Replace DVD reader with cdrw

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I currently have a Compaq Presario 14XL 340 Laptop that I use mostly for
vacation or sitting in front of the TV.
When on vacation I would to be able to transfer pictures from  the kids and
my digital cameras. I had in the past been looking at a external zip drive
to do this and then when I get home tranfer those to CD. Recently I was
looking again for this same solution when I came accross some Cdrw/dvd combo
drives from Sony and Toshiba. Ive been looking into them a little more and
found the dimensions to be the same as the Toshiba drive currently in the
Laptop I have. How can I find out if any of these drives will work or is
there anyone out there done this or something similar. Ive sent emails to
couple of the online vendors with no results.

Re: Replace DVD reader with cdrw

Stephen wrote:
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Most of these OEM notebook replacements are "slimline", 5 inch drives.
These are typically supplied with an OEM connnection that needs the
original connector on the existing drive.  The existing drive must be a
similar slimline, 5 inch drive.  If you remove the drive, it will be be
labeled at least "5 inch", and possibly "slimline".  The slimline format
is obvious.  Once the drive is removed from the computer and removed
from the carrier, the original connector can be disconnected for use on
the new drive.   WinXP should have drivers for these OEM drive types.

There are some pretty good drives, including dual-layer DVD/CD burners
at very good prices (for notebook drives).  This link to a NEC drive,
currently not in stock at newegg but hopefully soon, illustrates what is
being offered.

Anandtech recently did a review of the major OEM dual-layer DVD burners,
and found that the NEC, Pioneer, and Lighton drives were superior to
others, notably Sony (which produces dual-layer coasters in their

A less expensive alternative is a CD/DVD enclosure for USB2 and/or
Firewire, with a desktop 5.5 inch CD/DVD drive.  These are about
$50-$100 less expensive than the corresponding slimline drive.


Re: Replace DVD reader with cdrw

Electrically, they will work (they are just IDE drives), but there are a
huge number of mostly mechanical and configuration issues rleated to
mounting, front plastics and connectors that make such an upgrade
difficult for most people to do.  There are so many variables that it's
just impossible to say without getting into very specific details of
both the laptop, the present drive and the replacement drive.  You can't
generalize here, one missing or moved screw hole can sink the entire

Stephen wrote:

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