How to Install a DVD Drive:
Step by Step QuickGuide

Installing a DVD/CD/Blu-ray drive (also called an optical drive) is a straightforward process. Firstly, if you need help actually choosing a DVD drive for your new PC, check out our tips on selecting the best dvd burner for your needs. Also, if you're confused about DVD drive terminology you can learn about them with our guide on different dvd formats.

Ok, let's get to installation. In the following steps we will refer to the process of how to install DVD drives, though take note that a CD drive install is pretty much the exact same procedure. Here are the steps:

  1. The first step, which is the same for installing any computer components, is to turn off your PC and unplug all power cords.
  2. Now open up your computer case and locate a spare drive bay. Your PC should have a few drive bays, and your DVD drive is going to live in one of these bays. Remove the front cover of the bay. This is done from either inside the PC case or on the outside, depending on your case.
  3. Now you need to set the jumper settings for the drive. Most CD/DVD drives use what's called an IDE interface, where it is possible to have two devices running on the same cable. For each device on the cable, you need to set its mode as either 'master' or 'slave', depending on whether it is the primary drive or secondary. You can set these jumper settings on the back of your DVD drive. So if you're installing your DVD drive onto an existing cable, then set the jumper settings to slave. Or if it's going to use its own cable then set the jumper to master. Most people's setups will have the DVD drive as a slave to the hard drive.
  4. The next part of how to install a dvd drive is simple, actually fit the drive into the bay. Usually you just have to slide the DVD drive into the drive bay of your PC case, and screw it into place with the holes. You will need a Phillips head screwdriver for this.
  5. Now you need to connect the cables. If you have a regular setup of the hard drive being the master drive and your dvd drive being the slave drive, then find a free connection on the IDE ribbon cable that runs between the hard drive and the motherboard and connect it to the DVD drive. On the other hand, if your DVD drive will be the master drive then plug the IDE cable into the right slot on your motherboard, and then plug the other end of the IDE cable into your DVD drive.
  6. All that is left to install a dvd drive is to plug in the power cords. Find a 4 pin Molex connector from your computer's power supply and connect it to the DVD drive's power connector. Now you can close your PC case and turn you PC on.