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How to Install an Optical Media Drive (Page 2/3)


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

Basic Installation

Here's the basic process of installing an optical media drive - in step format:

- Prepare your work area. You will need a Phillips head screwdriver and possibly a pair of tweezers (if you have absolutely no fingernails at all) for this operation. Don't ya just love the word operation... makes the whole process sound important - and scary.
- Shut down the PC, open the case, and ground yourself (by touching the chassis) before touching anything inside the case.
- Remove the drive from its packaging and set the jumper on the drive to the appropriate setting - most likely you will want to set it to master.
- Fasten the drive to the case. This can be done a variety of ways, depending on the case itself - but the most common setup now is the use of drive rails which are attached to the drive and will snap into the case.
- Plug the IDE, Power, and Analog I/O cables into the drive. If you don't have enough space to plug in the I/O and IDE cables after attaching the drive to the case, you can plug those in beforehand. The red line on the IDE cable should be on the left (if you are looking at the drive from behind) or on the side closest to the power connector (which should be etched as pin 1). The other two cables are "dummy-proof." Newer IDE cables that have the protruding little box are dummy-proof as well.
- Plug the IDE cable into the appropriate port on the motherboard and attach the Analog I/O cable to the sound card.
- Close the computer and boot up into Windows. Windows should automatically detect and install appropriate drivers for the device, unless otherwise mentioned in the drive's instruction manual.

Advanced Installation

If you are REALLY into squeezing the last little bit of speed out of a system, you need to take the following things into consideration.

- Optical drives, especially those that write as well as read, are particularly sensitive to nonstandard bus frequencies and can cause system crashes whether there is adequate cooling or not. This will be covered more in the overclocking section.
- Try to keep at least one free bay between your optical drive and other drives within the system. Optical drives, particularly newer ones, create immense amounts of heat which can shorten the life of the drives above and below it. Ways to deal with this extra heat will be covered in the cooling section.
- The cable select jumper option isn't something to fool around with... I've had it cause problems for me when I was experimenting for this article, and I still couldn't figure out how to get the system to run with the drive set this way.

Cooling

Optical drive cooling is difficult at best because not only is it a full sized 5 inch drive, it needs to be accessed from the front. This generally eliminates front and side-based cooling options, short of ones that are already built into your case. My recommendation on the subject would be to get bay coolers such as the ones sold at The Card Cooler's online store. I know, they take up an entire 5 inch drive bay, but it is the best solution I could come up with.

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