So I recently got my hands on an old computer from around 2000 and it didn't work so I decided to take it apart and try to make something a bit useful with the parts. Inside there were 2 cd drives, both take a 40-pin cable with one pin missing (image 1) and also that pin's hole is blocked in the cable. (image 2) (So I guess its really a 39-pin connector)

one cd drive says CD-ROM (Image 4) on it and one says CD-RW (Image 3) if this could work with the CD-RW drive so that I could Write disks too then that would be ideal

I would like to figure out how to either plug the thing straight into the GPIO pins on the raspberry pi or find a way to connect certain pins to the wires inside of some sort of USB data cable or something like that so that I could plug it into a USB port on my raspberry pi. (any type of cable would work for this but my parents might get mad if I destroy another HDMI cable so maybe that's not a good idea.)

(I would probably prefer the USB option if possible because then I could potentially burn from one DVD to another or something)

Also, keep in mind that I am not very experienced at coding and can only code basic stuff in python so if I have to code something on my own it probably wouldn't work.

I would appreciate any answers on the subject and if you were wondering why I would like to do this it's because I don't have any devices that can read or write disks in my house and it could be useful for something at some point.

The tech I have available is a windows laptop, a raspberry pi 4 model B with 4 gigs of ram and I guess an iPhone and Samsung phone but I don't see how that's important. i also have a variable bench power supply that goes from 0-30 volts and 0-10 amps dc.

Hopefully this was detailed enough because normal stack overflow posts arent and it's very annoying and thanks in advance to anyone who helps me :) keep in mind that I'm a kid and dont have very much money and would like to do this without any sort of buying stuff but its ok if I have to spend a little bit.


Pins on drive

pins on drive

pins on cable

pins on cable

CD-RW drive

Cd RW drive

CD-ROM drive

Cd rom drive

  • USB to PATA adapters used to be common but since SATA drives become ubiquitous may be hard to find. The real challenge is the 12V these old drives require.
    – Milliways
    Jan 17, 2023 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


Yes, surprisingly, it is possible to hook up an old IDE device to a Pi. Look here https://github.com/manawyrm/pata-gpio for details on how to setup hardware and software to do it.

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