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Adding an external CD drive

Posted on 2004-09-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I've looked at quite a few answers in related questions but I haven't found exactly what I need.
I have an old 486 laptop that I would like to update to W95 and Office 97 - it doesn't have a CD drive.
is there some way to make the laptop read from a CD drive that I took out of a desktop? If so what sort of cable is needed? Is there likely to be a connector inside the laptop for a normal CD drive cable?
Any help gratefully accepted
Keith Braithwaite
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Question by:keithbraithwaite
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6 Comments
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 12101727
The cable approach is not likely to work - laptops have a slightly different connector for their drives, because they are usually 2.5 inch form factor, as opposed to 3.5.  Assuming that you have a hard drive in there, if there is no connector for a second drive, you're out of luck trying it this way.

I don't think 486 laptops have USB ports, so you might be able to get a PCMCIA card with USB 1.1 and then add an external USB CDROM.  You could get a USB enclosure and add a regular CDROM drive, and then you would need to add USB drivers in order to read from it.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:johndeerb
ID: 12101730
No such beast.  There are some external drives that will attach to the parrallel (printer) cable on the laptop, but they are specifically designed for the task.  They aint cheap, either.  The laptop won't have a cable to attach to the IDE cdrom drive from a desktop PC.

Sorry...
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Author Comment

by:keithbraithwaite
ID: 12101931
Sounds pretty bad... or expensive and complicated.

Is there some way I can make my laptop talk to a PC - using for instance the parallel port - then I could use the CDROM drive on the PC and do my installations that way?
I seem to remember there were cables which someway inversed the wires so interconnection between two PC's was possible.
If that is the case, what program will I need? I have W 3.11 on the laptop. I also seem to remember there was a Windows program which could do this... could I Telnet the Desktop?

It looks as if I'm going to have to do some lateral thinking...
K
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
FatherErvin earned 250 total points
ID: 12101937
what I've had to do in the past to overcome this problem is to take the drive out of the laptop and hook it to a desktop to copy the installation files over. An adapter for a Laptop HDD to a desktop runs about 12$

http://www.priorityelectronics.com/laptopaccessories/laptopaccessoryharddrive.htm

-alternativlely, if you have a second laptop with a cdrom drive, put the drive on there and copy the installation files to it-

Cheers,

fE
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:zvitam
zvitam earned 250 total points
ID: 12101979
Direct cable connection is the solution for you (that is work with the CD installed in the desktop, and "network" with the desktop using the LPT port)

You can read all about it here:

http://www.lpt.com/windowsnetworking/regusers/dcc.htm

if you want to start with DOS read the following document:

http://computing.net/windows31/wwwboard/forum/10781.html

You will find the following document interesting too:
http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=814950
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Author Comment

by:keithbraithwaite
ID: 12102125
There are some good ideas in there - many thanks.
Would you guys think it fair if I split the points between FatherErvin and Svitam.
I'm going to try both solutions - They'll both come in handy whichever one is best for this particular problem.
KB
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