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PCs for Grown-Ups: Getting the Most Out of Your Windows 8 Computer by Paul McFedries

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Chapter 21. Replacing the CD or DVD Drive

Any PC worth its chips should have an optical drive, a catchall term that includes every type of CD and DVD drive, as well as the latest Blu-ray drives. The optical part tells you that these drives use light—specifically, a semiconductor laser—to read data from and write data to the disc. (For example, the Blu in Blu-ray comes from the fact that it uses laser light with a wavelength in the blue section of the spectrum.) Among many other uses, an optical drive enables your system to play audio CDs, screen DVD movies, watch high-definition video (you need a Blu-Ray drive for that), install programs and device drivers, store data, and make backups.

In this chapter you learn about optical drives, get information ...

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