Have just bought

A new CD-RW drive to go into my Win XP Home edition PC but do not know how to install it - can anyone please advise?

At present, I have just one drive bay in use and this accommodates my DVD-Rom drive. How do I connect new drive to present and I believe one has to be a slave and one a master? Can anyone please explain this to someone who is not tech minded but willing to learn how to install this new drive by himself??

Many thanx,


:bow: :slight_smile:

Hi alba, welcome to the forum.

Installing a new drive into your computer is a pretty straightforward job. Open up your computer case and take a look at how your current DVD-ROM is attached to your computer. Generally speaking a computer has two so-called IDE controllers. You can identify these by following the big (often grey) flat cable that is attached to your hard disk(s) and DVD-ROM drive. They will lead down to your motherboard. Note: your hard disk is always attached to the primary IDE port on your motherboard, optical drives should be located on the secondary IDE port.

You will probably have one of these two situations:

  1. Your DVD-ROM drive and hard disk are attached to the same cable.
  2. Your hard disk is attached to a seperate cable and so is your DVD-ROM.

If the second scenario is the case then take out the DVD-ROM drive and the flat cable. In general it’s best to set the CD-RW burner to master and the DVD-ROM to slave device. In IDE systems there is always a Master device and a Slave device. The settings of the drive are controlled via small so-called jumpers on the back of the drive. These a small plastic clips that fit over two metal pins. The master and slave settings can be found on the lable on top of the drive or on the back of the drive.

Set your CD-RW to Master and your DVD-ROM to slave. Build in both drives and re-attach the flatcable. The master device should be the last device on the cable. Often it will also work if you set the master drive before the slave drive but it’s recommended to us this:

Motherboard - Slave - Master

Now turn your computer back on and see if the devices are recognized correctly. If they are then you’re done. When Windows XP loads you should check the Device Manager (Control Panel -> System) and check the Secondary IDE channel properties. For best performance both devices should be using UDMA mode 2 (provided of course that both drives supports this but all modern drives do).

Please report back if you need more help.

Thanks Gamefreak - I seem to have the drive installed but cannot copy anything on it?

I’m using Nero Rom 5 v5.5.3.5 OEM, which I have on my own machine (the new drive is in my son’s machine) and for some reason, Nero is not auto-detecting the drive and will only burn a virtual image, not a physical disk?!

When I go to auto-detect it says that Nero does not detect CD-Roms?!

No software to burn CD’s came with the drive - a Philips PBRW5232L drive - and I do not know where to go from here??

Can you advise on suitable software to burn CD’s without me having to spend big $'s??



First off try updating Nero. It may just be that the drive it to new for Nero to know about.

If not then update to Nero 6.x.x.x

The biggest CD burning programs are probably Nero and Easy CD Creator by Roxio. Ther are a number of free burning programs including BurnAtOnce, DiscJuggler and of course many others.

Thanks for the tip on updating Nero GF! I’m not overfond of the latest version but found (in the dark realms of my many back-up CD’s!) version and this was enough of an upgrade to detect my drive and allow me to copy disks - Hurrah!!

Everything seems to work fine - apart from the wee green light flickering on the front of the drive as my DVD-Rom drive does, but that’s no big deal! The main thing is that the drive works and does what it should… If you think this may be a problem, then please let me know what I should do before I put the casing back on tomorrow?

Thanks for the help - You’ve been a real boon! :bow: :bow:

A flickering light is often an indication that the drive is either reading or writing data. Different drives use different lights, some flicker, dome don’t, some are green, some are yellow, some have two lights, some have only one… This is nothing to worry about.

Thanks for the info GF - Good news is that when I booted up the PC this morning, the green light burst into life to let me know all was right. I burned a disk and, as you said, the light happily flickered and danced away to let me know that it was burning away. It also flickered when I placed a game disk into the drive, thus showing that it was reading the disk ok.

I think the reason that no light was flickering yesterday was due to the fact that the drive was just installed. Windows recognized it but the PC needed to be rebooted just so that all info was recorded and recognized properly by WinXP?! I may be wrong but all is well this morning.

Again, I thank you for all your help! I’m hoping to get a DVD-Rom drive for my own machine in the next day or so and now know where to come for some ‘expert’ help and advice!! :bow:

One thing; As I’m new to this site, are there any dedicated forums for particular requests for help such as the postings I have made recently in this thread and any advice I may need in installing the new DVD drive??

All of the forums we have are listed on the mainpage. If you have a question related to your DVD-ROM it would be best to place it in the General Hardware Forum. If you have a question related to your CD-RW drive it would be best to place it in our Recording Hardware Forum. But, if you’re unsure you can always use this Newbie Forum :wink:

Thanks for letting me know the correct forums to post to GF!

I look forward to recommending your site to my friends who need help with fitting their drives in the future.