DIY: Convert Your IDE CD-ROM Drive to USB

By Candace Benson

USB devices provide convenience and versatility, unlike stagnant drives mounted in your computer. By converting your regular IDE CD-ROM drive to USB, you can tote your drive from one location to another, use it with multiple computers and swap out the drive with other drives (such as DVD-ROM, Blu-ray etc.) that fit the interface and size requirements. Because size and formats vary, purchase an adapter or case that fits 5.25-inch drives. Ensure that the case will interface with IDE drives.

Things You'll Need

  • IDE to USB case (5.25-inch) or adapter
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Antistatic wrist bracelet
  • Flathead screwdriver

Uninstall CD from Case

Step 1

Shut down your computer. Remove all cables and peripheral devices.

Step 2

Remove the left side panel by unscrewing screws or manipulating latches. This process varies according to your specific case. Please consult your manual if you are unsure how to remove the side panel.

Step 3

Attach the antistatic wrist bracelet's clip to a metal object, and fasten the bracelet onto your wrist.

Step 4

Locate the CD-ROM drive you wish to convert to USB. Remove the power supply cable that plugs into it.

Step 5

Remove the wide controller cable that plugs into the back of the CD-ROM.

Step 6

Unscrew the side mounting screws.

Step 7

Remove the front case bezel (the plastic that protrudes at the front) if necessary. Pry it off with a flathead screwdriver or other flat implement.

Step 8

Slide out the CD-ROM drive. Replace the front bezel and side panel. Remove the antistatic wrist bracelet.

Step 9

Reconnect all cables and peripheral devices, then restart the computer.

Make the Conversion from IDE to USB

Step 1

Change the jumper settings on the rear of the CD-ROM drive to "Master." Find the diagram on your CD-ROM drive or access your CD-ROM's manual if you are unsure how to adjust the jumper settings.

Step 2

Examine the adapter or case connector. Line up the cable with your CD-ROM's port. Connect the adapter to the CD-ROM until you hear a click.

Step 3

Connect the power adapter to the case, and plug the AC adapter into an available wall outlet or power strip outlet.

Step 4

Flip the switch on the rear of the case to the "On" position.

Step 5

Insert one end of the USB cable to the converter case's port and the other end to an available USB port on your computer.

Step 6

Allow Windows to detect your USB CD-ROM and to install the drivers.

Step 7

Install any necessary software or drivers with your included installation disk. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.