CD Drive Apparently Going Kaput

I’ve got an old computer–dating back to sometime in 2002–and it seems my CD-RW drive is going out of business. Every now and then, it just stops being able to understand that it has a disk inside it.

Also, the computer itself is startig to freeze up. About once a day, it freezes, by which I mean, literally, everything just freezes in place and I can no longer interact with the machine. No BSOD, no restart–just a freeze.

So for all I know this is all something I could fix by getting rid of the dust inside the thing, but really, it’s time for a new computer.

The big problem is, we’ve got about fifteen gigabytes of family photos and videos on this thing, and stupidly, we have not been backing them up. I started backing them up tonight and, well, that’s how I discovered the CD drive is going on the blink. :eek: :mad:

I imagine it is possible to purchase storage space online on a temporary basis. Am I correct to so imagine? If so, where can I get such space cheap? What I can do is just upload my stuff in chunks, then go to my office and download them and write them to CD. So I don’t necessarily have to do all fifteen gigs at once.

Well, any suggestions? Thanks in advance,


Buy your new machine, remove the hard drive from your old machine, connect it as a slave drive in the new machine, and copy over all the data files you want to save. Then disconnect it and put it back in the original machine.

This is what I did last time I bought a new computer, and it worked fine, and much faster than any kind of backup, cable transfer, upload/download, etc. And it’s free.

Hmm… sounds scary but is it not?

I’d be afraid of damaging the disk or something.


Problem with that is, chances are the old computer has an IDE computer interface, and the new one is a SATA. Sure, the new computer has at least one IDE channel, but that’s for the CD drive. Plus, as Frylock noted, for someone who’s not used to working with innards, it’s kind of a complicated process.

I’d recommend either getting a removable hard drive, which go for around $100 for a decent sized one, and has the added benefit of being useful for other purposes.

Another solution is to get an enclosure for your current hard drive, which would then act like an external hard drive. This would be cheaper ($20-$40), but again you’d have to mess around with the computer’s innards.

You can find external hard drives almost anywhere, but an external enclosure you’re going to have to either go to a computer store, or shop online.

I suppose if you wanted to do it the hard way, you could get a 1 or 2 GB thumb drive, and slowly move the files over, but one of the two above solutions is probably the easiest.


The IDE channel will support two drives, also if the machine is already set up you don’t need the optical drive to be connected.

If you wish to pursue this method, just shut the new machine down, open it up, and plug her into the appropriate socket on the motherboard. you can use the hard drive cable from the old machine if your new one does not have one.

If for some reason your new machine only has SATA plugs (there are a few out there) you will need to go to an external or an adapter like this

I use one all the time in my business, and several dopers have purchased them on my reccomendation with good results.

Buy a USB HDD. Copy files to USB HDD. Buy new PC. Copy files from USB HDD to new PC.

I would just buy an external USB hard drive. You can get one for $80 or so and they are plug and play. You can litterally just drag everything from your external hard drive and it will take a few minutes. Online storage is a good idea as well. is an uber-deal and lets you back up an unlimited amount of data for $5 a month. However, the initial upload can take days (in the background) because most home upload speeds are a fraction of the download speed. It works great though.