The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting MFM drives on a IBM PC]

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Tue Oct 3 11:10:01 CDT 2017

On 10/03/2017 05:37 AM, wrcooke at wrote:

> fwiw in the late 80s I was the service department at a small PC 
> store. I remember seeing these newfangled drives in Compaq
> computers, but I don't remember exactly when.  Perhaps 88?  Wikipedia
> backs me up that it was Compaq (with WD drives?) as the first large
> customer.
Everyone seems to be calling the Compaq drives "Western Digital".  They
weren't WD--they were CDC Wren II HH drives with a WD controller
embedded.  WD didn't get into the drive business until much, much later.

I went back and checked my documents.   The ATA drive that I had was, in
fact, a Wren II.  For all I know, it was the same one that Compaq put in
its boxes, as I picked it up on the surplus market.

It was not a good drive--it failed within a year or so and I scrapped
it.  I understand that my experience with the drive was not unique.

That's very different from my experience with the FH Wren drives.   I've
still got a SCSI one installed and running in a 386 box.


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