External (USB) CD/DVD RW?

By NetCablesPlus
Dec 10, 2007
  1. The internal CD/DVD drive on my six-year-old son's PC (WinXP, 500MB RAM) needs to be replaced. I was thinking that it might be easiest to just buy an external drive rather than opening the box. But then I wondered about performance. He will be running kids games and learning software and many of them require that a disk be inserted in the drive to run the software. Will the performance of the external, USB-based drive be enough for this type of application? Or should I go through the added work (and risk) of trying to replace the internal drive? Thanks in advance for your help with this.
  2. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,122

  3. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    An external USB drive will run fine if you have USB 2.0. If you don't then it would definitely be worth opening the case and replacing the drive.

    It's not very hard and has little risk with it if you know how to do it. I can provide you with detailed instructions should you decide to get an internal drive.

    It's basically a case of unplug the old drive, take it out, put the new one in and put the cables back in, but I will go further into it if you want :)
  4. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 228

    Thanks for the input. It is USB 2.0 (WinXP), so if it will work, I will probably go that route. Also gives me a portable drive should I need it elsewhere some time. Thanks for the offer on internal drive replacement instructions, but if I can get by with USB, it will be much easier.
  5. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    No problem, mate, let me know if you need any help in the future.

    Remember that you will need an AC socket because external optical drives need to be self-powered because the USB ports can't provide enough power.
  6. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 228

    Thanks. I am pleased that it will require an external power connection as that makes be believe that it will be fast enough.
  7. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    I just remembered, my dad bought an external DVD RW and it seems to read and write dvd's and cd's as well as an internal drive so you should have no problems with your intended usage.

    I'm glad i could help assure you :)
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    I agree that for your intended usage you should not notice any significant difference in performance. A newer CD/DVD drive might even be faster than an older one. I assembled a USB external DVD burner using a separate enclosure and an IDE Liteon DVD burner and another one using an HP DVD burner. I never noticed any performance issues although I never took a stopwatch to it either.
  9. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 228

    Bought an external 20X drive and it seems to work flawlessly. It was more expensive than the internal version, but when I consider all of the factors, I am pleased with the results. I also now have a portable drive that I could use elsewhere, if need be. Thanks to all for your help.
  10. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    No problem, mate, glad to hear you're happy :)
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