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CD-ROM Drive Physical Installation Procedure
This procedure describes how to install a CD-ROM drive
into a system case. This procedure deals only with the physical installation of the drive.
- Difficulty Level: 2 (Low).
- Risk Factor: 1 (Very low).
- Hardware Required: Screwdriver and screws.
- Software Required: None.
- Time to Perform: Usually about 5-10 minutes. Can take slightly longer
if there are fit problems.
- Preparation / Warnings:
- If you have not already done so, please read the section on general
installation and assembly tips.
- Ensure 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.
- Make sure that the interface cable will reach the drive in its intended location. Refer
to the system layout planning procedure if necessary.
Unlike with floppy drives, you cannot just get a longer cable in most cases when you are
dealing with ATAPI CD-ROM drives. The length of the cable is limited to 18" and in
some cases less. See here for more details.
- Ensure that a power cable from the power supply will reach the drive.
- If you are using a sound card, make sure that the audio connect cable that will run
between the CD-ROM and the sound card will reach the CD-ROM in its intended location.
- Make sure that you don't mount the drive upside-down. The eject button for the drive
goes underneath the drive tray.
- Most CD-ROM drives cannot be mounted sideways, because the CD will not stay in the tray
if it is vertical. Some drives that use caddies can be mounted on their sides,
- The system case should be open before you begin. For instructions on opening the case,
refer to this procedure.
- Some cheap cases are made from very flimsy sheet metal and may require you to flex them
somewhat to get the drive to slide in properly.
- Find Pin 1 On Drive: Take a close look at the drive and
determine which end of the interface connector is pin 1. While this can be quite confusing
with hard disk drives, most CD-ROM drives have decent labeling on the drive
itself to tell you "which end is up". You'll need to know where pin 1 is when
you connect the drive up, which may be much later on. It's much harder to determine which
end is pin 1 after the drive is installed.
Tip: CD-ROM drives usually have
pin 1 of the connector next to the drive's power connector.
- Mount Drive Into Case: There are three common ways of mounting a CD-ROM drive
into the system case that I have encountered. Determine which of the following matches
your case and follow the appropriate instructions:
- Direct Mount: The simplest and most common mounting method is the
direct mount, where the drive slides into the bay and mounts directly to the drive bay
walls. Slide the drive into the bay, and align the drive's faceplate with the front of the
case (you may need to put the front of the case back on temporarily to do this). When the
drive is lined up correctly, secure the drive to the bay using four screws.
- Drive Rails: Some cases, especially older ones, use two thin rails that
are mounted to the drive, and then used to slide the drive into the drive bay. If your
cases uses these, select two matching rails, one for either side of the drive. Place the
drive into the bay without the rails first, to allow you to visualize where the rails need
to mount onto the drive so that once inserted, the drive will line up correctly with the
front of the case. Attach the rails to either side of the drive, using two screws per
rail. Then slide the drive into the bay. Verify that the front of the drive lines up
correctly. Some drive rail cases have spring-loaded clips on the front that snap into
place when the drive is inserted all the way (mostly newer cases). Others require you to
screw the drive into the bay anyway, using holes in the front of the drive bay. Either
way, make sure the drive is not free to move around when you are done.
- Mounting Box: Some cases, especially desktops, use a removable metal
box into which the drive is mounted. The procedure here is similar to that for direct
mount, above, except that you have to remove the box first and insert the drive into it,
then remount the box. Be sure to check the alignment before you tighten the screws.
- Double-Check Installation: Make sure the drive has been fitted properly
into the case and that there is no interference with other components. Ensure that it is
not loose in the case.
Physical Installation Procedure
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