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Notebooks Whats the deal with Laptop Optical Drives and their interfaces?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TechnoScream, 17 Dec 2007.

  1. TechnoScream

    TechnoScream Minimodder

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    Hi all

    I've got a couple of laptops here that i would like to replace the optical drive on. I also have about 3 laptops with working optical drives.

    ...All of the interfaces are different in all 5 laptops? ...I mean I understand that they are probably all IDE underneath but they all have different connectors or the connectors are in different places and so are incompatible?

    ..is there some kind of standard? a list somewhere so that I can see which drive is compatible with which laptop?

    many thanks
     
  2. cmberry20

    cmberry20 Mad Scientist

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    As far as I'm aware they are all the same - a ATAPI 50-pin Connector. However, you do get some manufactures (I'm looking at you Dell!!) that have a tendancy to add an adaptor plate on the back that either changes the socket connector of moves it across. In most cases you can strip these down/off & add them to a new standard drive.
     
  3. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Manufacturers do this so that the laman can't replace an optical drive with anything but the one the manufacturer supplies.

    Often, I'm sure, there are sizes of connector that simply won't fit into the slot they've left for it. Think how cramped it is in a laptop. And no, there's no real standard for the end connector of any laptop drive, they're often adapted and changed by the manufacturers. Same goes for most bits really.
     
  4. cmberry20

    cmberry20 Mad Scientist

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    i tend to disagree. While I'm not saying there aren't laptop drives with a different kind of connector - that much is true - but in a lot of circumstances the laptop drive had adaptors & plates that are screwed onto them that make them look like different drives to normal laptop ones. In 99% of the causes these 'add ons' can be unscrewed from the drive - once stripped down you will have a standard Laptop drive with a standard 50 pin connector.

    In fact, I just got a PM from Techno:

    "Thanks for your reply about laptop drives - by removing some tiny strips of plastic (though you would have never thought was enough to hide a circuit board behind) I have found another of the standard connectors on one of the drives - one is enough for me to do some testing etc, so I'm sorted - many thanks"

    :thumb:
     
  5. crazybob

    crazybob Voice of Reason

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    I'm going to cast another vote for removable adapter plate. Every laptop I've ever taken apart has looked nonstandard at first glance, but turned out to have a removable adapter plate attached to the drive. I don't fully understand why they do that, though. If there was room for the adapter plate, there was room in the laptop for a standard connector. And it might frighten some people off changing drives without paying the manufacturer's prices, but they tend to be so easy to remove that they won't slow people down for very long.
     

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