NOTE: This Step is here only for those users who must manually get their CD-ROM recognized before installing their operating system. You may not need to do anything. See below:
Most operating systems come on CD, which requires you to have your CD-ROM working in order to install the operating system. This is usually a pretty easy thing to do. In fact, sometimes it is totally unnecessary for you to actually DO anything, because it is taken care of. If you are installing Windows 98 and have a real Windows 98 boot disk, it has the option of booting with CD-ROM support automatically. If your operating system CD is bootable (and in many cases they are) then as long as you have your CDROM set as your boot device in CMOS, it will automatically go to the CD-ROM and begin the process of installing your operating system. In this case, this step is not necessary.
Otherwise, read on…
Your CD-ROM comes with an install disk that, if properly programmed, will install your CD-ROM drivers very quickly. Unfortunately, many manufacturers make lame installation disks, requiring you to do some of the work manually. For this reason, I recommend you have a copy of EDIT.COM on your hard drive or system disk in case you have to manually edit the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT. Also have a copy of MSCDEX.EXE on your disk in case your CD-ROM installation does not include it. If necessary, use the command “copy mscdexe.exe c:” to copy the file from your system disk to your hard drive.
Some installation programs are very particular as to what they expect. Some will stop unless MSCDEX.EXE is not already installed on the drive C: Some go so far as to expect this file in C:DOS, and it might not tell you this. You can just put the file in a directory called C:DOS and try again. Other installations cannot properly configure CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT. Some will halt if these files aren’t already present on the hard drive. If you run into problem, keep this in mind.
Below, I will outline a general procedure for installing DOS-mode CD-ROM drivers. This obviously changes on a per-drive basis:
- Make sure EDIT.COM is on your hard drive. It may be found on your system disk, your installation disk, or you may need to get it from another system. Copy this file to the new computer’s C: drive.
- Install the CD-ROM Installation disk in Drive A:.
- To be safe, you might want to create a AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS if they are not already there. You can do this by typing “EDIT CONFIG.SYS” then saving it empty. This will create the file, although it will be empty. Do the same for AUTOEXEC.BAT.
- Run the Install program. Usually you type either “a:install” or “a:setup”. It will copy necessary files, and modify your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. Just follow the prompts. All install programs are different. When this is done, reboot.
- Check the system files. You can EDIT them or type “type config.sys”. The line will look something like “DEVICE=C:CDPROVIDE-CDD.SYS /D:MSCD001″. In the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, it may look like “C:WINDOWSCOMMANDMSCDEX /D:MSCD001 /V”. The parameter after “/D” should be the same in both files. These lines will vary depending on your CD-ROM and files locations.
- If you want to change the drive letter of the CD drive, add “/L:F” at the end of the line referencing the CD-ROM in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Change “F” to the drive letter you wish the CD-ROM to be.
- Test your work. Reboot. The CD-ROM should activate. Then stick a CD in the drive and try to read it by switching to the appropriate drive just as you would to read a floppy diskette. If it didn’t work, then first check your AUTOEXEC.BAT and make sure it is leading to the correct location for the file MSCDEX.EXE. This file is necessary on all systems to make a CD-ROM operate in DOS.