Section 10.15. Installing a CD or DVD Drive

10.15. Installing a CD or DVD Drive

Installing a CD or DVD drive into your PC works much like adding a new hard drive (Section 9.6), although the process is even easierif you mess something up, you won't lose your tax records from the past six years . The worse that can happen is Windows XP doesn't recognize the drive, something you can usually fix by checking the cable connections.

Both CD/DVD drives and hard drives connect to your PC using the same type of connectors, so if you've installed a hard drive, this procedure's a breeze . Just follow these steps:

  1. Buy a new CD or DVD drive .

    DVD burners can also read and write to CDs. If you need a CD burner, consider picking up a DVD burner, instead. They can still write to CDs, and they don't cost much more than a CD burner . And they're not limited to storing movies: the latest DVD burners can hold as much information as a dozen CDs, making them that much more valuable for backups .

    Although a few CD/DVD drives use SATA cables, the vast majority of CD and DVD drives use flat ribbon cables known as IDE (cables). See Section 9.6.1 for a quick recap on how to figure out which type of cables your PC uses.

  2. Turn off your PC and remove its case (Section 1.3) .

  3. Set the drive's jumper settings to Master, Slave, or Cable Select, depending on the drive's position on the internal cable it's going to be attached to .

    Since two CD/DVD drives often connect to the same ribbon cable, your PC needs to know how to talk to each drive individually. So it gives the drives one of two names : "Master" or "Slave." Your job is to tell each drive which one is Master and which one is Slave. (No one has ever accused the PC industry of being politically correct.)

    Although a simple toggle switch would have done the job nicely , drives instead use a weird communication system. They make you move a little cover called a jumper over certain rows of pins, as shown in Figure 10-10. Covering one pair of pins sets the drive to Master status, while covering a different pair of two pins sets the drive to Slave status. A label on the drive tells you which pins are Master and which are Slave.

    Armed with that knowledge, you have three rules:

    Figure 10-10. A little sticker on the top or side of the drive's case contains a diagram explaining which pair of pins you must cover for each of the three possible settings: Master, Slave, or Cable Select. When you decide which setting applies to your drive, push the jumper over the pair of pins that match your drive's setting.
    • If you're replacing the only drive on the cable, set the new drive's jumper settings to Master.

    • If you're adding a second drive to a cable, set its jumper settings to Slave.

    • If you're replacing one of two drives on the cable, set its jumpers to match the drive you're replacing.

    Note: The rules change slightly if your PC has what is known as a "Cable Select" cable, which does away with some of the messy master/slave decision making. One of the cable's connectors is marked "Master"; the other connector is marked "Slave." When attaching any drive to a Cable Select cable, set the drive's jumpers to "Cable Select." The PC then talks to the drives according to what cable connector they're plugged into, either Master or Slave.
  4. Insert the new drive into the docking bay .

    If you're replacing an existing drive, slide the old drive out of its bay (Figure 1-2) and slide in the new drive to replace it. Fasten the new drive in place with the old drive's screws or latches.

    If you're adding a second drive, slide it into the bay adjacent to the existing drive. Then fasten it in place with screws and/or latches. Most computer stores sell mounting screws or latches; if they don't, your PC manufacturer probably sells them.

  5. Attach the cables from your PC into the back of your new drive .

    You need to plug at least two kinds of cables into the rear connectors of a newly arriving CD or DVD drive: a power cable and a ribbon cable (see Figure 10-11). Some drives also come with two largely unused connectors, leftovers from older technology. Here's the rundown on the four connectors you find on today's drives:

    • Power . A four-pin "Molex" connector, shown in the top of Figure 10-11, pushes onto the four large pins. Sometimes you need to push with a little force to make a firm connection.

    • Motherboard . The vast majority of drives connect to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable called an IDE cable. The cable has three connectors: one plugs into the motherboard; the cable's other two connectors let you plug in one or two drives.

    Although each ribbon cable comes with connectors for two drives, don't mix hard drives with CD or DVD drives on the same cable. That's not usually a problem, as most motherboards have jacks for two ribbon cables. You can keep up to two hard drives on one cable, and up to two CD/DVD drives on the other.

    • Audio Out . On some older PCs and drives, a little four-pin cable connects your drive's four-pin Audio Out connector to the four-pin CD IN connector on your PC's sound card (Section 7.2.1). Almost all of today's PCs grab the sound straight through the ribbon cable, so don't connect this cable unless you're sure you need it.

    • Digital Out . Another leftover from yesteryear, this two-pin Digital Out connector on some DVD drives connects to a two-pin Digital In connector on some sound cards. Today's PCs grab the sound through the ribbon cable, so don't connect this cable, either.

    Figure 10-11. Top: Your PC's internal power supply comes outfitted with extra power cables (like the one white-tipped one shown here), ready for you to plug them into any newly installed devices (a new CD drive, for instance). Push the white "Molex" connector onto the four waiting pins on your drive andprestoyou've got juice .
    Bottom: Most new drives come packaged with their own ribbon cable, which connects between the drive's rear-side connector (shown here) and an identical connector, usually labeled IDE 1, on your motherboard. If you're just replacing a drive, feel free to reuse the old cable on the new drive. Ribbon cables fit only one way; make sure the notch and raised spot on the two connectors mesh as you push the ribbon cable into the drive.
  6. Turn on your PC .

    Your PC recognizes the drive when it boots up.

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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