Computer Hardware Image Gallery
Computer Hardware Image Gallery

The Integrated Drive Electronics interface connects a hard drive to a PC.

2008 HowStuffWorks.com

No matter what you do with your comp­uter, storage is an important part of your system. In fact, most personal computers have one or more of the following storage devices:

Usually, these devices connect to the computer through an Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface. Essentially, an IDE interface is a standard way for a storage device to connect to a computer. IDE is actually not the true technical name for the interface standard. The original name, AT Attachment (ATA), signified that the interface was initially developed for the IBM AT computer. In this article, you will learn about the evolution of IDE/ATA, what the pinouts are and exactly what "slave" and "master" mean in IDE.