin connector.
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