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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting CD-ROM Drives | Configuration Problems ]

I changed the configuration of my CD-ROM drive by moving it from master to slave or from one channel to another, and now it doesn't work

Explanation: You had a CD-ROM drive that was working in the system jumpered a particular way on a particular IDE channel. You changed the configuration (master to slave or vice-versa, or changed the IDE channel the drive was on) and now it will not work properly.

Diagnosis: The usual causes of this problem are incorrectly configuring the drive in its new configuration, or forgetting to change the parameters on the CD-ROM driver (if you are using a DOS driver in CONFIG.SYS). Many smarter, newer, better CD-ROM drivers search for and automatically find the CD-ROM on whatever channel it is. However, some CD-ROM drives just detect the location of the drive when you run the install program and code the location into the parameters of the CD-ROM driver then. In this case, if you change the location of the drive you have to manually edit the line that loads the driver in CONFIG.SYS to reflect the new position.


  • Check the contents of the line in the CONFIG.SYS file that loads the CD-ROM driver. Refer to the manual that came with the CD-ROM drive and if necessary, change the parameters to reflect the new position of the drive. If you are having problems figuring out the parameters, you may be able to get the parameter changed properly by simply re-running the CD-ROM's installation program, but watch out for other settings on the system that this may change.
  • Check your manual for a setting that will make the driver autodetect the drive, and use that. This will save you hassle later on if you move it again.
  • You may also want to check the IDE settings in your BIOS setup if your BIOS detects CD-ROM drives. While BIOS detection isn't strictly required for CD-ROMs to work, if you have a particular drive location set to detect and move the drive, you should change the BIOS setting so the BIOS doesn't pause trying to find a non-existent drive.
  • You may have a hardware configuration problem with the CD-ROM, such as a loose cable or incorrect jumper. Look here for generic troubleshooting information for when the drive is not found by the system.

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