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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | CD-ROM Drives | CD-ROM Drive Construction and Operation ]

Connectors and Jumpers

The connectors and jumpers on a CD-ROM are similar in most ways to what you will find on a hard disk drive. Mercifully, CD-ROM drive manufacturers have done a much better job of being at least somewhat standardized in the use of jumpers and connectors, and even in where they are located on the drive. All CD-ROMs that I have seen have their jumpers and connectors located at the back of the drive.

You will find a standard 4-pin power connector on the back of a regular internal CD-ROM drive, the same kind that is used for hard disk drives and most other internal devices. This is pretty universal and is found on most every drive. The other connections and jumpers depend on the interface that the drive is using; an IDE/ATAPI drive will use different ones than a SCSI drive for example. For ATAPI, you will find the standard 40-pin data connector, along with jumpers to select the drive as a master or slave device. For SCSI, you will find a 50-pin connector and jumpers to set the device ID and termination.

One connector that is found on a CD-ROM and not on a hard disk drive is the audio connector that goes to the sound card. This three- or four-wire cable is used to send CD audio output directly to the sound card so it can be recorded or played back on the computer's speakers.

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