can i use internal cd-rw externally?

Posted on 2001-06-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
hi. before i get rid of my old pc, can i pull out the cd-rw and use it externally? specifically, can my son use it with his laptop?

you don't really need all the specs do you? it's a concept :)


Question by:garfld
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Expert Comment

ID: 6158504
In theory.  You'd want to be careful carrying it about, but there are various boxes and cases you could buy to put it in which would help protect it.

The bigger probelm is connecting it to the laptop.  You would need a special cable (and I'm not sure if they exist or not) to converts from desktop-size interface to laptop-size interface.

You should also check that there is a spare IDE interface - some laptops only have one, which will make things difficult.

Expert Comment

ID: 6158642
You can buy a USB external box that you can mount IDE drives into.

I would assume this would include CDRoms also but you may be limited to slow writes for the CDW because of the much lower data stream.

All you need on the laptop is a USB connection and install the drivers for the remote box.


Expert Comment

ID: 6158771
renaming a file lpt1 is quite interesting!
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Expert Comment

ID: 6158778
I don't know how it got here, but the previous commment belonged here:-

Accepted Solution

kneea earned 50 total points
ID: 6158822
You are going to find that a CDRW will be very difficult to get working on a portable unless it has been originally designed that way.

You can buy IDE interfaces for portables which will allow devices to work via USB, pp, etc. but....

The problem is that connecting another interface between the computer and the IDE interface will really slow it down.  CD writers are fussy and if you slow down the connection you might not be able to write CDs reliably.  Also, the drivers for the CDRW might not find it and/or work properly.

It would be much better to keep the cdwriter and place it in another (desktop) machine that your son has access to.

The external IDE interface is going to cost quite a bit. There will be:-
a pcmcia card and cable, usb cable or pp cable
a transformer
a case into which the ide drivee sits

This interface by itself will cost more than the cd writer.

A complete all in one solution could be cheaper

Expert Comment

ID: 6159090
>> a transformer

Good point - I forgot about the power!  That'll teach me to do two things at once!
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 6159487
I think the major problem will be getting the writing software to recognise the burner installed on an external interface, it will work fine as an ordinary CD-ROM quite probably, but the Adaptec Easy CD software and others may not be able to find the drive on a a USB or parallel port interface.

These guys have an external USB enclosure at not too terrible a price....
They also have a parallel port CD rom in an IDE standard enclosure here.....
Maybe you can mod that if you haven't got a USB port on that Laptop or contact them about obtaining the enclosure seperately.

With already having the writer it works out at about half what a basic external one could be got for.

Like I said though, drivers for a writer may be a problem. You could try drivers intended for complete units.


Road Warrior

Author Comment

ID: 6159596
thanks everyone for prompt answers. this one covers it all for me.

i was planning to strip my pc and sell the parts, and just hoped i could recycle the cd burner. it's an oldie, btw, and only 2x.


Author Comment

ID: 6159740
duh - did i do this wrong the first time :)

Expert Comment

ID: 6170930
Why not just sell the old pc with the writer.  Most people wont' care how fast it is and it would be an asset.

When you have sold everything, you could buy a usb version of a cd writer for you son with the money from the old pc.  And then it can be attached to a desktop pc as well.   (provided he has a usb port on his portable)


Author Comment

ID: 6171101
hi kneea. i was just gonna donate the old one. what do you think i could sell it for?

266 pentium ibm-clone (built to order)
6 gb hd
2x hp cd-rw
hp 682c printer
smartpage scanner (4 yrs old)
viewsonic g773 monitor
logitech wireless keyboard
logitech wireless mouse
brand new power supply :)
atx mid tower case




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