Accessing optical drives on external computer?

By heather50
May 1, 2010
  1. Hi,

    I have a Dell Dimension 8100 which recently died of a failed motherboard. It has two optical drives, a floppy, and a zip. (And yes, I still sometimes find I need to access data off an old floppy or zip.)

    I would like to salvage these media drives for use with my Toshiba laptop. I know I can buy external enclosures for the drives, but with four of them, the cost will begin to add up. (Plus I don't even know if enclosures for internal floppies and zips exist.)

    I was wondering if it would be possible to connect the laptop directly to the dead Dell and access the drives. Although the motherboard is no good, the power supply seems to be fine. Basically the old Dell would be functioning as large, powered enclosure for multiple drives.

    If so, how would I go about it? (I already have an Ativa data transfer USB cable, if that helps.)


  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    No, you can't do what you are asking.

    Does your Toshiba have an optical drive? If so you'd only need to buy an adapter/enclosure for the zip and floppy, but really I think it probably would cost the same just to buy ones that are already external rather than something to turn your internals to externals.
  3. heather50

    heather50 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, thanks for answering. I don't have an optical drive on the Toshiba which is why I was hoping this would work. Now I'm thinking it might be better to get a portable optical drive which I can carry with me as needed, and find a cheap used external zip and floppy drive to have handy at home when I need them. (I'm going to buy a dock for the Toshiba for use when I'm not traveling.)

    Thanks again.
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