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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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
cant 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.
- 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).
Device Configuration Procedure
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