CD-RW's can't be Master Drives???

Discussion in 'Computers' started by MarkHastings, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    If you read my last CD-RW thread, you'll know I had to return my CD-RW drive because it stopped functioning. What I found interesting (during my researching on why the drive wasn't working) is that a CD-RW can not be a Master drive? It has to be a Slave?

    Is this information true? If so, Why? [​IMG]


    p.s. If Ken is reading this post, I got a replacement CD-RW drive from Dell and everything works fine [​IMG]
     
  2. BlakeN

    BlakeN Stunt Coordinator

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    Any IDE device can be master or slave. If you can get the drive to recognize as slave but not master there could be a few reasons. Im going to start at the beginning so don't take offense. Im a professional computer tech and I even make the "dumb" mistakes.

    1) Make sure the jumper is set to master and not slave or cable select.

    2) Go into your computers bios to see if the bios recognizes it as master. Also make sure your master setting on that particular IDE controller (most likely secondary IDE) is set to auto.

    3) Make sure the CDRW is plugged into the end of the IDE chain not the middle if your using a 3 connector IDE cable. Sounds funny but this can make a difference on some motherboards even if the CDRW is set to master.

    Ok now if you can go into the bios and see the cdrom is setup as master and detecting but your os is not detecting it you have a chipset problem or more to the point a chipset driver problem. There are several different ways to fix that type of problem and Ill check in with you later if that's the case but it would take me the better part of 2 hours to go over every possibility.
     
  3. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Blake pointed out most of the issues that I can think of the only other additional is that some hardware devices prefer slave or master vs the other. A lot of the times the hardware manufacture will note in the setup instruction if there is a preference, Though in all reality it shouldnt matter.

    PS My CDRW drives are all setup to be a master drive on the secondary IDE controller.

    KyleS
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Blake,

    I'm fairly savy, but sometimes I get totally lost.

    With that, tell me if I have this right or wrong...I'll explain what originally happened with my broken drive.

    I can never remember which is the "End" of the IDE chain. (On the IDE ribbon) is that the connection closest to the motherboard or the furthest away? Anyways, I'll explain my situtaion physically rather than in computer terms.

    I have a DVD burner and the CD-RW, the IDE ribbon only has 2 connections on it. First, if you followed the ribbon from the motherboard, the first IDE connection (I came to) was plugged into the DVD burner and then the next (and last) IDE connection was connected to the CD-RW. I had the DVD burner jumper set to slave and the CD-RW set to Master and it didn't work.

    Since I was confused as to which one was supposed to be the Master, I left the drives where they were and just swapped the jumper connections and it still didn't work.

    Now, when I say it didn't work, the computer saw both drives and assigned them a letter, I was able to see the CD-RW drive and install drivers, etc. but if I put a CD in it, it wouldn't read it. (note: the same CD in the DVD drive played fine so there was nothing wrong with the CD disc)

    Next, I tried swapping the drives (along with the Jumpers) and neither one of those configurations worked. So then I called Dell's tech support and they had me on the phone for an hour doing all kinds of tests.

    Software reinstalls, Switching IDE ribbons with the hard drive, Booting from the CD, Swapping drives and jumpers, disabling stuff, even using the Software restorer to restore the system to a point when I last had a successful burn, but nothing worked. So we decided it was the drive.

    When I got the replacement drive, I hooked it (the CD-RW) to the last connection on the IDE ribbon, made it the Master and the DVD the slave and it didn't work. I switched the jumpers (with the drives still connected to the same connections on the IDE ribbon) and Nothing.

    So then I swapped the drives, I connected the CD-RW to the first connection on the IDE ribbon (and set it to slave) and the DVD burner to the last connection (and set it to Master), and it worked!

    Hopefully you were able to follow my ramblings, but it seemed like I could only get the drive to work when it was connected to the first connection on the IDE ribbon (the one closest to the motherboard).

    ???
     
  5. BlakeN

    BlakeN Stunt Coordinator

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    Well sorry to answer your question with another question but alas I need more information now.

    Did you check the bios? Since its a del machine the optimum bios settings were probably set. So its possible that the master and slave settings have been manually set by del instead of having the motherboard auto detect. This speeds up the boot process and gives the impression of a faster computer.

    If the bios is set to auto try disconnecting your dvd drive and having your cdrw set to master and connected to the last connector on the cable. Even though your dvd drive is working it is possible that it could be bad in a way that is keeping your cdrw from functioning. I had this happen to me just last week.
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    First, good to hear you got it working. If you want to investigate further, you might consider poking around on a backup computer [​IMG]

    Any drive should be able to be master. If it's the only device on the channel, that's what it's going to be. It's more likely there's some interaction with the other device, or something in the BIOS as Blake mentioned. Was the CD-RW the master when you first got it from Dell?

    The connection at the end of the IDE cable is master. To put it somewhat metaphorically, again consider when there's only one drive on the channel: when the sole device is at the end, the signals bounce back cleanly (and since they're zooming by so fast, they ignore the "hole" in the middle). If the sole device was plugged in the middle, the signals would leak out of the unused connector at the end and spray all over the insides of the case [​IMG]

    Of course, worrying about which connection is master or slave is why they invented Cable Select. If both devices are set to Cable Select -- the jumper is often labeled CS -- then with the now-standard 80-conductor cable, the devices "know" which connector they're using and act accordingly. You can swap them without fiddling with the jumpers. (With just one drive, you can have it set to CS, but you still must plug it in on the end/master.)

    Unfortunately, Cable Select doesn't seem to have caught on, although if drive manufacturers put the CS jumper on the drive, it would be pretty lame if it didn't actually work.

    //Ken
     
  7. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  9. BlakeN

    BlakeN Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad to hear its working I would just leave it as is .. I just want to clear something up though


     
  10. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Yes, I was speaking of the modern 80-conductor cables requiring the master to be at the end. I thought these were required for ATA/66 and up. Is then an even newer cable for ATA/133?

    //Ken
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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