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Fitting A CD-RW Drive


Step 1

Be sure to read through the manual supplied with the drive to familiarise yourself with any differences.


Step 2

If you have a static band then make sure it is earthed correctly otherwise switch off at the mains, leave your computer plugged in and touch the metal case of the computer to discharge yourself of static electricity. Remember static can damage circuitry.


Step 3

Remove all the cables and unscrew the case. There are usually 4 or 6 screws and the case will then lift off completely or an access panel will slide off on either side.


Step 4

Remove the plastic blanking panel from your spare drive bay. You may have to reach under your existing CD drive to pop the panel out and in some cases there may be a metal plate which will require some careful force to remove. Again be careful as the edges may be sharp.


Step 5

Now take your new drive and have a look at the back. You will notice several sets of pins and sockets. At this point we are looking for the jumpers. These are pairs of metal pins, two of which are connected by a plastic sheath and possibly denoted by MA (master), SL (slave), CS (cable select). For this exercise, we will be connecting the new CD-RW drive to the same channel (flat ribbon IDE Cable) as the existing CDROM drive so one of the drives must be set as master and the other as slave. If the existing drive is set as master then set the new drive as slave or swap the configuration over as long as you don't have two of the same. This procedure is quite tricky and may require a set of tweezers. Simply pull out the small plastic sleeve from one pair of pins and slide it over another pair of pins. Which pins to cover may be illustrated on the top of the CD drive or in the manual.


Step 6

Take the drive, slide it into the empty bay and locate a free power cable. This will be a small plastic connector at the end of a number of wires. Plug it into the new drive.


Step 7

As we are using the same channel as the existing drive, take the flat grey IDE ribbon cable connected to the CDROM and connect it to the new drive. This is assuming that the IDE cable has a free connector. If your cable only has one connector, you may need to purchase a new IDE cable with 2 connectors from your local electronics store. Ensure that the cable is inserted with the red line is aligned to Pin 1 on the drive or nearest to the power supply cable.


Step 8

Most drives come with an audio cable. One end plugs into the drive and the other into the soundcard or motherboard but this will be clearly marked. If you are unsure, consult your manuals. This cable is essential if you wish to listen to audio CDs or record audio from the hard drive to blank CD-Rs.


Step 9

Align your drive so that it is flush with the front of the case and secure it with the screws supplied.


Step 10

Reassemble your computer and switch it on. You will be prompted to install some drivers so insert the CD supplied with the drive and follow the installation wizard.

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