Verify that the IDE ribbon cable from the motherboard (main board) to the CD-ROM drive is properly connected to the rear of the CD-ROM drive:
Some IDE ribbon cables have a single connector at each end, while others have a single connector at one end and two connectors (for two drives) at the other end.
Single Connector at each end:
Generally, those computers having ribbon cables with a single connector at each end have a special connector at one end that will only fit into the motherboard. This connector will usually either have a plastic lug on the connector itself so that it will only fit one way into the motherboard connector, and/or one of the pin receptacles in the connector itself will be blocked which related to a missing pin on the motherboard connector. As you can see by this picture, while there is no plastic lug molded into the connector itself, one pin-out has been plugged to make sure that it is inserted into the motherboard IDE connector and the drive in only one manner.
You will need to inspect this carefully to insure that on this type of cable that you use the correct end. Normally as a rule of thumb, most ribbon cables available today have a red designating stripe along one edge that denotes that edge as relating to or marking the location of pin #1 on the ribbon cable connector which should then be mated with pin #1 on either the motherboard or the drive. However, with those cables having only a single connector at each end, it is easy to try and connect this cable incorrectly. This is the reason behind the special lug on the connector and/or the blocked pin in the connector itself. If you have one of these cables, check carefully and make sure that you make the connection properly.
Dual connectors at one end:
Obviously the end of the ribbon cable that has only a single connector on one end is meant for connecting that end of the cable to the motherboard. You do, however, need to make certain that pin #1 on the ribbon cable (red stripe along the cable edge) is connected to pin #1 on the motherboard. On better quality motherboards pin #1 is clearly marked on the motherboard itself, eliminating any possible confusion. On less expensive motherboards, pin #1 may not be marked, which will require that you do a little research and possibly dig out the manual for the motherboard to determine where pin #1 is located. For those of you who are our customers, we only use branded motherboards and pin #1 is clearly marked on the motherboard itself. Here’s a sample snapshot of the IDE connection on a motherboard.
As you can see, the IDE bus (port) is clearly marked as IDE #1 and IDE #2 on this motherboard. The location of the printing of IDE #1 and IDE #2 is also important in another respect as it indicates that pin #1 the end where you see these markings.
As for the opposite end of the ribbon cable (for the drive connection), how you make this connection will be dictated by how many drives are being connected.
If the CD-ROM drive you are installing or checking is the only drive connected to this ribbon cable, and thus the only drive connected to this IDE controller port on the motherboard, it is considered to be a master and should be connected to the connector at the very end of the ribbon cable.
If the CD-ROM drive you are installing or checking is one of two drives being connected to this ribbon cable, and thus two drives are being connected to that particular IDE controller port on the motherboard, and if it is to be a master, then it must be attached to the end of the ribbon cable and the jumper on the rear of the CD-ROM drive set to designate it as a “master” drive. Below you will see a picture of the rear of a CD-ROM drive and the jumper selection pad.
If the CD-ROM drive is intended to be a slave drive to a secondary drive or “master” drive, such as a hard drive attached, the CD-ROM drive must be connected to the second connector on the ribbon cable and the jumpers set to designate it as a “slave” drive, or slave to the hard drive at the end of the cable.