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Upgrading and Fixing Computers: Do-it-Yourself For Dummies® by Andy Rathbone

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Chapter 7. Adding a DVD Drive

Topics and tasks in this chapter

  • Identifying your type of DVD drive

  • Installing a portable drive

  • Installing an internal drive

Computers with DVD drives once drew envious looks. No longer were laptoppers simply cramming in more work during long flights. No, they were reclining the seats and watching their own in-flight movies.

Today, nearly every computer or laptop comes with a DVD drive. Windows 7 even requires a DVD for installation.

If your computer still doesn't have a DVD drive — or the drive's too slow or not working well — take heart: DVD drives are particularly easy to install. Netbook owners can simply plug a portable drive into their USB port, for example. Or, if your desktop's DVD player is acting slow or cranky, it's simple to upgrade it to something faster, or that plays the latest DVD lust word: Blu-ray.

This chapter explains how to buy the right DVD drive for your desktop computer, laptop, or netbook, as well as how to install it.

Choosing a Compatible DVD Drive

Just like hard drives, DVD drives come in three main types:

  • SATA (new style)

  • IDE (old style)

  • Portable (which plugs into a USB port).

Most computers can handle all three types without much problem.

Tip

Unlike earlier models, today's drives can handle nearly any type of blank DVD. You needn't worry about buying the wrong format.

In fact, upgraders need only ask themselves one question: Do I need Blu-ray?

Blu-ray, the sucessor to DVD, holds enough information to store a high-definition movie. (That's ...

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