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If you say yes here, your kernel will be able to manage low cost mass storage units such as ATA/(E)IDE and ATAPI units. The most common such devices are IDE hard drives and ATAPI CD-ROM drives.

If your system is pure SCSI and doesn't use these interfaces, you can say no here.

Integrated Disk Electronics (IDE, also known as ATA-1) is a connecting standard for mass storage units such as hard disks. It was designed by Western Digital and Compaq Computer in 1984. It was then named ST506. Quite a number of disks use the IDE interface.

AT Attachment (ATA) is the superset of the IDE specifications. ST506 is also called ATA-1.

Fast-IDE is ATA-2 (also named Fast ATA).

Enhanced IDE (EIDE) is ATA-3. It provides support for larger disks (up to 8.4GB by means of the LBA standard), more disks (4 instead of 2) and for other mass storage units such as tapes and cdrom.

UDMA/33 (also known as UltraDMA/33) is ATA-4. By using fast DMA controllers, It provides faster transfer modes (with less load on the CPU) than previous PIO (Programmed processor Input/Output) from previous ATA/IDE standards.

ATA Packet Interface (ATAPI) is a protocol used by EIDE tape and CD-ROM drives, similar in many respects to the SCSI protocol.

SMART IDE (self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology) was designed in order to prevent data corruption and disk crashes by detecting pre hardware failure conditions (heat, access time, and the like). Disks built after June 1995 may follow this standard. The kernel itself doesn't manage this; however there are quite a number of user programs such as smart that can query the status of SMART parameters from disk drives.

For further information, please read Documentation/ide.txt.

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