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Installing a CD Burner

Installing a new IDE CD-R/RW into a standard Windows PC is a pretty simple task. 

  1. Shut down your PC. 
  2. Unplug the system and place it on a surface that will not create a lot of static before opening up the case. 
  3. Once you get the case open, note how many drives you have installed. For example, you may have one hard drive, and one CD-ROM drive. 
  4. You will want to look for a gray cable about 3 and a half inches wide connected to each of these drives. 

What you are checking for at this point is if your hard drive and CD-ROM are connected to the SAME cable. Your PC has the ability for two cables to be plugged into the computer, each cable supports two devices. 

If your computer has the hard drive and CD-ROM each on a SEPARATE cable, continue on. If they are connected through the same cable, skip the following section. 


For computers where the hard drive and CD-ROM are on SEPARATE cables: 

  1. The first thing you will need to do is configure the drive to be set in SLAVE mode. The current CD-ROM will already be in master mode. 
  2. Chances are the drive is already in SLAVE mode, but it does not hurt to check. 
  3. If the jumper settings are not printed on the burner itself, they will be on a piece of paper or in the manual. 
  4. After verifying the jumpers are in the slave position, insert the burner into the open drive bay through the front of the computer. You may have to pop out a plastic and/or metal plate first, consult your manual if there are specific instructions for doing so. 
  5. Look for a free 4 pin power cable (its about an inch wide with different colored wires) and plug it in to the burner. It can only plug in one way. 
  6. Now, look for the wide gray cable that the CD-ROM is connected to. There should be another black connector on the cable available. This is where we will plug in the burner. 

Note:  The drive and cable are designed to be plugged in only one way, but this is not always the case.

  1. There is a thin red line that runs up and down the length of the cable on one side. You should have the cable so that the red line is to the side with the power connector. 

For computers where the hard drive and CD-ROM share one cable:

  1. The first thing you will need to do is configure the drive to be set in MASTER mode. 
  2. Since you currently have no device hooked up on a second cable, this will be the first device, and therefore the MASTER. 
  3. Chances are the drive is already in SLAVE mode, so be sure to make sure you adjust the jumpers. 
  4. If the jumper settings are not printed on the burner itself, they will be on a piece of paper or in the manual. 
  5. At this point, you will need to connect the gray cable that comes bundled with the burner into the second drive connector located on the motherboard. 
  6. The cable should fit in only one direction, but make sure the red line on the cable is facing the same direction as the red line on the cable already installed. 
  7. After verifying the jumpers are in the master position, insert the burner into the open drive bay through the front of the computer. 
  8. You may have to pop out a plastic and/or metal plate first, consult your manual if there are specific instructions for doing so. 
  9. Look for a free 4 pin power cable (its about an inch wide with different colored wires) and plug it in to the burner. It can only plug in one way. 
  10. Now, look for the wide gray cable we just hooked up. Since both black connectors will be available, you can use either one. 
  11. This is where we will plug in the burner. 

Note: The drive and cable are designed to be plugged in only one way, but this is not always the case.

  1. There is a thin red line that runs up and down the length of the cable on one side. You should have the cable so that the red line is to the side with the power connector. 

Finishing instructions for either setup: 

  1. Once you have put the screws into the burner to keep it firmly in place, we will want to power up the system BEFORE you put the case back together. 
  2. When you power up the system, immediately enter your system BIOS. 
  3. What key to press varies on different systems, ranging from DEL to F2 to F10. Consult your manual. 
  4. You will want to verify some settings in the GENERAL section. Basically, you will want to look for where it refers to the PRIMARY and SECONDARY drive settings. Four drives will be listed. Just make sure there are not any set to NONE. If there are, set them to AUTO. 

Caution: If you are unsure of how to modify your bios then DON'T TRY. Most likely the settings are already correct and it isn't worth messing up your system if you are unsure of what to do.

  1. As the computer boots, take notice of when it lists your CD-ROM detected, it should list your burner as well. 
  2. Once you get into windows, open My Computer, and you should have a new drive letter available. 
  3. At this point you will want to install the software that comes with the burner, and you should be set! 

Trouble Shooting:

If the system is not detecting the drive, there are a few things to look for. 

  • The first thing to check is to make sure you have the jumper configured correctly (SLAVE if the burner is on the same cable with your cd-rom, MASTER if it is on its own cable). 
  • Also, check to make sure the cables are plugged in the right direction and all the way in. If the open door button on the drive works then you know it is not the power cable. 
  • You can try to reverse the direction of the gray data cable. 
  • Before, I told you to make sure the red line faced the power connector. However, if the cable is plugged in to the motherboard backwards, it would need to be plugged into the drive backwards as well. 
  • Also, make sure the BIOS is set to allow detection of the new drive! 
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