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386SX No CD-ROM Option in BIOS


Experienced Member
Jun 27, 2011
Newnan, GA USA
I just checked everything - cable, jumpers ect. Re-booted with OAK CDROM active in the config.sys.

When the Oak CD-ROM driver loads in the CONFIG.SYS it can't find a CD-ROM drive. Says no drives are present. No driver loaded.

Thus MSCDEX.EXE in the Autoexec.bat can't find a driver so it aborts as well.

Somehow the BIOS needs to report a CD-ROM on an IDE bus.
Like I mentioned above, I've never run an Atapi drive on a 386 but there are others who say it's possible so try doing what they say to get it going. BTW, it's not an IDE bus it's an ISA bus and it can handle IDE, MFM, RLL, ESDI and SCSI drives.


1. The IDE controller is on an ISA card - the BIOS can't control it. Nothing is on the motherboard except for the Real Time Clock.

2. I pulled the CD-ROM drive and checked the connection. Two pins were bent down. I fixed the pins and put it all back together.

The OAK CD-ROM driver finds the CD DRive and loads the driver. All is well.

I guess I was a bit heavy handed when I connected the IDE cable.