Can i use an internal dvd writer externally?

Internal DvD drives appear to be alot cheaper than external ones. As long as there is a USB option, can I use it outside the computer if I keep it enclosed when not using it? Thanks.

The only concern I can see is whether it’s grounded via the power cable or through the screws holding the player in the case. You could get around that by running a cable from one of the screw holes on the player to a metal part of the case, though.

Then there’s cat hair…

Also, using your DVD player in a manner not instructed by the manufacturer could result in violation of some FCC broadcasting code, if the computer case is meant to shield the player from the outside world & vice verse.

      • They sell cases for doing just this. Here is one at Mwave that has a USB 2.0 hookup:
        Note that it has AC voltage input, so it probably has its own wallblock power supply–it does not draw its power from the USB connection. It would not be portable.
        Go to any place online that sells PC parts, and look for CD/DVD-RW accessories.

Can you get internal drives with USB? I thought the point of USB was for externals. And wouldn’t buying a USB casing just spend what ever you saved not buying an external drive to begin with? Useful if you’re swapping more than one drive about, but otherwise a pricey option.

There’s nothing to stop you using a internal drive externally, but you might find the data and power cables mean you have to leave your computer case open too. And these cables usually aren’t long enough to allow you neatly position your drive externally. Of course you’re also risking wires coming loose, dust, dirt, hair, static charged fingers etc. I’ve done it often enough, but only on a one-off, short-term basis.

Just buy an external enclosure. As far as USB goes, there are no internal devices Because all firewire/usb hard drived are just IDE drives connected to the other interface, using oxford 9/11 in the case of firewire.

Internal DVD drives are cheaper than external because they don’t require the extra power supply, case, cooling fan, and circuitry to convert between EIDE (or whatever) and USB/Firewire/SCSI. But the moment you decide to use your internal device externally, then you need all those things. Of course, if you already have a case from some old device, then there’s no problem

      • My CD/DVD drives do not have cooling fans.
  • I would bet the main technical restriction is that IDE cables have a maximum reliable length of around 24 inches, it’s rare to see any sold that are much longer than that. So if you wanted more cable length, you would need interface electronics of some type, or at least a very different cable than the usual unshielded ribbon things usually used. And a power cable too.

What DougC said re tech limits of cabling. External cases can be had for moderate prices, but by the time you finish you may as well have bought the external.

However, if you buy an external USB or FireWire case you still have the case even if the device you put in it breaks or you decide to upgrade. So, yes, buying the case does offset some or all of any price advantage you may see from buying an internal device, but it’s a one-time expense.

For instance, my LaCie FireWire case is on its third burner. It came with a 16/8/24 (IIRC) which I replaced with a 24/12/48 (again, IIRC), which was replaced in turn with a DVD/CD burner. I also have two cheap firewire cases I bought on eBay that have both had different HD’s installed at different times.

At this point I suppose I should either spring for the external or place the internal drive inside where it should be. I just wanted to save some money without having to open up my computer and deal with installing a new drive. Thanks all.

Best Buy just finished a sale with unheard of prices on selected hard drives. I found out about the sale by accident, purchased two 80 GB drives, then drove over to CompUSA where I bought two external drive kits. I now have two external backup drives I can use with my desktops and laptops as I see fit.

Using an internal CD, CD-RW, DVD and/or DVD-RW the same way shouldn’t be a problem, providing the external drive kits can handle the throughout.

BTW, the cost of my inexpensive new drives plus the drive kits all turned out to be cheaper than buying two external drives (of the same capacity) outright.