Adding an external DVD writer

Posted on 2006-04-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-26

I have a Packard Bell Platinum 4200 desktop and would like to add an external DVD writer to it.  I'm mainly interested in using it for data backup purposes, nothing too demanding.  I have a spare USB 1 port, Pentium 3 550 Mhz processor and 128 MB RAM.  I'm running Windows '98 SE.

The writer I would like to add can be found at:

A couple of points come to mind:

1) Will the above product work with USB 1 (at a slower speed) or not at all?  If it is slower, how much slower would it likely be, compared to USB 2?  Would a separate power supply be required?

2) If I use Nero 7, it says a Pentium 3 800 Mhz or better is required:

Would it work reliably with my Pentium 3 550 Mhz processor?

Thanks in Advance,

Question by:Richard2000
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    1) it would be prudent for you to get USB 2
    2) more RAM will ensure caching overruns are minimal
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    As far as the Nero 7 minumum system requirments is concerned, you could experience alot of bad writes. What I mean is, if your computer is just bogged down, which may appear to be so since you are running windows 98 which cannot utilize the hardware as efficiently as Windows XP, you may be able to run the program and start the burn, but I could easily see it failing and leaving you unable to completely a successfull burn. The 128MB ram doesn't help much either.

    The reason I said this is because in the past I have seen P4's with 512MB of ram trying to do DVD  copies, but the user was running other programs while this was happening, causing a buffer underrun. Your low system specs may or may not be ablt to complete a burn, that is something you will know once you attempt.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Most external DVD burners require USB2.0.  Check the specs to be sure the USB 1.0 cannot provide the data fast enough during a burn for it to work right.

    Assisted Solution

    I got this tech spec. from this website

    And according to this review this drive will only work on USB 2.0 it is not backwrad compatibil to USB 1.0.
    If you go to the samsung site that you have posted and look to the right and click on the e-catalogue it will break that modle down a little more and it show a power adapter and cord that comes with it so you will have to have power for the drive to work.

    Technical information sheet of SE-W164L USB 2.0 DVD 16 x Lightscribe Writemaster

    Included software: NERO Suite (Nero Express 6, Nero lightScribe)
    Compatibility       USB 2.0 port necessary

    Also from the wed address I have posted is say in there tech spec that it comes with Nero 6
    I did find one websit that said the minimum was a P3 300MHz processor

    Burning DVDs is a slow process because of the file sizes and the slow burn speed so I would recomend either upgrade your machine or purchase a new one and Install a pci usb 2.0 card or if you buy new make sure it has that spec.
    Good Luck


    But I do agree with shankshank that you will have a lot of bad writes to dvd but you should be good for audio and data burns but then again that's not the point you want dvd.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    Most modern drives -- including the one you've linked to -- have technology that prevents buffer underrun errors.  This works well, but does still require a reasonable data transfer rate that's higher than USB v1.1.

    I've burned many DVDs to backup data on an old 300MHz P-II with no problem -- but I did put a USB v2 PCI card on the system to link with the writer.    I'm sure if you put a USB v2 card on the system you'll be able to write to that drive with no problem -- just limit your writes to 2x or 4x.

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    The weakest link shud be the usb1.1. Get a usb2 card. its less than 10usd!

    y not just a normal dvdplayer instead of the protable? then you don't have to go thru all these?

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