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Changing out DVD Burner in Computer Case


erned

Question

I have a Phillips DVD Burner in my computer, and it is no longer reliable. I'm told that Phillips is a piece of junk. I have a Dell Dimension 3000 computer with the two compartment disc player and burner and would like to buy a NEC 7170A. My question is: Is changing this too complicated for a dummy like me, or is it easy to remove the existing unit and replace the new unit in the same slot? Would someone comment please? I always hate to have to unhook and take my equipment in to the Geeks at Best Buy, especially here around the Holidays. (It's O.K. with me for you to assume that I am a dummy.)

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Well, even I'm intimidated after that discussion of installing a DVD drive. :)

 

I have a very inexpensive external drive and it burns DVDs that work just fine. I bought it when I was experimenting with burning to two DVD burners at the same time - an internal and external one.

 

It's a good solution for someone who wants to burn DVDs, doesn't have the technical expertise to replace an internal drive, and has a USB 2 port on their computer.

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The reason the burner has to be enabled in the BIOS is the BIOS is in charge of the computer. You can aaccess the BIOS - and make changes to it - without a Hard Drive in the machine - and I've done it on a number of computers. Obviously if there's no Hard Drive, there's no Operating System.

 

Once we are sure the computer works (with a Power Supply, Battery, Video, and RAM), then we can put in whatever else is needed, like Hard Drive, CD Drive, Floppy Drive ...

 

When people get rid of computers, keeping the Hard Drive themselves isn't that uncommon. The remainder can be made usable with stuff salvaged from older computers.

 

Lynn

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Make sure you have the jumper set the same way as the one you are taking out. (That's the advice I was given before putting in my first burner - I also had a copy of Upgrading & Fixing Computers for Dummies.)

 

And the biggest problem is removing the cover (without damage) and replacing the cover (without damage). Everything else is pretty simple. (Sometimes it can be a bit tricky finding the screws that hold the drive in.)

 

At interconnection.org this afternoon my friend picked a comptuer to work on - turned out to be missing a Hard Drive (common) and Power Supply (ulp!!). Eric (the supervisor, in his "spare time") found a Dell Powr Supply he'd set aside that morning, we took a Hard Drive off the stack, and the computer advised us there wasn't a CD-ROM. We tightened the cables. Still not CD-ROM. We replaced the CD-ROM. One more computer ready for a new life.

 

Lynn

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Obviously if there's no Hard Drive, there's no Operating System.

I was going to point out that you can have an OS on a floppy disc even if Lynn's forgotten about them, but I'd hate to draw attention away from that admirable post from James.

 

You made my day, James. Merry Christmas! :)

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I was going to point out that you can have an OS on a floppy disc even if Lynn's forgotten about them, but I'd hate to draw attention away from that admirable post from James.

 

You made my day, James. Merry Christmas! :)

The donated computers I'm referring to, at the stage I'm referring to, do NOT have either an Operating System or a Hard Drive. What they still have is the BIOS, which is accessable as long as there is a functional battery to power the computer, and Video, Ram, and Power Supply to access it.

 

Lynn

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Or you can buy an external DVD burner ( if you have a USB 2.0 port on your computer)

 

Those are 'plug and play' and I've got one that works very well. :)

 

Thanks to all for your response to my post. I believe I will look into buying the Plug and Play. That would be the simplest for me.

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I believe I will look into buying the Plug and Play. That would be the simplest for me.

 

If you have a tower or mid-tower case pc. Considering the price difference from a external to a internal. Even paying to install the drive! IMO I would go with the internal.

 

cdanteek

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OK - as an engineer, I'd better have my say here :)

 

1: Open the case (remove both sides if they are separate)

 

2: At the DVD drive there are two screws at each side - remaove them carefully - if they drop in the innards, shake it over a towel until they fall out (you'll need them to fasten the new drive and anyway, you don't really want screws flying round inside the case)

 

3: remove the ribbon cable and power connector from the old drive and slide it out the front

 

4: check the back of the drive - see what is marked on the jumper block and set the new block to the same mark (not necessarily the same position) - they should be C(hip select) M(aster) and S(lave) - so long as the new drive is set the same way as the old one, that's all you need to do

 

5: Insert the new drive in the slot - I find it easier to reconnect the cables first before screwing it up. The red stripe (usually red anyway) on the ribbon goes beside the power socket - the red lead on the power goes beside the ribbon socket (you can't put the power one in upside down but some of the IDE connectors on the drives don't have a keyway so it IS possible to put thet in back to front, but if you align the two reds as I said, that's correct)

 

6: Line up the front of the drive by fingertip and tighten one screw - if you're happy, then do the other three

 

7: Fire up the power and make sure the BIOS sees the drive - if that's fine, then proceed to booting up Windows

 

There is NO need to 'uninstall' the old drive - Windows is smart enough to spot the replacement and pick up on the firmware. You may need to go to the drive makers' website for a firmware upgrade - check on that but it may not be necessary

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Like magnetic screwdrivers which, if you aren't close to the motherboard, is a good option. :)

That's why my friend takes a pair of needle-nose pliers to interconnection.com - very handy for moving jumpers without having to pull a CD drive back out of the compuer. :huh:

 

Lynn

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If you're really cheap like I am....... head for the $1 store.

 

Also those tiny computer tool sets can be found in just about any discount or hardware store for just a few dollars.

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The reason the burner has to be enabled in the BIOS is the BIOS is in charge of the computer. You can aaccess the BIOS - and make changes to it - without a Hard Drive in the machine - and I've done it on a number of computers. Obviously if there's no Hard Drive, there's no Operating System.

 

Once we are sure the computer works (with a Power Supply, Battery, Video, and RAM), then we can put in whatever else is needed, like Hard Drive, CD Drive, Floppy Drive ...

 

When people get rid of computers, keeping the Hard Drive themselves isn't that uncommon. The remainder can be made usable with stuff salvaged from older computers.

 

Lynn

Look what I stirred up. It has been rather enjoyable and helped pass a cloudy day. It goes without saying though that you're all smarter than me, so I believe I'll go ahead and buy an external burner.
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7: Fire up the power and make sure the BIOS sees the drive - if that's fine, then proceed to booting up Windows

 

There is NO need to 'uninstall' the old drive - Windows is smart enough to spot the replacement and pick up on the firmware.

 

but some of the IDE connectors on the drives don't have a keyway so it IS possible to put thet in back to front,

 

If windows is so smart! Why make sure the BIOS sees the drive, and then boot into windows!

 

I have never seen a drive that didn't.

 

Although, I think ml has a very good suggestion. Just plug an external drive in a USB port and away you go !!

 

If that's the way you feel Frank. Why don't I see one in your signature!

 

cdanteek

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If windows is so smart! Why make sure the BIOS sees the drive, and then boot into windows!

cdanteek

 

Nothing to DO with Windows if you actually bothered to check

 

The drives have to be set in BIOS - enabled as opposed to disabled (which, believe it or not, some systems do have as default). If it's disabled - then nothing will see it - so you check that first - THEN let Windows boot and spot it.

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If windows is so smart! Why make sure the BIOS sees the drive, and then boot into windows!

 

I have never seen a drive that didn't.

If that's the way you feel Frank. Why don't I see one in your signature!

 

cdanteek

BIOS rules! No OS can do more than the BIOS allows. If you disable your Optical drives in BIOS, no OS can recognize them.

 

I think Frank is hoping you will buy him one for Xmas… Somebody will have to as Santa only has a Wagonload of coal for Frank!

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