How to Install DVD ROM Drives

by Contributor

You can update your older computer with a DVD ROM drive upgrade so you can play and burn DVDs on your system. Installing DVD ROM drive in a desktop tower is fairly quick and easy with a little knowledge and a few tools. Here's how to install it in your computer so you can enjoy the benefits of burning DVDs.

Preliminary Considerations

Be sure your system can handle a DVD ROM drive upgrade. You should have a minimum of 32 MB RAM and at least a Pentium II to consider installing a DVD ROM. You'll need this processor speed and RAM to play and burn DVDs. Also make sure you have a 5 1/4-inch bay free.

Check your sound card, video card and speakers to make sure they are in good working order and compatible with the DVD ROM before buying your DVD ROM. You'll be sorely disappointed if you get the upgrade complete and lack some of the hardware to make it work correctly.

Consider making things easy on yourself and buy an upgrade kit such as Creative Labs DVD Encore. This kit includes almost everything you need to do the upgrade successfully.

Install the DVD ROM Drive

Ground yourself by first touching a metal object or wearing an anti-static wrist strap. This helps protect your computer's internal components from damage due to static.

Shut down your computer and unplug it to protect yourself from electric shock.

Open your computer's case using the door on the side or follow the manufacturer's directions for your desktop.

Install the DVD ROM on its own IDE channel. Since a DVD ROM uses a good bit of memory, it should also be the master drive. Set your old CD ROM or secondary DVD ROM drive to "slave" and set the new DVD rom drive to "master."

Slide the new DVD ROM in the free 5 1/4-inch bay and use clips or screw into place if necessary, then use the data cable that came with the DVD drive to connect your new drive. Plug in the power cable as well.

Replace the cover on your computer, plug it back in and boot it up. If you have Windows XP, it should automatically detect and attempt to install the new DVD ROM drive. If it doesn't, use the installation disk that came with your DVD ROM.


  • check Don't put your DVD burner on the same IDE channel as your hard drive because it may cause your system to slow down.
  • check You may need to connect sound cables to the back of some DVD ROM drives to complete the installation. Be sure to follow the directions that came with your DVD ROM kit.

Items you will need

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