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[ The PC Guide | Procedure Guide | Configuration Procedures ]

CD-ROM Drive Connection Procedure

This procedure provides instructions for making the power and interface connections to a CD-ROM drive. This procedure does not deal with the physical installation of the drive, only with making the necessary connections.

Procedure Overview:

  • Difficulty Level: 2 (Low).
  • Risk Factor: 1 (Very low).
  • Hardware Required: None.
  • Software Required: None.
  • Time to Perform: 5 minutes or less in most cases.
  • Preparation / Warnings:
    • If you have not already done so, please read the section on general installation and assembly tips. Pay particular attention to the notes about connecting cables.
    • This procedure assumes IDE/ATA CD-ROM drives. While mechanically configuring SCSI hard drives is similar, the interface connections made to them are different. I also do not cover connection of the older, proprietary interface CD-ROMs, which went out of style several years ago.
    • I assume that you are connecting the CD-ROM to an IDE port or IDE controller. If you are connecting the device to a sound card, you must of course make sure the sound card is already installed before proceeding here.
    • Of course, the CD-ROM drive must be physically installed in the system before you begin. For instructions on installing the drive, refer to this procedure. It is also assumed that you have already decided how you want to configure the CD-ROM drive, and that you have already set the appropriate jumpers. See this procedure if you have not already done this.

Procedure Steps:

  1. Attach Power Cable: Attach one of the power-supply power connectors to the drive. It may take a little bit of force to get the connector into the drive; you may have to wiggle the connector a bit to get it in. The connector is keyed, so it can only go in one way.
  2. Attach Interface Cable: Attach the IDE interface cable to the drive. Make sure to line up pin 1 of the connector with pin 1 of the motherboard, by attaching the cable so that the red wire on one edge of the ribbon cable connects to pin 1 of each device. On some drives it can be hard to figure out which end of the header is pin 1, however most CD-ROMs have pins 1 and 40 marked somewhere on the drive, more prominently than hard disk drives are marked. Be aware that IDE connectors and cables are not keyed, so you can easily connect the drive backwards if you are not careful. Choose one of the following depending on whether the channel you are going to connect to has a device on it already:
    • First Device on Channel: Simply attach one end of the cable to the drive, and the other end to the controller or motherboard. That's it.
    • Second Device on Channel: Examine the cable that is currently connecting the first device on the channel. It should have a third, unused connector, but some cables only have two connectors on them. If the cable has a third connector, attach this to the drive you are installing. If you need to switch which connector goes to which drive so that the cables will reach both drives, you can do this, as it really doesn't matter for standard setups which drive takes which connector. If the cable only has two connectors, you will need a new cable with three connectors (available at most any decent computer store).
  3. Attach CD Audio Cable (if appropriate): If your system has a sound card in it, attach the thin three-wire CD audio cable between the CD-ROM drive and the sound card now. This cable should come with the CD-ROM drive. (If you are following the New PC Assembly Procedure, your machine doesn't have the sound card in it yet, and the directions for attaching this cable are in a subsequent step). Due to several manufacturers having different standards for their drives, most sound cards now have more than one jack for the CD audio cable, and they may not be all different physically, so they can be confused for one another. Usually the connectors on the sound card are labeled with common brand names for CD-ROMs such as “Sony”, “Matsushita” (Panasonic) and “Mitsumi”. If your CD-ROM is not one of the brands indicated, consult your documentation for which connector to use. If you can’t find this information in your documents, you may want to contact the CD-ROM drive manufacturer's technical support, or simply try each of the connectors in succession until you find one that works.
  4. Double-Check Connections: Check over the connections you just made to ensure that they are correct. Make sure you haven't accidentally loosened anything. For example, if there was already a device on the channel when you attached this drive, make sure you have not pulled the cable loose by mistake (which is common, because the connectors don't fit very tightly on many systems).

Next: IDE/ATA Device Configuration Procedure


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