Upgrader - Installing a CD-RW drive

STEP 1 To install an IDE drive you will require one free IDE connection. A common way of setting up a CD-RW drive is to install it as either a Master or a Slave on the Secondary channel, away from your speedier hard drive device(s). Take the lid off of your PC, check how many IDE devices are present and find a free connection.

STEP 2 Once you've found a free connection, determine whether the new drive will be a Master or a Slave, and set the jumpers accordingly. Jumper settings are usually marked clearly on stickers attached to the drive, or printed on the drive (circled), as visible below. Use a pair of long-nose pliers to set the jumpers correctly.

STEP 3 The next step is to locate a free 5.25in drive bay, where your new drive will reside. Slide the drive into place and secure it with four screws.

STEP 4 Now you will need to attach the cabling. Make note of the coloured side of the IDE cable because this indicates pin 1, and attach it to the drive in its correct orientation. Some drives and cables have notches that prevent them from being inserted incorrectly. Also, on most drives pin 1 is located nearest the power connector.

STEP 5 Now connect a free power connector to the drive. This can only go in one way, so make note of the shape of the connector and securely attach it.

STEP 6 Don't put the cover back on just yet. First, boot up your machine and go into the BIOS. Make sure your system detects the new drive by running the "IDE auto-detect" (or similar) feature (leaving this set to "Auto" usually works well). Save the new settings and observe the system information that makes its way onto the screen during the boot up process - press the "Pause" button on the keyboard to get a really good look. If all went well, you should see the newly installed drive along with all your other system drives. Once in Windows, make sure that you can access the new drive by going to Explorer; to make sure it works, pop in a data CD and try to access it. All you will need to do now is install the burning software that came bundled with the drive.

If you want your new CD-RW drive to function as your audio CD player, too, you will need to connect your audio cable from your soundcard or motherboard to your drive.

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Elias Plastiras
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