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Adding second optical drive

By circusboy01 ยท 11 replies
Mar 19, 2011
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  1. I want to add another CD/DVD player(Optical Drive.) to my PC. Want to get the same one thats already installed So I found it in Belarc Advisor 'and put the info in a search window HT_DT_ST DVDRAM GH60N ATA Device. A bunch of download sites came up.I';m looking for where I can find the Hardware Thanks CB
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,518   +2,312

    On any given day, you van usually get a Sony SATA, or LG SATA drive from Newegg for 18 bucks, w/ free shipping. I usually can't prevent myself from buying another "spare"/

    In no way shape, or form, would I buy an optical drive from Ebay. The linked drive (@Ebay), comes to nearly 40 dollars with shipping. (That's in addition to being used).

    It might help if you elaborate on exactly what, "my PC" consists of, with respect to hardware, to fine tune any recommendations.

    As Mark explained, a newer drive will likely be a better, (and quite a bit faster), drive.

    We do need to know if you current optical is IDE or SATA. (IDE is also called "ATA" and or "PATA).
  4. circusboy01

    circusboy01 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 799   +16

    My computer is a Lenovo with 1 trb Hard Drive.According to Belarc Advisor My optical drive is HT-DT-DVDRAM GH60N ATA device.
    When I first bought the computer I thought it had 2 optical drives, because it had 2 flap doors (Don't know the correct term,but I'm sure you know what I mean).
    I noticed you didn't include ATA along with the one's I can get for around $18.00
    Does that mean their a lot more expensive?
    Thanks for the info. Should I go on line to Newegg and go to optical drives, and see if A can find one with the # I got from my Belarc? CB
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,518   +2,312

    IDE (or "ATA) drives connect to the board with a wide ribbon cable, (about 2 inches wide), whil SATA connects with a narrow cable, (about 1/2").

    If your existing drive is indeed IDE/ATA it might be a good idea to purchase an additional IDE drive. You would then hook the new drive to the furthest plug on the ribbon cable and set it as the master. Your old drive would become" the slave" and a jumper on the back would have to be reset as such.

    This leaves all the SATA connections on the motherboard free for additional HDDs, and doesn't waste the extra connection on the IDE buss.

    This is just a suggestion. You could very well buy a SATA optical, and use a SATA port.

    There would be little to no speed penalty by using either ISE or SATA for the new drive.

    Because SATA is the current and "push" product, while IDE is being phased out, sales on IDE drivers are less frequent, and the price cuts may not be as deep.

    Whatever you decide to do, buy a current line drive, and stay away from Ebay.

    After searching Newegg for a suitable IDE drive, I found that there's not many available.

    The Sony SATA model is the one I've been using most recently and it seems to do a fine job; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118039 If you're not in a terrible hurry, wait it out for a while til free shipping appears. Are you enrolled in Newegg's Email promotions?

    Personally I haven't had much luck with Toshiba drive products, but somebody else might have a different experience / opinion.
  6. circusboy01

    circusboy01 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 799   +16

    I would never buy anything from Ebay for my computer. Used and outdated products. No thinks. Yes I am signed up with Newegg. I get their E-Mails. But, I mostly just delete them.I'll start paying attention.I plan on getting the same one that' Iv'e got now.If I can't I guess I'll go with a SATA.
    Here's possible a dumb question..Are all these the same size? I mean will they all fit in the space my computer provides?
    Thank's for the info on how to install. I was hoping It was just install and plug in..
    I will refer to this post when it's time to put in a new one Thank you. CB
    Almost forgot. Why would the new one be the master,instead of the old one? Does it matter which one is the master? How do you set one as Master?
    Hope you don't mind me asking all these questions. I do this with a lot of members
    that post in my threads. Here and WorldStart too. It's a good way to learn about computers. Thanks again CB
  7. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    Just to provide an answer to your "stupid" question :p

    Yes, all CD/DVD/BD-drives are universally compatible as for the size. The size of a bay is always (just below) 5,75 inches wide, that size is globally accepted as a standard size for 5,25''-drives, named after the popular 5,25''-wide floppy's which used to go in those 5,75''-drives.

    Even a floppy drive from 1977 will fit in modern day drive bays that are 5,75'' wide. I've tried that myself :)

    So all in all: 5,25'' drives (like CD/DVD/BD drives) are really 5,75'' wide, and will always fit a "5,25'' drive bay" which is always 5,75'' wide (and about 1,75 inches tall unless I'm mistaken).
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    You can set them up however you wish. Just remember the Master is always on the end of the ribbon cable and the slave is in the middle. The jumpers need to be set according to position.

    I have to disagree with the comments made about eBay. I have bought many computer parts from eBay and have never had a problem. I always use the big shops that trade on eBay that have very high reputations. The payment protection through Pay Pal does guarantee your purchase if for any reason things go wrong. The larger sellers will bend over backwards to keep their reputation as high as possible, any unhappy customers will bring down their reputation level for all to see deterring future customers. If a seller provides sub standard products that do not fit the description they give then their reputation stays low and few people will buy from them. You don't see customer ratings outside a high street shop but you still go in, they could close the next day and you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. If anything eBay is a better and safer place to shop. But that's just my opinion.
  9. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    I have to disagree with Mark56; the master does not need to be at the end of the ribbon, at least on all of the 5 setups I just tried to confirm/falsify this statement.

    The only thing that matters is that one is Master, and that another is Slave. Both cannot be Master or both cannot be Slave. But regarding the position on the ribbon, it doesn't matter, or at least on all 5 setups I just tried. :D

    I know that elderly "techfolk" (not trying to include Mark56 or anything) always told me the same thing, but I've put Masters on the centre and slaves at the end from time to time, and I never, ever, noticed anything.
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    It's the way I have always known it should be done but never actually known why, I even had a ribbon cable with Slave and Master printed on it next to the appropriate plugs so there must be a good reason out there somewhere. It is may be more important on the older motherboards, or it has some effect on data transfer speeds.

    I just read some more info on this and it does not matter what position the drives are in on the cable as long as they are set as master and slave. But if using the cable select jumper setting it does matter, the master (drive with the OS) has to go on the end, and also if only fitting one drive on the cable it has to go on the end.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,518   +2,312

    So you just have to be different, right slick?

    Now, why don't you chat us "geriatric members" up about cable select? That should provide some variety in another ignorable post.
    You are, at least somewhat, mistaken, possibly only by omission. 5.75" is the faceplate dimension, while 5.25" is the body dimension as to width, (or rail spacing), if you will. But yes, both dimensions are standard.

    As to height, the actual vertical faceplate dimension would coincide with the center to center distance of the drive mounting holes.

    This is probably trivia, unless of course, someone is planning to build their very own case, day after tomorrow.
    Spoken like a man that lists his location as, "Spain". Here in the former British Colonies, we have a custom called "Newegg". With that said, trust me, there's no reason to deal with Ebay. Period. Also, "Microcenter has about 25 stores nationwide. Their sale prices are spectacular, and I'm fortunate enough to live within easy driving distance of one of them, (about 20 Km). Here in the colonies, we would call that "12 miles", (or so).

    If you buy something from a brick and mortar and they go out of business the next day, TS; if you didn't read the "going of business" sign on the side of the building, that's your own stupidity.

    In any event, the computer parts "climate" in the US, is far different from the same thing in Spain.

    Not only are the cases the same size, but the bolt pattern is also the same.

    In the "folklore" that I've read, the "master" has a priority in the data flow. Since your new drive should be the faster of the 2, it gets to be the master.

    The is a tiny jumper on the back of the drive, and usually also a diagram on the case somewhere the indicates the different positions. Also, most Intel boards do in fact use, "cable select" for IDE drives. The board manual is a good place to look for this info.

    This is especially true when, (in the old days), HDDs were IDE also. The optical was always the slave, the HDD was always the master.

    Keep in mind, all this goes out the window if you buy a SATA ODD. In that case, you would: knock out the bay cover...., slide in the new drive...., screw it onto its rails...., plug in the power and SATA cable, (SATA goes from the drive directly to the motherboard), and finally put the side cover back on. Hit the power switch, you're done!

    Remember, If you buy an OEM drive, it will not come with a cable, (or screws). If you need these things , you usually have the option of buying a retail version. (Yes, they cost a bit more).

    I touched on this in the preceding post. The "master" position has data flow priority, hence the fastest drive goes on the end. Obviously, an HDD would be faster than an ODD.
  12. circusboy01

    circusboy01 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 799   +16

    I was right. It was a stupid question. I should have figured out for myself, that they would all be a standard size..

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