Both CD drives are on the same Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) cable, and are connected to the secondary IDE port on the motherboard, and the Zip drive is on the other IDE port as a master drive. Because the hard drive is SATA and the Zip drive is the only device on the primary IDE cable, I have set the jumpers to "not drive A - master" on the drive itself and plugged it into the master end of the IDE cable.
The drive shows up in My Computer, but it doesn't read and write data correctly, if at all! Also, the Zip drive also won't let me format any discs, because it says the drive/disc is the boot disc. No idea why. Please help me. I'm getting so frustrated.
You may have not set a master device on the IDE chain, which means that there is no master at all. There should be one master, and the rest should be slaves.
This can be very confusing, and I understand that you are getting frustrated. Take a deep breath and then look at the system again and go slow, searching for what you missed.
Do you see the devices in the BIOS of your system? If not, this is the first issue to check out. Also, don't forget about powering each device and making sure that your power supply can support all of the devices; it may be time to buy a new power supply.
Best of luck.
This was first published in March 2005