Replacing a Laptop DVD/CD-R drive

My hp laptop has had a messed up cd drive for a while now, and I’m finally getting around to replacing it. It was a DVD/CD-R, but I figure I may as well make the upgrade to DVD burner.

My first thought was that I could just order a new one ( , for example) and have a good friend or local PC Club install it for me. (This is what I did when the HD failed.)

Well, I asked a friend that I generally trust with hardware issues (I’m more of a software guy myself) and he said to just bite the bullet and have the manufacturer deal with it. I don’t like this idea at all. I’d have to ship it in and be without my laptop for a while, and that’s just unacceptable.

Another idea I had was an external DVD burner. I wouldn’t have to open the laptop at all, and it wouldn’t be much more expensive than a new internal one. I had a bad experience with an external CD-R drive that I got right around the time they first came out; it burned so many coasters it was ridiculous. Well, I trust that technology has advanced, so I’m willing to take a chance, I guess. The other problem with this is that I like my laptop to be portable. I’ve got 2.5" portable
HDs because I can’t stand the big bulky ones. I’d like to be able to watch movies on the train,
and I feel like either it would be too big to carry around or I would break it or something like that.

Okay, so they have smaller extenral dvd burners, too, but they are expensive, so maybe I’d settle for the combo drive in that case.

So I want to know the opinions of the more learned folks on here. Can I trust the local PC Club to install the drive for me? Are there different kinds of drives that might not fit in my laptop? (I believe I have a QSI 241, or something like that, I’ll check later.) Whatever option I go with, is there something I should know about DVD burners? Do I need 8x?

I’m clueless, and I’d love to get some help from the Teeming Millions. Thanks.

I’m not exactly the teeming millions, but I have replaced my fair share of optical drives in both laptops and desktops and without a doubt I"d have to say “what are you going nuts about?” The optical drive in the laptop is one of the easiest components to replace and if your so-called friend can replace a HDD, he can definately replace a optical drive. Just find the screw for it and it slides right out after that. If it doesn’t then there’s probably a slide lever to push on before it will slide out under one of the bays on the bottom of your laptop.

I would research what units HP is using in your range of computers, just to be certain about compatibility, but ideally all units should either come with their own driver disc or be downloadable from the manufacturer’s website.

As for what you “need” on it, you’re not going to find a terrible lot of flexibility with laptop drives, but most do everything their larger cousins do in desktops anymore, only slightly less well.

Don’t settle for some add-on drive, it defeats the purpose of having a portable computer to begin with!

Just do your research and you’ll be fine.

Thanks for the advice. That’s just what I needed/wanted to hear.