Installing a CD or DVD ROM Drive

Installing a CD or DVD rom drive would have to be the easiest upgrade or repair job you can do on your own computer. Computer Technicians charge you at least fifty dollars an hour when you could probably complete this task in about two minutes.

First thing we must do is open the computer case. Read How to open a computer case safely before proceeding. Even though this seems easy, there are some simple precautions to take that ensure you do not damage your computer.

What you will need

  • Screw driver to open the computer case and to remove the old CD rom drive. Read How to open a computer case safely before proceeding.
  • A replacement or new CD/DVD RW  rom drive These instructions apply to any CD or DVD drive, Cd writer, DVD burner, even the newest Dual layers or Lightscribe Burners.
  • IDE , Power, and audio cable These all should be connected to your old CD rom and to the motherboard. If you are installing a CD/DVD drive in the computer for the first time an audio cable comes with the drive. However you may need to supply an IDE cable. There are always spare power connectors coming from the power supply in your computer.

cd rom back view

Below is a picture of how to plug in an IDE Cable. See the Cable itself has a notch on the top side which matches where it has to be plugged. Push in evenly and do not bend the pins.

You can also see the small analogue audio cable and the power cable plugged in.

The jumper pin is set to cable select, and therefore at the other end of the IDE cable it will be coloured blue.

How to set jumper settings.

cd rom ide

Below is a picture of a molex power connector. These are used for connecting power to hard drives, cd/dvd rom drives and sometimes internal fans and speakers.

They are not used for SATA devices. SATA has a smaller, black connection for power.

moles connector

Below is a picture of a SATA Cable connected to a motherboard. The other end would plug into either a hard drive or a Newer CD or DVD drive. SATA replaces the older IDE format. Your CD/DVD ROM will have one of these two types of connections, depending on the age of the computer it is designed to fit in.

SATA connector


  1. says

    Hello how are u, i bought a dvd/cd rew drive for my dell dimension 8400,i no it is old..I belive the connector i have do not match the one I have in the pc. it is a SATA connection for the new dvd.Do i need to buy a new sata cable or should i returned it.And if i need cable how do i install the dvd.I belive it is ide connector that was connecting my old DVD…..If u can help,..? thank u so very much for ur time….Mr Rejean Morin