Otis F. Cooper

Article Summary:

Simple steps to installing a CD Rom drive in your personal computer.

Installing a CD Rom Drive

It is quite inexpensive to remove and install the CDROM drive. Disk drives are now disposable because so many of them are readily available at extremely low cost. Although disk drive installation is simple, you should not attempt any short cuts. If you neglect the slightest detail, your new drive may malfunction or may not work at all.

Examine Both CDROM Drives
If you are removing an older CDROM drive to install a new one, take the time to study every detail of how the old drive is installed. Take good notes if you think your memory will fail you. Draw a diagram of how and where the data, sound card and power cables connect to the drive. Study how the drive is mounted in the system unit bay and if you will have to disconnect any other components or connections in order to remove the old drive.

Removing Your Old CDROM Drive
To start with, have a well lit and study work desk. You'll need a tool kit and a small divided box may prove to be useful. Take the time to remove any Electrical Static Buildup from yourself so that no static electricity can damage the chips.

Remove the cover from the System Unit by locating and carefully removing all retaining screws. Put all screws in one section of the divided box. Check to be certain the system unit has been unplugged from the surge protector or wall outlet.

Locate the old drive at the top of nearly all Tower units and in an assembly in most Desktops. See if the drive can be removed without removing any other connections or components.

Disconnect the data, power, and sound card cables from the old drive. Remove the screws securing the drive to the system unit and place them in another section of the divided box. Slide the old drive out through the front of the system unit.

Take the time to see if your CDROM Drive's Controller is mounted onto the motherboard or if it is secured if an expansion slot. This Controller acts as the communication between the CPU and the drive itself. If the new drive has an IDE Interface, the drive's ribbon cable will connect to the controller without the need of another adapter card.

If the new drive is a SCSI Drive, it will need to be Daisy-chained. This means that one drive or device can be connected to another with up to 7 devices connected together. The last device must be terminated with a jumper.

Installing Your New CDROM Drive
A Disk Drive Controller can serve up to three drives through the Ribbon Cable. The last drive must be terminated so the controller will know how many drives are installed in the PC. This is done by setting the jumper on the last drive in a certain position. Check the manual to find that position if you have more than one CDROM Drive. The Installation procedure is the opposite of the removal procedure.

If you are installing a new drive only, you may have to remove a bezel, which is a faceplate in front of your system unit that covers the new drive's access. Usually a small screwdriver can remove the plate with a small twist.

Slide the new drive through the front halfway and reconnect the data, power and sound card cables. With most drives, pin number 1 on the ribbon cable must line up with pin 1 on the adapter. Look for an oddly colored stripe on the cable which will be Pin 1.

Now check and double check to see if the cables have been attached correctly. Slide the drive in the bay completely and secure it with the retaining screws in the divided box. Replace the the system unit cover, reconnect all peripherals and turn on the computer.

CDROM Drive Configuration
Now that the hardware have been installed we must tell the computer it have a new drive. In most cases, the computer will recognize that it has obtained a new device once you boot up the computer. It may ask for the device driver and you may have to place the cdrom that came with your new drive into your drive. The computer will install the device driver from the cdrom.

And after this, the installation should be done. Check your work now by placing a game or other cdrom in the drive and see if the drive operates normally. Place an audio CD into the drive to see if you can play music CDs without problems.

If the drive fails to work, check all connections, and take a look to see if the computer has recognized the new drive. Try rebooting the computer and check again for presence of the new drive. Next try reinstalling the device drivers.

Otis F. Cooper is the author of the award winning PC Super Pack, the Computer Training By Video course. For hundreds more free PC repair tips,sign-up for his bi-monthly newsletter and learn computer repair at www.ultimate pc repair.com.

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