|Tell is the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic system, the make and model of your desktop mboard. |
The bios Setup of the mboard must be set so that it can detect the drive at the data cable connection it'sconnected to - e.g. Auto detect by the method Auto (or LBA for a hard drive).
Depending on how old your mboard bios is, your DVD drive may or may not show up inside the bios Setup even if it is connected properly.
If your optical drive is SATA
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
On some older mboards that have onboard SATA, some of the SATA sockets for the data cable end connectors on the mboard are for bootable drives, some are for drives you don't need to boot - the plastic for them may be different colors or the same color - you can't boot from a bootable hard drive or a bootable disk in an optical drive if it's connected to the wrong type of socket.
This probably applies for older mboards; it may not apply for recent ones :
When you're trying to install your operating system by booting from a CD or DVD, the mboard's bios Setup must be set so the SATA controllers are in IDE compatible mode, or similar, otherwise the bios can't see the SATA optical drive or boot from a bootable disk in the SATA drive .
When you can boot from the operating system disk in an IDE optical drive, Setup may NOT find SATA hard drives, unless ........
- the mboard's bios Setup is set so the SATA controllers are in IDE compatible mode, or similar,
- or - you must press a key when prompted for drive controller drivers near the beginning of Setup and provide the drivers for the SATA contollers on the mboard.
If your optical drive is IDE, it has a jumper header on the back of it near the power connector socket. Up to 6 pins (3 pairs) on it are for selecting Master, Slave, or Cable Select. Selecting Master or Slave may or may not require a jumper be on certain pins - selecting Cable Select always does require that.
When you buy a new IDE optical drive (or IDE hard drive), the drive is set for that jumper header to either Master or Cable Select. If you connect the new drive to the same data cable the old optical drive was connected to, that jumper block must be set the same way as the old drive was. The way you do that varies depending on who made the model and what model it is.How to set the jumper block is usually on a label on the drive. On optical drives, there are usually letters - e.g. MA, SL, and CS - above the jumper block at the back of the drive, but they may merely be molded into the plastic and not easily seen until you use better lighting to look for them. If there are two drives on an IDE data cable, either one must be set to Master, the other one to Slave, or both must be set to Cable Select. One drive on an IDE data cable can be set to Master or Cable Select.
If the optical drive is a DVD combo burner drive (capable of reading and burning both DVDs and CDs) that has DVD +R or DVD -R rating of 16X or faster, it must be connected to an 80 wire datacable in order to be able to acheive it's full rated speed.
The correct end connector of an IDE 80 wire data cable MUST be connected to the mboard - usually it's blue, but in any case it's the connector farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittant, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.
Try another data cable if in doubt.