Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Illustrated awards podium for first, second, and third place.

In general, secondary refers to the second in an order. For example, with a computer, a secondary storage device is a hard drive. All programs run from the primary storage (memory), and the data is stored in the secondary storage.

Secondary jumper setting

A secondary jumper setting is found on a hard drive or CD drive, and adjusted using jumpers, as shown below. The secondary setting allows for two devices to be attached to a single IDE/ATAPI connection.

Jumpers on back of IDE hard disk drive


With early hard drives, this setting was referred to as a "slave" setting. However, because "slave" is offensive, it's better to refer to this drive as "primary" or "device0."

Other examples of secondary with computers

Hard drive, Primary