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How to Install an Optical Media Drive (Page 1/3)

Posted: January 27, 2000
Written by: Keith "Farrel" McClellan


Once again, I'm back with another installment in the How to series - How to Install an Optical Media Drive. You might be asking, what the hell IS an optical media drive? Well, basically I am referring to your CD/DVD/CD-R/CD-RW drive(s). The optical part refers to the laser that reads the information off the disk. This is one of those upgrades that really isn't done very often (a 12x or better CD-ROM drive will do most people just fine until DVD becomes the gaming media of choice), but when it is done, boy is it a doosey. Configuration errors, system lockups, and other problems often plague the installation of a new optical media drive, and it is my duty, as a concerned citizen and a supertweakmeister, to guide you through the horrors of it all and bring you out into the light.


Here's the lowdown on what I will be covering in this article:

- Basic installation
- Advanced installation
- IDE Channels and the Slave/Master properties
- Cooling
- Overclocking
- Troubleshooting
- Taking care of your Optical Media drive

Once again, not as simple as you thought it would be, eh?

IDE Channels and the Slave/Master Fiasco

IDE channels are a pain in the rear end for system builders/optimizers such as myself - there just never seems to be enough of them. Even the new ATA/66 motherboards, which have four channels, can fall short for a guy who's obsessed with each drive having its own channel. Yes, I said each drive having its own channel. Every drive, be it a hard drive or some other form of storage media, runs faster and more efficiently if it doesn't have to fight another drive for bandwidth. That said - here's the scoop. Do WHATEVER you can to keep your optical media drive on its own channel. If it has to share a channel, have it share with something like a zip drive or another optical media drive - something that won't be using the channel at the same time as your optical media drive. This will optimize speed and generally just make your computer feel faster. ;)

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