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

CD-ROM Interfaces and Configuration

CD-ROM drives were relatively late additions to the personal computer, at least compared to their older cousins the floppy drive and the hard disk drive. They were also relatively slow in being adopted into the market over a period of years. As a result, they tended at first to have non-standard interfaces to the rest of the PC .

As the CD-ROM has become quite mainstream today, its interfaces have become more standardized as well. The trend has been to make the CD-ROM use the interfaces that have traditionally been employed by hard disk drives, for simplicity and to reduce cost. As a result, today's CD-ROM drives generally use either IDE (actually ATAPI) or SCSI, just as hard disks do.

This section takes a brief look at CD-ROM interfaces. Again, since most CD-ROM drives use hard disk interfaces today, I will tend to refer to the extensive discussions on the IDE and SCSI interfaces that can be found in the Reference Guide section on hard disks, instead of repeating them all here. For a procedure describing how to physically install a CD-ROM drive, look here; for a procedure on connecting the CD-ROM drive to the system, look here; and for instructions on installing CD-ROM drivers, here.

Next: Proprietary Interfaces

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