Installing a CDRW - strange IDE cable config.

  00edgarj 14:15 02 Sep 2003

Last night I was trying to install a CDRW drive for a friend - and expected it to take no longer than 15 - 20 mins tops. However, when I opened the case, I discovered that the 2 IDE (ribbon) cables have only two "plugs" on them - one to connect them to the Motherboard and one to connect to the existing DVD-ROM drive - i needed 3.

No problem, I thought, as there is a 3 plug IDE cable included with the Sony CDRW. When I replaced the cable, I left the DVD-ROM as Secondary Master, and set the CDRW as Secondary Slave.

When the PC was turned on the light came on on the CDRW - and stayed on. Once Windows had booted up I checked in My Computer & Device Manager only to find that neither CD Drives were shown. The light was still on on the CDRW, but the drawer would not open. The DVD-ROM appeared to have no power at all.

Next I tried removing the DVD-ROM and then installing the CDRW as Secondary Master, on the original cable supplied with the pc (with only two plugs). It worked perfectly - first time.

Next I tried the CDRW on both plugs of the new cable, still set as Master. Drive was not recognised by PC and draw did not open, light stayed on.

The IDE configuration (only one plug on each line and the fact hat the floppy drive was connected by an identical cable (well, at the mobo end anyway) if unfamiliar to me - has anyone encountered similar problems with only one device per line being permitted?

The only last idea I had was thatthe cable was faulty, unfortunatly the only spare ide cable I have the middle plug is broken anyway so it is no use to try.

If anyone has any ideas my friend and I would be grateful!!



  -pops- 14:59 02 Sep 2003

1. Is your 3 port cable connected with the correct end to the motherboard?

2. Do the connectors on the cable have a blanked off socket at the centre of the pin array? If not, it would be easy to connect it upside down and may then produce the effect you are seeing i.e. light on all the time and not working (same as a FDD does).

  -pops- 15:00 02 Sep 2003

Note it is usual to have the writer as master and the reader as slave.

  madPentium 15:01 02 Sep 2003

If its an 80 pin cable then the blue should go into the mobo, the black into the master, the grey into the slave.

  Rayuk 15:48 02 Sep 2003

Have you tried putting the dvd as slave with the hard drive and the cdrw as the secondary master see if it works that way.
Not the ideal solution but will give you a working system while you try and find a way to rectify it.

Have you checked in bios see if they are recognised.

  00edgarj 16:23 02 Sep 2003

I'm going round again this evening so I'll try both ends of the cable. THe cable plugs are definatly in the right way - pin 1 to pin one, blanked off pins matched up etc.

madPentium, the cable in the PC has white plugs at both ends and all the plugs on the CDRW cable are black! I was surprised not to see colour coding too!

Thanks again,


  hector allan 16:50 02 Sep 2003

As your system boots you`ll probably see a list of detected hardware.

new drive appears no worries? BIOS has figured it out......................

On some systems, you must enter the BIOS setup and set the drive type for the IDE interface to CD-ROM or check that it is on Auto.

  JimmE 03:00 21 Nov 2004

Old post, markig resolved.

I think I was using the wrong ends of the cable - easy mistake when there is no colour-coding!

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