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Tips for Installing a DVD R or CD-R Drive

Installing an IDE based optical drive, either CD-R or DVD R drive is easy.

  1. Shutdown the computer and disconnect cables and remove the cover.
  2. Make sure that your case has an available 5.25” drive bay.
  3. Make sure that there is an IDE connection available. Most systems have two IDE connectors. Each channel can support up to two devices (for a total of four IDE devices in most systems). The hard drive is usually connected to the Primary channel. The CD-ROM may be connected to the Primary channel as a slave or may be connected to the Secondary channel.
  4. Determine how the Master/Slave jumper should be set. If the drive will be the only device on the IDE channel or will be the master device, set the jumper to master. If there will be another device acting as master, set the jumper to slave.
  5. Physically install the drive. If your case uses rails to mount devices, consult the manual that came with the case for instruction for using the rails. Otherwise, use screws and securely bolt the device into the open 5.25” drive bay. Ensure that the drive is secure on both sides.
  6. Connect the cables. Make sure that pin 1 on the data cable (usually denoted by a red stripe on one side of the cable) is closest to the power connector when plugged in. Make sure that the four-wired power cable is securely connected. Some drives will come with an audio cable to connect to the sound card for CD-Audio playback. Connect this cable to the back of the drive and consult the manual for your sound card for instructions on connecting the audio cable to your sound card.
  7. After double-checking that the cables are secure and nothing has come loose, re-install the cover.
  8. Reconnect the cables for the keyboard/mouse, monitor, power etc.
  9. Boot the computer into Windows.
  10. Windows will usually not need any drivers loaded in order to recognize the DVD or CD-RW drive, but you will need to load the software (DVD Playback or CD-Recording software) that may or may not have come with the drive in order to get more than basic CD-ROM functionality. Follow the instructions that came with the drive.