March 22, 2012 5:57 AM   Subscribe

MeFi's, I'm at my wit's end. Help me install a DVD burner in a desktop.

OK, so it's an older DVD-RW drive, being transplanted into a newer computer running Windows 7. The DVD (read only) drive that was in there had a completely different set of plugs (smaller physical connections, no jumper). I won't be able to use the newer drive in the old computer, no biggie.

I just can't get the older drive working in the new computer. It gets power (the green light in the front), it sounds like it's reading a drive, spins and gets to speed, but iTunes can't read a disc (it hangs the program, actually), and Windows 7's image burner can't finalize the disc.

I've changed the jumper to Cable Select (despite there being nothing of a written nature inside the machine). The drive is an LG GSA-H55L ATA device, if that means something to you.
posted by chrisinseoul to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Since you have jumpers I'm assuming this is an IDE drive. Do you have any other drives on the same physical cable? If so, be sure they're either both set to Cable Select, or set one each to Master and Slave.

If you only have one drive on the cable set it to Master and plug it into the connector closest to the motherboard on the cable.
posted by odinsdream at 6:20 AM on March 22, 2012

odinsdream, only one optical drive is on the cable. I'm typing on the machine right now, but am about to turn it off and take another look at things before calling it a night.
posted by chrisinseoul at 6:25 AM on March 22, 2012

Could it be that you've hooked it up with a 40-wire ATA cable rather than an 80-wire? More modern drives require an 80-wire cable to run at full speed, and may not fail gracefully when hooked up with an older cable.

You also want to hook up single drives at the end of the cable, rather than the middle. That wasn't always the case, but I'm pretty sure it is for later drives and cables.
posted by helicomatic at 6:44 AM on March 22, 2012

From what you describe, it sounds like Windows is detecting the drive and has installed drivers for it. I assume this drive is showing up in the Computer window?

Maybe try updating the firmware on the new drive?
posted by banshee at 8:17 AM on March 22, 2012

Is the newer computer home built? Or do you have a specific brand and model number?
posted by dgeiser13 at 8:40 AM on March 22, 2012

I have to make some assumptions with the incomplete info.

It seems like the drive you removed was a SATA drive and the old drive you're putting in is an IDE drive.

IF so, and you have only that one drive on the cable, and I assume you are using the cable that was in the old machine on the old drive, set the jumper on the old drive to Master, not cable select.

Then go into your BIOS before boot up and check everything for SATA and IDE. If your newer computer was set up to use only SATA drives, its IDE/ATA capabilities may be set to "Disabled" in the BIOS. Windows might find the drive anyway and cause unknown problems which could include what you describe.

Connect the IDE cable on the IDE 2 motherboard connection (I don't know why but 2 seems to work better in a case like this) and be sure the BIOS is set for one device on IDE 2, either "Enabled" or "Automatic".

Better, get a current SATA DVD-RW. They're only $18 free ship and up at newegg and they're all ok, but they do not come with cables, but you should have the SATA cables from the original drive in the machine.
posted by caclwmr4 at 2:29 PM on March 22, 2012

Thanks all for the answers - the project has been shelved for the time being due to lack of urgency. I'll pick up this thread again when there's a bit more time to get down and dirty with two computers =)
posted by chrisinseoul at 10:06 PM on April 2, 2012

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