Replacing PC Parts

Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts

Starting Your Own Computer Business

The Laptop Repair Workbook

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Copyright 2011 by Morris Rosenthal

All Rights Reserved

Replacing a DVD or CD Drive

Copyright 2011 by Morris Rosenthal -All Rights Reserved contact info

Illustrated How to Replace a CD Drive or DVD Burner

Every component install starts with unplugging the power cord and removing the "up" side from a mid-tower. When it comes to installing a DVD drive, and it's not mounted on rails, you need to remove both sides of the case. The DVD or CD drive is mounted with two crews through each side, and you don't want to skimp, these drives can vibrate like crazy if they aren't secured properly. We remove all of the plug in connectors from the back of the DVD drive (see the later pics of making connections) and remove the four fine thread screws. I have a page about stuck DVD trays in laptops as well.
CD drives and burners are identical in form to DVD drives and burners, in fact, you can't tell them apart except for the faceplate labeling. The drives are always removed and installed through the front of the case, since the CD tray has to be accessible through the front. If more than one bay is available, it doesn't matter which bay you mount the drive in, though I favor lower bays for a lower center of gravity and shorter cable reach. If you've forgotten to disconnect the power, IDE or audio patch cables from the back of the DVD drive, you'll find out at this point when it doesn't pull out easily:-)
Both CD and DVD drives, and their recorder (burner) equivalents, are almost universally parallel IDE drives. There are more expensive SCSI drives available for very specific applications, normally arrays, but we won't cover them here. Parallel IDE drives are equipped with Master/Slave jumpers which allow the IDE controller to address two separate drives on a single channel. The drives feature three jumper sets, Master, Slave, and Cable Select (the cable wiring makes the selection). The easiest to ensure a newly installed DVD burner will be addressed properly is to put it next to the old CD drive and make sure the same jumper pair is selected.
The CD burner is then installed in the case, and secured with four screws. If you do this with the case standing up, make sure that the CD drive is actually supported on the bottom as you slide it in, because some super-cheap cases just have an open cage, and the drive can drop out of your hand and damage the motherboard. Since the faceplate of the CD recorder will open to front of the case, it's important (for aesthetics) to make sure it's flush with the front facade before tightening the four fine thread screws.
Now we'll show the CD burner connections one at a time, keeping in mind the are identical to the connections for a CD ROM, DVD ROM or DVD recorder. The first connection to make when you install a CD drive (because it's at the bottom and hardest to get at) is the audio lead for playing music CDs, which attaches to the sound card. See Installing a Sound Card for attaching the other end.If you skip this step, everything will work properly, including sound for games, but you won't be able to play music CDs.
The 40 wire IDE ribbon cable may be keyed to the connector on the CD burner, or you may be able to force it on backwards. The red wire on one side of the flat ribbon goes to the "Pin 1" end of the connector on the CD drive, and if the drive isn't labeled, the red wire should go next to the power connector. If the CD drive isn't recognized when it's installed check that the other end of the cable is properly installed on the motherboard. Finally, the power connector (below) is seated firmly over the four large pins in the connector, usually goes in about a half an inch. The power connector is keyed so you can't get it wrong. Now you know how to install a CD drive, all that's left is getting it to work with Windows:-)

Before you replace anything, troubleshoot the CD or DVD!