IDE Cables connect from the motherboard of a computer to the hard drive, cd drive and/or floppy drive. IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics.
IDE is a standard interface that connects the computer motherboard to a storage device. The most common of these types of cables are the 34-pin floppy drive cable that connects from the motherboard to the floppy drive and the 40-pin ribbon cable that connects from the motherboard to the hard drive and/or the cd drive. The picture below shows both of these cables.
The IDE cable is a type of AT Attachment which has had speeds from 33, 66, 100 and 133 MB/s. A faster cable can go in a slower hard drive but a slower cable will decrease the speed of a fast hard drive.
One IDE ribbon cable can connect a hard drive and a cd drive to the motherboard, it can also connect two hard drives to the motherboard. To do this successfully the jumpers must be configured correctly. To fully understand jumpers go to this page and click here to learn how to install IDE cables into your computer.