Verifying the CD-ROM cables are correctly connected

There are different causes for cables becoming loose on your CD-ROM drive. Below are steps on how to check the connections on the back of a CD-ROM drive. Because these steps require that you open your computer and work inside, make sure you're aware of the potential ESD hazards by reviewing our ESD page.

Opening the computer

Open your computer and locate the CD-ROM and each of the cables connected to it. Below is an example of the front and back of a disc drive, including where each of the cables should be connected to the drive.

Computer CD-ROM drive

Verify connections

Your CD-ROM should have at least two cables connected to it: a Molex power cable and an ATAPI / IDE or SATA cable. The IDE or SATA cable should also be connected to the motherboard or other interface card and the power cable should be connected to the power supply. Disconnect the cable from the back of the CD-ROM and reconnect it. Do the same on the opposite end of the cable, if possible.

Next, if your CD-ROM drive is not getting any power, disconnect the power cable from the back of the drive and reconnect it.

Finally, some computers may have a third cable to interface the CD-ROM with the sound card. If the audio for your audio CDs is not working properly, verify that this cable is connected to the back of the CD-ROM, as well as to the sound card.

Check jumpers

If you recently installed any new disk drives, such as a new hard drive, verify that the jumpers are properly set on the back of the CD-ROM. Having the jumpers set improperly to master or slave can cause the CD-ROM to not work. If the drive does not list the master and slave jumper settings on the back of the drive, remove the drive and get the jumper settings off of the sticker on top of the disc drive.

Note: Most computers today do not have jumpers set on the CD drive, as they use a SATA cable, which has no master or slave settings in general. However, if your computer still uses an IDE cable, the master or slave setting can be determined by the connector on the IDE cable the drive is using. In this case, it may not utilize the jumper settings.

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