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Optical Drive repair or CD/DVD ROM Drive repair

Optical Drive more commonly known as a cd, dvd, and now Blu Ray drive

Dead CD-DVD ROM Drive, repair or replace?

Optical Drive repair instructions:

As I mentioned in the introduction page, repair of some components may not  be economically viable.

A really observant and talented individual could repair a failed CD- DVD ROM Drive, if it was a mechanical failure. Or if you had two of the same model drives, one that failed electronically and one that failed mechanically, you could change out the bad circuit board on the mechanical failed drive for the good circuit board and save yourself thirty dollars. Or you could go buy a brand new one and replace it.
Optical Drive repair - DVD RW
Check the case page for opening case and precautions. Remember Safety First!

IDE  -

Before you loosen up the Optical Drive you should disconnect the power cable, the drive interface cable, and the Audio cable.

If you can not get your hand into the space to disconnect the cables then pull drive carefully out until you can gripe the cables. Usually the IDE Drive Cable will pull loose with a little force, there is a latch on the Audio cable. The cable that will give you problems is the power cable, they are made to not vibrate loose. You can use a pair of pliers to wiggle it loose, do not squeeze it to hard, it is plastic and will break, with a firm grip on the plug, working it back and forth while pulling gently will get it loose.

Note the wide cable, it is the IDE Interface Connection cable, it will have a red stripe down one side. This indicates the # 1 pin side of the cable connector. Some cables that have been in the computer for a long time tend to harden from time and heat, you should not have to change the routing of the cable.

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Some cable connectors have a guide pin that will match the connector on the drive, this keeps you from connecting the cable backwards, some don't that is why you have to note the stripe. Look at both drives, the IDE cable connector should be orientated the same, note the notch for the cable in the connector on the drive, are they both orientated the same or are they opposite? If they are opposite then you will have to reorient the IDE cable before you install the drive.

Look at the back of the drive, next to the cable connectors there should be a double row of small brass pins. These pins are called jumper pins. You will see one or two small plastic covers (called Jumpers) over some of the pins. On the drive there should be a diagram that will tell you what the covered pins do, this is the drive selection.

Your choices for the drive selection are:

  • Master
  • Slave
  • Cable select

Set the old drive aside, check the new drive, you need to match the drive select pin setting on the new drive to what the old drive has. Either Master (two drives on same cable and this is the primary drive), Slave (two drives on the same cable and this is the secondary drive), or Cable Select (best selection for a single drive on a cable).

Once you have the drive selection set, reverse the removal sequence to install the drive. Once you have the cables reconnected and the drive back in it's bay put the cover back on the computer. I do not recommend powering up the computer with the cover off.


SATA Optical Drive does not have any jumper pins to set, each SATA interface cable can only connect one drive.

If this is a the first SATA CD- DVD ROM Drive to be installed check the documentation for the motherboard/computer, some have a Array configuration, and some have a designated connector for a boot CD- DVD ROM Drive.

If you have an Array and plan on adding more hard drives to it be sure to NOT connect the new CD- DVD ROM Drive in between the hard drive SATA connectors, having a CD- DVD ROM Drive in between hard drives in an Array will cause problems with the drives in the Array, as always check the documentation or motherboard/computer manufactures web site for details on the SATA interface on the motherboard.

Check the drive:
When you power up the drive the startup sequence checks all drives, you should see the cd drive activity light come on, push the drive eject button, the tray should open if not, power the system down, you have a problem. (go to trouble shooting)

If you have power to the drive let the computer power up, put a cd in the drive, see if you can access the drive. Access?

Yes? you are done.

No? Go to optical drive troubleshooting.

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