Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Installation Issues

Section 4-0: Installation Instructions & Issues
  1. Overview
  2. Cable too Short & Length Limits
  3. Why Master / Slave and /or Cable Select
  4. Known Issues & Checking BIOS
  5. Installation for Dell's L____series
  6. Installation for Dell's XPS xxx
  7. Installation for Dell's 4100
  8. Installation for Dell's 8100, 4400, 4300, 4300S
  9. Installation using Promise Ultra ATA controller cards.
  10. Installation for Dell`s Newest systems, ATA Interface.
  11. Note on Dell`s systems that use SATA Interface.
  12. Installation of the Plextor 712SA (SATA) DVD+/-R/RW drive in Dell 8400 series. (Care of Alexia75  ~ Andrew)

 

Dell Specification Pages for Their systems.

 

4-0-1: Overview

OK Section 3 was the Basics as explained by PC World

These are additional tips that come from personal experience and from the many people from Dell-Talk and other forums. Most of the PCs now also have a Zip drive, therefor having 4 IDE devices. This seems to be the preferred set-up when using the motherboard's two IDE channels (ports):

Primary IDE: Hard-drive / Master; Zip / Slave. Dell ships Cable Select, Cable Select means that the position of the device on the cable determines master/slave, the end connector is the Master. You may leave as Cable Select, it will work.. It is highly recommended NOT to place CD/RW device on the Primary channel with your Hard-drive. See: Why not CD/RW and Hard drive on same Channel

Secondary IDE: CD-RW / Master; CD-ROM (DVD) / Slave. The CD-RW just seems to work better as Master, less headaches and about 98% of the Manufacturers recommend setting it as Master. I have not yet seen Cable Select as an option, except from Dell. I'm not saying it will not work, try it if you like, many members do so with no problems. Also some set the CD-RW as Slave and stated no problems, this can / will work.

4-0-2: Cable too Short & Length Limits

Cable being too short has been a big issue. Some people have had to move the Hard-drive to a 3.5 bay, this seems to work best and you might be able to use your original cable. I've heard you have to use Dell's cable, I'm sorry that's just not true but you will see various posts on this subject and regardless of the Pros & Cons, many people are changing IDE cables with positive result. A IDE Cable to consider is the Ultra ATA/66. This cable adds 40 additional ground lines between each of the original 40 ground and signal lines, which help shield the signal from interference. This cable supports the Cable Select feature and works with older non-ultra-ATA devices as well and is slightly longer than Dell's but still under the Length Limit below.

You are recommended to stay under the 18" limit on length for this type of data cable. This has been a big issue also, the 18 inch limit is due to the physical properties of the Data Cable itself not the distance the signal can travel.. Here is a quote from an experienced Technician on the subject of cable length. I'm sure he does not mind. "The 18 inch distance is for the cable itself and involves the physical properties of the cable. It's not the maximum distance that the signal can travel...for example if the distance from the controller to the port was 20 inches on the motherboard it would make absolutely no difference in the world. However, when you're talking about a cable, you're talking about signal dissipation (i.e. the loss in signal strength as the current flows across the cable). As an example, the maximum distance for Ethernet over CAT5 cable (similar to phone line) is 300ft.....after 300 ft you start to get a loss in signal and irregularities in performance. however of you connect a signal regenerator every 295 ft you could go on for quite some time. So you can understand that its not the signal that can only travel 18 inches, it's the signal on the cable because of the physical properties of the cable itself. If the cable were fiber optic it could travel about 2 KM without signal loss."  The cable comes in a variety of lengths and you can pick one up most computer stores under $10.00.

Note: See ATA/ATAPI-5 for additional info.

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-3: Why Master / Slave and / or Cable Select

The question is a very good one.  I was hoping to find a more exact answer, but here are a few quotes from various sources:  All IDE drives are not created equal.   A set of  technical standards exists for IDE drives, but these standards did not necessarily apply to early drives.  Also manufacturers of IDE drives have not universally or fully implemented all the standards and thus are handled differently in different drives IDE drives provide configuration options to act as the Master or the Slave drive in a two-drive-per-interface configuration.  The Master and Slave jumpers configure the routing of the drive addressing signal into, through / between, and out of the drives.  In simplest form, a drive needs to be told that it is a Master, whether or not a Slave drive is also attached is determined by the drive; the Slave drive needs only be told that it is the Slave.  Some drives require that you also set an additional jumper to indicated that there is a Slave drive attached on the same cable. Older drives used Cable Select jumper that configures which drive gets the drive addressing signal to determine whether it is the first, or Master, drive versus the second, or Slave, drive, which require a special IDE cable to support the Cable Select feature.  The implementation of drive selections is not the same for all drive manufacturers.  Sometimes a drive must be the first or must be the second drive or may not work at all with a drive from another manufacturer in a two-drive system.

Ok that's most of the quotes.  We know Dell ships their system using the Cable Select feature.  I could only speculate on their reasons /policy /standards, maybe ease of setup, just set all the devices to CS, then let the location on the cable determine Master / Slave.  This is easier for the customer and Tech support when installing new and /or replacement drives, do not have to worry about configuring all the jumper settings, just use CS.  We know Cable Select works well the majority of the time, but on occasion you have to use M/S jumper settings.  I believe this is due to the manufacturer designs themselves as explained above.  You will notice on some installation guides they will specify Master and /or Slave jumper settings.  Then others will use the term Master or Slave, which leaves it up to you to speculate whether they mean jumper settings or location using CS on a IDE cable that supports the Cable Select feature. If one configuration does not work, then try changing location of drives when using CS feature, or change to M/S jumper settings.  I have always just preferred Master/Slave jumper settings with CD/RW as Master and "burn" from the hard-drive, but here again this is just my "nickel" on the subject.

Again, almost all Manufacturers recommend setting the CD/RW as Master and one of the first questions if you call for support usually is, " Is the device set as Master?" One Tech told me that when a signal is sent to an IDE channel it will default to Drive 0 and since the CD/RW puts such a demand on your system and requires a constant stream of data, it will work more efficiently at the Master setting. I could not and would not argue the fact "more efficiently", most people just want it to work and it will or can work as Master / Slave, Slave / Master, and Cable Select. But remember, what may work for someone may not for another, even the same system has different devices, software, drivers, etc~~sometimes it's "trail & error" especially with older devices.

As you can see there are many possibilities but for now CD/RW as Master & CD-ROM (DVD) as Slave, is still the preferred set-up.

Also below is Dell`s article on Cable Select:

What is "Cable Select" and how do I configure new hardware for that setting?

Cable Select is the default setting used to configure integrated drive electronics (IDE) devices on Dell computers. IDE drives have a set of exposed metal pins with plastic jumpers that cover certain pins. Each pair of covered pins corresponds to different configurations. The plastic jumpers have a metal lining, which shorts across the pins, acting like a switch. Selecting which pairs of pins to cover or leave uncovered indicates the settings required to identify the drive configuration to the motherboard.

Here are most common settings used for drives:

Devices attached to the IDE interface must be identified to the controller as either the Master or the Slave device. Generally, the main hard drive is configured as the Master device on the primary controller, and the CD-ROM drive is configured as the Master device on the secondary controller.

Dell ships systems with the IDE devices jumpered to Cable Select. The Cable Select setting uses the location of the drive, as it attaches to the IDE cable, to determine the Master or Slave designation.

The manufacturer's label on the drive will usually depict the location of the pins, and will identify which pins need to be covered for the desired setting.

For help with Windows functions, click on Start | Help and when the Help menu appears, click on the Index tab. Type in a key word for the desired task you need help with and wish to review.

For help with specifics on your Dell system, or additional troubleshooting support, refer to http://www.support.dell.com. Dell provides you with the troubleshooting tools necessary to resolve most any problem.

WARNING FOR YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF THE EQUIPMENT

Before you start to work on the computer, perform the following steps in the sequence listed:

  1. Turn off the computer and any attached peripherals.
  2. Disconnect the computer and any attached peripherals from their AC power sources to reduce the potential for personal injury.
  3. Disconnect any telephone or telecommunication lines from the computer.
  4. To help avoid possible damage to the system board, wait 5 seconds after turning off the system before removing a component from the system board or disconnecting a peripheral device from the computer.
  5. Wear a wrist-grounding strap, and clip it to any unpainted metal surface on the computer chassis. If a wrist-grounding strap is not available, touch any unpainted metal surface on the back of the computer chassis to discharge any static charge from your body.

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1022535&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-4: Known Issues & Checking BIOS

Dell uses a special data cable for Cable Select, if you encounter a problem of your system not recognizing the CD/RW when using Cable Select (CS) set-up, first check your BIOS to insure that both Secondary devices are set on Auto, if this setting is correct, then the problem may be Dells cable. You have the option of changing both drives jumpers to Master /  Slave, or purchase a different IDE cable (ATA/66). Most people have not experienced this problem but it can be an issue.

Checking BIOS settings:   After entering your BIOS set-up screen ( usually hitting delete when Dells logo appears ) you can check and change these settings by using the directions at the bottom of the page which will instruct you on how to navigate your BIOS , but be Fore - Warned, messing around, changing various settings, values, unless you are experienced in this field can adversely affect your system. Using your instructions, navigate to Advanced, under IDE Configuration, make sure IDE Controller is set to Both, if you plan on having a device attached to Primary Slave, it will need to be set to Auto, the same applies to the Secondary Master and Slave, just follow your instructions and you should not have any problems.

Also I have read that when they had their CD-ROM (DVD) as Master, CD/RW as Slave, they were not able to burn " on the fly ", but reversing the setting worked, others said the exact opposite. The DMA setting is another example, I dare say that 95% of the People state, UN-check DMA box on CD/RW, others claim DMA works for them, then some have had to UN-check DMA on both devices.

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-5: Installation for Dell L____series

Dell's L___series has only one 5.25" internal bay. You may order it with a CD/RW pre-installed instead of a DVD or CD-ROM now. If you have a DVD or CD-ROM and wish to add CD/RW, your options are externally; USB, SCSI, Firewire and soon USB-2 which is designed to compete with Firewire`s speed, avoid Parallel. You can also remove your existing DVD/CD-ROM and replace it with a CD/RW. If you choose this route:

You can find the Tech notes for the L___series here, Please consider reviewing it:

http://docs.us.dell.com/docs/systems/dmum/rr.html

  1. First check your installation instruction that came with the device. Also determine whether you need to install "Burning software" first, most of the time this is not an issue, but the software is changing constantly, so please read.
  2. Then Go to Device Manager | click "+" next to CD-ROM | select your CD-ROM | click Remove. If you have hardware decoding for DVD then remove the reference to this as well. Shut down.
  3. Consider using an antistatic wrist strap to work inside your PC or at least dis-charge static by touching the outer metal case of the PC. Unplug the PC from electrical power. (refer to Sec 2 for removing cover) Disconnect the Flat gray IDE cable, the power cable and the small audio cable, leave the IDE cable attached to the motherboard, leave the audio cable attached to your sound card. If you had a decoder card for a DVD, When you removed the card, you may have to reconnect the audio cable to your sound card. I know this is a must for the TBS sound card.
  4. If you do not have a Zip drive then skip to Step 5. If you have a Zip drive, it will be attached to the middle connection on the Secondary IDE channel and jumper settings will be CS (Dell ships Cable Select). The jumper is a small plastic cover called a shunt, which will cover the two pins under / over the settings marked on the back of each device. Before installing the CD/RW, determine whether you will use Cable Select Feature or Master / Slave jumper settings. If you choose CS, then leave Zip setting as is, set jumper on CD/RW to CS, you will attach to the end connector on IDE cable. If you choose Master / Slave, then change jumper on Zip to SL, set jumper on CD/RW to MS, you will attach to end connector on IDE cable. I prefer Master / Slave, Dell ships Cable Select, your machine, your choice, if one does not work right then you can try the other.
  5. Remove your existing device. If you do not have Zip, you still need to set the jumper on the CD/RW to either MS or CS. (Master) Install the drive, attach your cables, Remember on the IDE cable you must align pin 1 on the cable, usually red or blue stripe, with pin 1 on the drive controller connection.
  6. Turn the PC on. Watch for any messages that may pop up on the screen. Your system should detect the new device and install the proper drivers. If the device is not detected, Check your BIOS settings as mentioned in Section 4-0-4. Also you may need to re-seat your cable attachments. Good Luck with your install.
Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-6: Installation for Dell's XPS xxx

Dell's XPS xxx series have two 5.25" bays therefor allowing the addition of a CD/RW without having to replace the original device. The motherboards two IDE Channels will support 4 IDE device. When I ordered my R 400 in August of 98, Dell would factory install 3 IDE devices, usually, HD~DVD/CD-ROM~Zip. I'm sorry but at this time I do not recall when (model & date) or even if the option of 4 IDE became available. To my knowledge from other members that have stated they ordered their system with a Promise ATA/66 card: Hard-drive attached to ATA - Primary channel, CD/RW attached to ATA - Secondary channel, The DVD and Zip attached to motherboards Secondary channel - CS and the motherboards Primary channel in BIOS in Disabled. I hope someone reading this can verify or correct this statement, please do. I shall attempt to get clarification from Dell again on this set up. For now we will discuss using motherboards two IDE channels.

You can find the Tech notes for the XPS xxxx below:

If you Do-Not have a Zip:

  1. The installation is pretty much straight forward. First check your installation instruction that came with the device. Determine whether you need to install "Burning software" first, most of the time this is not an issue, but the software is changing constantly, so please read. Also it is a good idea to check the manufactures site of the CD/RW you purchased to see if there is any issues with the Operating System you are running.
  2. Consider using an antistatic wrist strap to work inside your PC or at least dis-charge static by touching the outer metal case of the PC. Unplug the PC from electrical power. (refer to Sec 2 for removing cover)
  3. Before installing the CD/RW, determine whether you will use Cable Select Feature or Master / Slave jumper settings. Rather than explain this again, I would suggest reading Sec 4-0-1 through 4-0-4.
  4. If  you decide on Cable Select, set the jumper on the CD/RW to CS, you do not need to worry about the DVD/CD-ROM because Dell ships Cable Select, attach to middle connector on Secondary IDE Channel. The DVD/CD-ROM will be the Master and the CD/RW will be Slave.
  5. If you decide on Master / Slave, set the jumper on the CD/RW to MS and set the jumper on the DVD/CD-ROM to SL, attach to middle connector on Secondary IDE Channel. CD/RW will be the Master and DVD/CD-ROM will be the slave.
  6. You should have an available power connector, if not you will need to purchase one, sometimes refereed to as "Y-splitter" from any local computer store or even Wal-mart now. Attach the power cable.
  7. I know this question will be and has been asked numerous times, "Can you attach another audio cable to your sound card for the CD/RW or Where do you attach the audio cable?" First I must make this statement: "It is not recommended to attach more than one audio device to a sound card that was designed only to process sound from one device at a given time. There is a possibility with the Auto Insertion Feature enabled to accidentally play two Audio CD's at the same time. In Theory this could damage your sound card." OK can you? I have mine attached to Aux In on TBS card and other members have stated like wise with different sound cards too, but I have not tested that "Theory", so it's your machine, your choice. If you have Windows Me then the audio cable will not be an issue, because the audio plays through IDE Cable.
  8. After attaching all the proper cables. Turn the PC on. Watch for any messages that may pop up on the screen. Your system should detect the new device and install the proper drivers. If the device is not detected, Check your BIOS settings as mentioned in Section 4-0-4. Also you may need to re-seat your cable attachments. Install software now unless  you were instructed otherwise in the beginning and Good Luck with your new device.

If you have a Zip drive and Do - Not wish to keep it:

  1. First go to Device Manager | click "+" next to Disk Drives | select your Zip drive | click "Remove"
  2. Follow the instruction above " If you Do-Not have a Zip", simply disconnect the Zip and remove.

If you have a Zip and Wish to Keep it:

This is where installation is a little bit harder, usually requires moving Hard-drive and / or purchasing longer IDE Cable. Do not use the one supplied with CD/RW. If  you do decide on longer cable, get the ATA/66, well worth the extra couple of dollars, and stay under the 18" length limit.

You will find that installation techniques vary from one person to the next. This does not mean one is wrong and the other is right.

For instance, Dell ships the system with the Hard-drive connected to Primary IDE Channel, jumpered CS, attached to the "end" connection on IDE Cable, no device on "middle" connector. The DVD/CD-ROM is connected to Secondary IDE Channel, jumpered CS, attached to the "end" connection and Zip is jumpered to CS attached to "middle" connector same IDE cable. The best set-up using motherboards two IDE Channels is Primary: Hard-drive(MS) - Zip(SL) and Secondary: CD/RW(MS) - DVD/CD-ROM(SL). (Again review Sec 4-0-1 through 4-0-1) With this set-up we know the Zip needs to be disconnected from Secondary Channel, attached to Primary Channel, then add CD/RW to Secondary Channel with DVD/CD-ROM. Example(1) You could simply Shut down, move Hard-drive up to a 3.5" bay, move connection for Zip to same cable with Hard-drive, set jumpers correctly, add CD/RW to 5.25" bay below DVD/CD-ROM, set jumpers correctly. Turn PC on, all devices are detected  and in a few minutes you're "Burning" your first CD-R. Example(2) Some people would rather work with one device at a time. Remove the Zip from Device Manager, disconnect it from system. Install the CD/RW, get it working correctly, then re-install the Zip to it's new location on Primary IDE Channel. More steps and honestly both Examples will work, but the latter will give you less headaches in case something does not load properly. I've done both but prefer the "one device" at a time approach. Some of the steps are the same as above...

Remember this is not Set in Stone, just my nickels worth and what has worked best for some of the "Regulars" on DellTalk

  1. First check your installation instruction that came with the device. Determine whether you need to install "Burning software" first, most of the time this is not an issue, but the software is changing constantly, so please read. Also it is a good idea to check the manufactures site of the CD/RW you purchased to see if there are any issues with the Operating System you are running.
  2. I tend to get the Zip set-up first, Go to Device Manager | click "+" next to Disk Drives | select your Zip | click Remove.
  3. Consider using an antistatic wrist strap to work inside your PC or at least dis-charge static by touching the outer metal case of the PC. Unplug the PC from electrical power. (refer to Sec 2 for removing cover)
  4. Disconnect the Zip from the Secondary IDE cable, disconnect power cable if it is in your way.
  5. You need to determine which jumper settings to use. If you choose CS then you do not need to change the jumpers but the Hard-drive Must be on the "End" connector on the Primary Channel IDE Cable. I like Master / Slave and also I purchased the ATA/66 cable. Again do not use the CD/RW cable, you should still be able to use Dell's. For best results move your Hard-drive up to one of the 3.5" bays. If you choose the Master / Slave settings, the Hard-drive is set to MS, the Zip to SL, location of device on IDE cable does not matter. Just remember on the IDE cable you must align pin 1 on the cable, usually red or blue stripe, with pin 1 on the drive controller connection.
  6. After attaching all the proper cables. Turn the PC on. Watch for any messages that may pop up on the screen. Your system should detect the "new" device and install the proper drivers. If the device is not detected, Check your BIOS settings as mentioned in Section 4-0-4. Also you may need to re-seat your cable attachments. Too if you chose Cable Select Feature and have trouble detecting devices or Operating System not found, re-check jumper settings, you may need to change jumper settings to Master / Slave or vice versa depending on the situation.
  7. Before installing the CD/RW, determine whether you will use Cable Select Feature or Master / Slave jumper settings. Rather than explain this again, I would suggest reading Sec 4-0-1 through 4-0-4. (Most prefer Master / Slave)
  8. If  you decide on Cable Select, set the jumper on the CD/RW to CS, you do not need to worry about the DVD/CD-ROM because Dell ships Cable Select, attach to middle connector on Secondary IDE Channel. The DVD/CD-ROM will be the Master and the CD/RW will be Slave.
  9. If you decide on Master / Slave, set the jumper on the CD/RW to MS and set the jumper on the DVD/CD-ROM to SL, attach to middle connector on Secondary IDE Channel. CD/RW will be the Master and DVD/CD-ROM will be the slave.
  10. You should have an available power connector, if not you will need to purchase one, sometimes refereed to as "Y-splitter" from any local computer store or even Wal-mart now. Attach the power cable.
  11. I know this question will be and has been asked numerous times, "Can you attach another audio cable to your sound card for the CD/RW or Where do you attach the audio cable?" First I must make this statement: "It is not recommended to attach more than one audio device to a sound card that was designed only to process sound from one device at a given time. There is a possibility with the Auto Insertion Feature enabled to accidentally play two Audio CD's at the same time. In Theory this could damage your sound card." OK can you? I have mine attached to Aux In on TBS card and other members have stated like wise with different sound cards too, but I have not tested that "Theory", so it's your machine, your choice. If you have Windows Me then the audio cable will not be an issue, because the audio plays through IDE Cable.
  12. After attaching all the proper cables. Turn the PC on. Watch for any messages that may pop up on the screen. Your system should detect the new device and install the proper drivers. If the device is not detected, Check your BIOS settings as mentioned in Section 4-0-4. Also you may need to re-seat your cable attachments. Install software now unless  you were instructed otherwise in the beginning and Good Luck with your new device.

 

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-7: Installation for Dell's 4100

The Instructions for the 4100 using the motherboards two IDE Channels is actually the same as Dell's XPS xxx series. The 4100 series uses Intel's 815 chip set. It has two 5.25" bays and the motherboards two IDE channels will support 4 IDE devices. You could consider adding a ATA/card in order for your Hard -drive, DVD/CD-ROM and CD/RW to be on separate IDE channels which would improve the success of installations of various devices. See Section 4-0-9. Your impute is truly welcome and needed.

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-8: Installation for Dell's   8100, 4400, 4300, 4300S, 4200, 4100, 2200, 2100

The Instructions for the 8100 using the motherboards two IDE Channels is "basically" the same as Dell's XPS xxx series. The 8100 series uses Intel's 850 chip set, has four 3.5" bays and three 5.25" external bays which makes it an excellent choice for the installation of a ATA/card. To use a Ultra 66 or 100 controller card, please see Section 4-0-9. The 8200 series has four 3.5" bays and two 5.25" bays.

Your impute is truly welcome and needed.

The 4400 series uses Intel`s 845 chip set, four 3.5" bays and two 5.25" bays.

The 4300S series uses Intel`s 845 chip set, two 3.5" bays and one 5.25" bay.

The 4300 series uses Intel`s 845 chip set, four 3.5" bays and two 5.25" bays.

The 4200 series uses Intel`s 815 (ICH2) chip set, four 3.5" bays and two 5.25" bays.

The 2200 series uses Intel`s 810E chip set, three 3.5" bays and one 5.25" bay.

The 2100 series uses Intel`s 810 or 810E chip set, three 3.5" bays and one 5.25" bay.

Note: The use of the 40 pin - 80 conductor ATA IDE Cables is a must for this standard.

 

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-9: Installation using Promise Ultra ATA controller cards. (Special thanks to "Majestic" (Dale) for helping me with this information)

Overview

Another installation option which many members should consider is the addition of a ATA/66 or ATA/100 controller card if you have an available PCI slot. The Promise ATA cards provides two IDE ports with independent programmable timing registers in the controllers design. Coexists with IDE and SCSI controllers. An onboard BIOS with LBA translation and supports IDE hard-drives up to 128GB. Using your motherboards two IDE ports and the ATA/cards two IDE port, you can support 8 IDE devices. One has the opportunity to place their Hard-drive, CD/RW and DVD-CD/ROM on separate IDE channels, actually the Zip can also be on separate channel. The separate channels should almost eliminate the Buffer underrun issue, timing conflicts, compatibility issues and whether this drive should be Master / Slave. The cards are under $60 and work with your existing IDE devices. You can choose from a variety of set-ups and I`ll try to list the two most common. Also it would be a good idea to review Promise's Web Site for any known issues. I do know some members have stated conflicts with Matrox Video cards, they had to manually set IRQs but afterwards the card worked fine. Review the installation manual and the web site before beginning.

The Easy Install:

If you are only interested in adding a CD/RW and are content with your present set-up and do not wish to change Dell's drive arrangement.

Example: Dell's

then you may consider the following installation guide. If you have a Hard drive that supports ATA/66 or ATA/100 transfer rate, then you might consider the installation guide Here.

Installing the Controller Card: (Easy Install)

  1. The Promise ATA/cards are "Plug and Play" compatible and install into an available 32-bit PCI slot.
  2. Turn off the PC. Consider using an antistatic wrist strap to work inside your PC or at least dis-charge static by touching the outer metal case of the PC. Unplug the PC from electrical power. (refer to Sec 2 for removing cover) Remove the inside slot cover from an available PCI slot.
  3. Install the ATA/card firmly but carefully. Ok here is where installation options / opinions vary. Some members prefer to set one device up at a time. Install the ATA/card, boot system, install drivers, then shut down and install the IDE device (CD/RW, etc), then re-boot, letting Window detect the new device and install the proper drivers. Members have reported doing both procedures. A note though: if you have Windows NT, you must install just the card first if you are wanting to place Hard drive on the card.
  4. If you are installing both devices at the same time, then attach IDE cable making sure pin1 on cable lines up with pin1 on connector, set jumper on CD/RW to Master and attach to the "end" connection. Attach power cable to CD/RW. To my knowledge, the members usually will use the Primary IDE channel on the controller card but since they are independent channels so it should not matter with a non-booting device such as CD/RW.  Either way next step.
  5. Turn PC on and watch for any messages that might appear or beep codes.
  6. The "Add New Hardware Wizard" should appear, informing you that it has found a "PCI Mass Storage Controller"
  7. Click "Next" and choose "Search for a better driver than the one your device is using now"
  8. Click "Next" and choose "Specify a location". Type "A:\", insert the "Ultra66 or (100) Driver" disk in drive A:
  9. Click "Next". You should receive a message stating that Windows has found a "Promise Technology, Inc Ultra/66 or (100) IDE Controller"
  10. Click "Next" then "Finish" if asked to restart your PC, remember to remove the disk from drive "A"
  11. After re-booting, Go To Device Manager | click "+" next to SCSI controller | the "Promise Technology, Inc Ultra66 or 100 IDE controller" should be listed.
  12. If you just installed the card only, then you will need to shut down and install your CD/RW, attaching cables as stated in Step 4. Turn PC on and watch for any messages that might appear or beep codes. Windows should detect your new device and install the proper drivers.
  13. Install your Burning software and Good Luck.

Note: New Ultra ATA Storage Driver, please see information here: Ultra ATA Storage Driver Support Site

Installation taking advantage of ATA66 / 100 features:

If  you have a ATA/66 or faster hard drive and your motherboard is a ATA/33 then you should see a performance boost by moving your Hard drive to the new controller card. If you choose this set-up, then consider setting up the ATA/card with Hard drive, getting it to work correctly before attempting installing CD/RW.

Some of the steps are the same as Easy Install: A note though: if you have Windows NT, you must install just the card first if you are wanting to place Hard drive on the card.

  1. The Promise ATA/cards are "Plug and Play" compatible and install into an available 32-bit PCI slot.
  2. Turn off the PC. Consider using an antistatic wrist strap to work inside your PC or at least dis-charge static by touching the outer metal case of the PC. Unplug the PC from electrical power. (refer to Sec 2 for removing cover) Remove the inside slot cover from an available PCI slot.
  3. Install the ATA/card firmly but carefully. You must use the 40-pin / 80-conductor IDE cable to take advantage of the ATA/66 feature for ATA/66 or faster Hard drives. Attach the "Blue" cable connector to the ATA/card Primary IDE channel, making sure pin1 on cable lines up with pin1 on connector, set jumper on Hard drive to Master and place on the "end" connector. Check that power cable is seated properly on drive. Attach your systems case 2 or 4 pin LED cable to the LED connector on the ATA/card. Make sure that one of the LED wires starts on pin #1 of the the Promise card. There are four pins on the card and if the LED is connected to pins #3 and pin #4, the light will not work. Pin #1 is marked on the card.
  4. Turn PC on and watch for any messages that might appear or beep codes.
  5. The "Add New Hardware Wizard" should appear, informing you that it has found a "PCI Mass Storage Controller"
  6. Click "Next" and choose "Search for a better driver than the one your device is using now"
  7. Click "Next" and choose "Specify a location". Type "A:\", insert the "Ultra66 or (100) Driver" disk in drive A:
  8. Click "Next". You should receive a message stating that Windows has found a "Promise Technology, Inc Ultra/66 or (100) IDE Controller"
  9. Click "Next" then "Finish" if asked to restart your PC, remember to remove the disk from drive "A"
  10. After re-booting, Go To Device Manager | click "+" next to SCSI controller | the "Promise Technology, Inc Ultra66 or 100 IDE controller" should be listed.

The Promise's BIOS seems to load in between the Dell's BIOS. The Dell's BIOS will come up and do memory count, etc and show the drives connected on motherboard controller. Then the Promise cards BIOS detects it's installed drives and then goes back to the Dell BIOS screen again. It is as though the Promise BIOS is loaded before the Dell BIOS makes its final approval. Also the ATA/card will show up as a SCSI device, this is normal.

NOTE: It has been recommended in the forum to install the Promise card in PCI slot #1 if it is available, although there seems to be no mention of this in the manual. If the card is not recognized then consider moving to a different PCI slot, preferably #1.

One question that has been asked a few times: "What happens if I have to re-install Windows? The Promise card will be detected but you will need to install the drivers again.

Now for the install of the CD/RW, you have a number of options and each depends on the member themselves. Most of the members usually leave the motherboards Secondary IDE channel as it was shipped from the Factory. Example:   DVD/CD-ROM jumper CS on "end" conection~~Zip jumper CS on "middle" connection. You can either place the CD/RW on the ATA/cards Secondary IDE channel or place on motherboards Primary IDE channel. Most prefer the latter because it frees up the ATA/cards Secondary channel for use with a faster Hard drive if they choose to add one at a later date. You should be able to use Dell's original cable for the CD/RW and the majority set the jumper on the CD/RW to Master. You might check over the installation of  IDE devices under Dell's XPS xxx and too it's your machine, you may play around with the device set-ups and find what works best for you.

Good Luck and let me know if you have additional information that might help someone.

Note: New Ultra ATA Storage Driver, please see information here: Ultra ATA Storage Driver Support Site

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-10: Installation for Dell`s Newest systems, ATA Interface.

This should cover Dell's new 8400, 8300, 8200, 8250, 4700, 4600, 4500, 4550, etc...

The majority of members now are not ordering a system with an internal Zip drive, usually we see Hard-drive; DVD & CD/RW or CD-ROM & DVD/+ -RW or a Combo drive of some sort but if you have a Zip then Section 4-0-6 above will cover the installation for ATAPI devices.

We have found that Cable Select which is the standard jumper settings that Dell uses is working much better than it did in the past and it will work the majority of the time. The catch here is that almost all the manufacturers of Burners, whether we are talking CD/RW or DVD/RW prefer the device as Master on the IDE channel when there are two devices on the same cable. (Naturally the device needs to be set as Master | CSEL | CS | or Auto and attached to "End" connection if it is the only device on the IDE channel / port).

If you already have a DVD, CD-ROM or CD/RW and wish to add a second device which will be your main Burner, what I mean by main burner would be per say if you had a CD/RW and wished to add a DVD/RW. The DVD/RW will be your work horse, used much more than the CD/RW, in this example you would want the DVD/RW to be the Master.

More than likely your existing drive will be in the Top Bay, you basically have three options:

  1. Set the jumper on the new drive to CSEL | CS | Auto | install it in the Second Bay, attach to "Middle" connection, the device will be Drive 1 (Slave). If the system detects it and it burns your CD's, DVD`s with no problems, then you set to go. If you have problems then consider options 2 & 3 below.
  2. Using Cable Select Feature and you want the Burner as Master, you would need to move the existing drive to Second Bay,  leave jumper as is, attach to "Middle" connection; set jumper on new device to same as existing drive which should be Cable Select, install in Top Bay and attach to "End" connection. If the system detects it and it burns your CD's, DVD`s with no problems, then you set to go. If you have problems then consider option 3 below.
  3. Using the Master / Slave jumper settings; leave the existing device in Top Bay and change jumper to Slave (SL), ( you may wish to move the existing drive to Second Bay, it's usually not necessary because the Master / Slave jumper settings are suppose to over-ride the Cable Select Feature, your choice). Set the jumper on the new device to Master (MS), install in Second Bay and attach to "Middle" connection.

 

Note: your existing drive letter may change and the new device may take the original drive letter, you can change the drive letter of the devices in Device Manager if you wish. Also in the wonderful world of PC, nothing is set in stone, what may work for one, may not for another, so  be prepared to try different options.

A Note: Dell`s newer systems may only have one IDE channel on the motherboard, moving toward all SATA. If your system shipped with only one optical drive, in the BIOS, the PATA (Drive 1) is turned off, you may need to turn it on.

Below is a general installation guide, most of it is from Dell's and various sources from the members themselves:

Caution: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the steps in the safety instructions in your Owner's Manual.
Caution: To guard against electrical shock, always unplug your computer from the electrical outlet before opening the cover.

  1. Shut down the computer through the Start menu.
  2. Turn off your computer and any devices.
  3. The use of a Anti-static wrist guard is recommended or Ground yourself by touching an unpainted metal surface on the chassis, such as the metal around the card-slot openings at the back of the computer, before touching anything inside your computer. While you work, periodically touch an unpainted metal surface on the computer chassis to dissipate any static electricity that might harm internal components.

Notice: To disconnect a network cable, first unplug the cable from your computer and then unplug it from the network wall jack.

  1. Disconnect your computer and devices from their power sources. Also, disconnect any telephone or telecommunication lines from the computer.
  2. Disconnect the computer power cable from the wall outlet, and then press the power button to ground the system board.
  3. Open the computer cover. ( See the Specs page below to find information on this for your system)

Installing:

  1. If you are installing a new drive, unpack the drive and prepare it for installation.

Check the documentation that accompanied the drive to verify that the drive is configured for your computer. If you are installing an IDE drive, configure the drive for the Cable Select setting.  Note: Review the above mentioned options of jumper selection, many of the "oldies" still prefer the Master / Slave and / or at least recommend the burner as Master (Drive 0) which ever way you decide.

  1. Connect the new drive to the set of rails that are attached to the inside of the cover. If a set of rails is not attached inside the cover, contact Dell. See your Owner's Manual for contact information.
  2. If you are installing a replacement drive and the new drive does not have the bracket rails attached, remove the rails from the old drive by removing the two screws that secure each rail to the drive. Attach the bracket to the new drive by aligning the screw holes on the drive with the screw holes on the bracket rails and then inserting and tightening all four screws (two screws on each rail).
  3. Gently slide the drive into place until the tabs securely click into position.
  4. Connect the power, audio, and CD/DVD drive cables to the drive.
  5. If you are installing a new CD/DVD drive rather than replacing a drive, remove the front-panel inserts. (See your systems Spec Page Below)
  6. If you are installing a drive that has its own controller card, install the controller card in a card slot.
  7. Check all cable connections, and fold cables out of the way to provide airflow for the fan and cooling vents.
  8. Close the Computer cover. (See your systems Spec Page below)
  9. Connect your computer and devices to their electrical outlets and turn them on. See the documentation that came with the drive for instruction on installing any software required for drive operation.

Now if after installation the drives are  not recognized, then you may need to enter the BIOS screen. Using your instructions (Dell article, entering BIOS), navigate to Advanced, under IDE Configuration, make sure IDE Controller is set to Both, if you plan on having a device attached to Primary Slave, it will need to be set to Auto, the same applies to the Secondary Master and Slave, just follow your instructions and you should not have any problems.

Recheck you connections, re-seat if necessary. You may want at this time to try different Jumper settings; Cable Select to Master / Slave, etc..

Some members have had to use Dell's article on "Clearing the NVRAM"

Also Microsoft's article on "Deleting the Upper & Lower Filters"

 

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-11: Note on Dell`s systems that use SATA Interface.

Special note for Members with Dell`s systems that support and use the SATA Interface: So far it seems that if you order one of these systems with RAID set-up or simply a SATA Hard-drive, Dell installs the ATA/Interface optical drive(s) on the Secondary IDE channel and leaves the Primary IDE channel / port empty and it may also be defaulted to "off" in the BIOS.

We highly recommend you separate your optical drives, no use in letting the Primary channel set there empty, this also helps reduce the likelyhood of device conflicts on the same cable. You may have to purchase a IDE cable, please get one of the 40-pin 80-conductor cables and use the "End" connection. You may have to enter the BIOS and verify the Primary IDE is enabled, usually "Auto".

Also we are now seeing a few SATA DVD/RW drives on the market, again the easy of set-up, smaller size cable, only one device per channel / port, no Master / Slave / Cable Select  settings to worry about makes this an idea option to consider.

A Note: Dell`s newer systems may only have one IDE channel on the motherboard, moving toward all SATA. If your system shipped with only one optical drive, in the BIOS, the PATA (Drive 1) is turned off, you may need to turn it on.

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

4-0-12: Installation of the Plextor 712SA (SATA) DVD+/-R/RW drive in Dell 8400 series. (Care of Alexia75  ~ Andrew)

from Andrew:

Jeff, this is the procedure I followed starting from the very beginning. I’m writing it in real basic, simple language. I have Windows XP-Home and the existing DVD-RW drive is HLDS GRA 4120B (Dell factory installed).

  1. The Plextor 712SA comes with the 712SA, Power Cable, Red Serial ATA Cable, DVD writing software, 4 screws to attach the green mounting rails to the drive, (BTW the 2 green mounting rails are not included) there are 2 extra sets of the green mounting rails located in your tower.
  2. I uninstalled the existing DVD-RW drive through Hardware | Device Manager.
  3. Unplug all the electrical plugs (PC, screen, printers, etc. from the AC outlets.
  4. Open up your tower and unplug the white power cable and ribbon cable from the rear of your existing DVD-RW drive. In order for me to take the DVD drive out I also had to unplug the ribbon cable that went to the DVD ROM drive located above the DVD-RW drive this gave me the room I needed to remove the DVD-RW drive. Now all you do is press in on the 2 green tabs and slide the DVD drive straight out.
  5. I mounted 2 green rails onto the 712SA and slipped it into the empty bay.
  6. I plugged in the Red Serial ATA Cable and the White Power into the rear of the 712SA, both cables are key coded so you can’t go wrong.
  7. Lurking in the area of the drives is an extra unused White Power Cable with a black plastic cover on it which of course you remove, you can’t miss it. Mine had P-6 embossed on it. I plugged the White Power Cable coming out of the rear of the 712SA into the extra Power Cable, next I plugged the Red Serial ATA Cable coming out of the 712SA into one of the 4 SATA ports on the motherboard.
  8. You can find the 4 SATA ports on the motherboard either by following the blue cable that comes from the SATA hard drive and goes directly to #0 port of the 4 ports or looking on page 73 of the Dell Dimension 8400 Series Owners Manual which shows you a diagram of where they are.
  9. Replug in the DVD ROM ribbon cable back in that you took out to remove and install the new DVD-RW drive, close tower, attach all electrical plugs and start you PC.
  10. Chances are when you start it up you will get the black Dell screen with the F-2 and F-12 options in the right top corner and if you wait about 30 seconds without doing anything you will get the following message: "Drive 5 not found: Parallel ATA, PATA-1 (pri- ide slave), Strike F-1 to continue or F-2 to go into Setup Utility"
  11. Go into F-2, in the BIOS you follow the prompts and scroll down to DRIVES and in the right pane you will see the following list of drives:
  12. At this point I had to turn ON - Drive 1: SATA 1 because that’s where I plugged in the RED SATA cable from the 712SA drive into the motherboard. Follow the direction prompts to turn this ON. Next I had to scroll down to Drive 5: PATA 1 in the DRIVE list and turn OFF that drive, again using the direction prompts.
  13. When everything is done and you want to exit the BIOS make sure you SAVE SETTINGS & EXIT.

I made this "How To" real basic and simple. This is how I write up all my instructions for all the software and hardware I install on my computers and save for future reference for myself. This way the PC can’t intimidate me say 6 months from now when there might be a reason to reinstall software or hardware, I’ll have the procedures right at my fingertips.

Good luck & enjoy !

Andrew

Predator: I wanted to thank Andrew for this article on installing a SATA DVD/RW in his Dell 8400 series.

Back to Top Back to CD/RW

Dell Specification  Pages for Their systems:

You can find the User Guides for your system from the Dell Support site:

Hover your mouse over the Product Support Tab, scroll down to User Guides, select Dimensions | Systems, then follow the link for your model.

The XPS Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimxps/
The 9100 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim9100/
The 8400 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8400/
The 8300 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8300/
The 8250 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8250/
The 8200 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8200/
The 8100 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dsleest/
The 4700 Series http://support.dell.comsupport/edocs/systems/dim4700/
The 4600 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4600/
The 4600C Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4600c/
The 4550 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4550/
The 4500 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4500/
The 4500S Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4500s/
The 4400 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4400/
The 4300 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4300/
The 4200 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4200/
The 4100 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dzuul/
The 2400 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2400/
The 2350 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2350/
The 2300 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2300/
The 2200 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2200/
The 2100 Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2100/
The XPS B___R Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dmag/
The L____r Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dmum/
The XPS T___Tr Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dkub/
The XPS R___Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dkhan/
The XPS D___Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dalex/
The XPS H___Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dcor/
The XPS M___Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dter2/
The V____v Series http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dwill/

 

Back to Top Back to CD/RW