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External vs. Internal DVD Burner for a Dell Computer

Discussion in 'DVDR' started by pjcewolf, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. pjcewolf

    pjcewolf Member

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    We have a Dell Dimension 2400 home computer. Unfortunately, we bought it with only a CD burner. Now we want to have a DVD burner also. Dell told us that we can't put in an internal burner in the tower but it looks like there's a space for one. Any suggestions? Not opposed to getting an external one. We won't be using it for anything fancy so we would like to stay on the low side price-wise.
     
  2. rbrock

    rbrock Regular member

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    You can take the cd drive out and put a dvd burner in its place it reads and burns CD's or DVD's you dont need the cd burner or you can run one as a master and one as a slave I use two dvd burners in the same pc
     
  3. rdmercer1

    rdmercer1 Active member

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    how many rom drives do you have? Internal burners are cheeper thain External burners and they are faster, but if dell says that you can't put one in i guess they knoe what they are doing, the External drives are getting lower in price every day, and it is always a good thing to have two drives if you are wanting to back your movies.
     
  4. FFsp42

    FFsp42 Regular member

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    I had a similar situation with my older HP desktop. I bought a Sony external DVD writer about 3-4 years ago and I have had zero problems with the actual writer. Plus, allows me to use with both my desktop and laptop. All depending on where you live, you could buy one fairly cheap, around $100 or so, and works just as good as an internal one. Plus, if you're not comfortable tinkering with the inside of your tower, it's as simple as plugging in a USB cable and turning it on.
    Since your wanting to keep it simple, about any burner will probably do. I would at least make sure it is at least dual format, meaning it will burn both DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs. You never know which media you might use.
    Good Luck!
     
  5. PacMan777

    PacMan777 Regular member

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    I'd go with rbrock's idea of replacing the internal CD drive if a DVD couldn't be added. It's the cheapest out, but leaves a CD drive. I've owned Dell's and haven't seen one where a drive couldn't be added if there was a slot and a position on the controller with a cable hookup. I'd take a look see in the case. Dells use Cable Select instead of Master-Slave where positon on the cable dictates primary and secondary, that is unless they've changed recently.

    You've got to watch those guys in support sometimes. English may be their second language and they're sometimes working from cue cards. You say something and they read a card in response. Phone support has really gone down hill the past few years.
     
  6. rbrock

    rbrock Regular member

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    Cable select is the jumper setting for one drive .Master Slave is for two drives on the same cable . you can get a dvd burner in that PC don't listen to the Dell guy with the cue card If you put the drive in youself it's not hard First unplug the power and hit the start button to dicharge any left over charge then open the case put the cables in the same place on you new drive and away you go!
     
  7. fasfrank

    fasfrank Active member

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    @rbrock, I'd say yes with any other computer than a Dell. If you try adding an additional drive and changing the jumpers to Master/Slave, then there is a good chance neither drive will be recognized.

    I just went through this on a friends computer.

    Here are the instructions for installing a replacement drive in a Dimension 2400:
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2400/en/sm_en/drives.htm#1107290


    Here is Dell's System setup procedure. This may be needed if a new drive is not recognized:
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2400/en/sm_en/syssetup.htm#1105404


    Here is the Dell
    "DMA Enable utility" if anyone is interested.

    Oh no dude! You got a Dell!
     
  8. Shardel

    Shardel Guest

    I own a Dell. Was told the same thing. There are two possibilities
    here. The one already suggested was replacing your CD burner with
    a DVD burner. That works really well with Shrink writing to an ISO
    file and then burning in that same burner using Imgburn.
    The reason you were told you couldn't put in a second unit was when
    you only order from Dell with a CD burner they do not put a bracket
    in that holds two (cutting corners and cost for them). I took mine
    to a computer guy here in town-he put in a bracket and I have two
    in my tower. I was even able to use the burner from my previous
    computer.
    The major problem I ran into was dumping the media stuff of Dell's
    that they put on here. It conflicted with everything. After I
    dumped that, I run Nero, AnyDVD, Shrink, Imgburn and DVD decrypter
    with no conflicts. Hope this information helps.
    If you watch TechBargains.com and Tigerdirect.com you can find some
    really good deals on DVD burners.
     
  9. pjcewolf

    pjcewolf Member

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    Thanks everyone for all your advice! We went to Circuit City and bought a MadDog MegaStor internal DVD burner. We were amazed that we were able to get it installed on our computer ourselves. Seems to work great. We took one of the photo album presentations we put together and burned it to a DVD+R disc. To add insult to injury, we've found that our DVD player won't read it. It reads rental DVD's and books on CD but doesn't seem to read the CDs or DVDs that we have burned. Any suggestions? We really don't want to pay a fortune for another DVD player.
     
  10. rbrock

    rbrock Regular member

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    It could be the brand disc you used to burn on please use Verbatim if they don't work its your pc
     
  11. Shardel

    Shardel Guest

    If your not able to read a disc, you might want to confirm that
    the unit you are trying to read it with is dual format. Some
    units will only read plus or minus. I've had really good luck
    using Shrink and Imgburn. Those programs write to either plus
    or minus discs. I have free standing machines that will only
    read one or the other.
     
  12. PacMan777

    PacMan777 Regular member

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    I build PCs as well as work on them. I think I may have a good idea of how a PC works.
    Partially correct. Master/Slave settings are for two drives on a cable. Cable Select (which Dell has used) works with 2 drives on a cable, not just one. One could just as easily be set to Master. With Cable Select, the position on the cable dictates whether the drive is seen as Master (primary) or Slave (secondary). The one on the end of the cable is primary whether by itself or with a drive on the middle (secondary) connector. That might come in handy for anyone putting an additional drive in a Dell. Just look at the back of the drives and see how the system is set up before doing the install. Cable Select works with the 80 conductor cables. Some PCs still have the older 40 conductor cables.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2007
  13. theforwes

    theforwes Guest




    I just purchased a Dell XPS 410. It comes with a CD/DVD burner. I want to install my Sony DVD burner as well. Will I put the jumper on the back of the Sony to CS, and plug it into the middle port on the cable of the existing burner? Will I have to also go into the system setup at the next boot up and edit there as well, or will it be automatic? I realize I might have to reconfig the existing cable config, and utilized both IDE controllers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2007
  14. bbmayo

    bbmayo Active member

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    @ theforwes,

    You can connect your drives anyway you choose just remember this.

    - The drive on the end of the cable needs to have the jumper set to "MASTER"

    - The drive connected to the middle of the cable needs to have the jumper set to "SLAVE"

    "Never use cable select" Just asking for problems

    You will not have to do anything extra in your bios it will be "Automatic as you say"

    Another note of intrest just in case. Always be sure your primary hard drive is at the end of your primary IDE cable and set as master. Any other device can be where ever you would like them to be assuming the jumpers are configured properly as I stated above.

    Cheers!
     
  15. PacMan777

    PacMan777 Regular member

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    theforwes
    I'll have to disagree with bbmayo in part. Dell used the Cable Select setup for a long time. Those PCs didn't seem to be plagued with problems arising from the CS usage.

    All you need to do is look at the drive already in the PC. If it is set to Cable Select (CS) set the new drive you're installing to the same. If you install it to the middle cable it will be the Slave (secondary) drive. I've used PCs set that way and seen offices full of them that have no problem with the CS setting and with Dell you know there are millions set that way.

    As bbmayo said, the OS will pick up the new hardware without any problems. You should have nothing to worry about and shouldn't need to enter the BIOS to adjust any settings.

    If the drive in the PC is set to Master, you would need to set your new drive to Slave if you're putting it on the middle cable connector. I don't know if you noticed or not, but a drive is never put on the secondary (middle) connector of a cable without one on the end (Master, primary). BBmayo mentioned that.

    So, here's what to remember.
    Cable Select only works with the 80 wire (40 connector) cables. Cable Select is just that, the drive priority is set by position on the cable. With 2 drives set to CS the drive on the end is Master and the one in the middle is the Slave. There's millions of PCs out there with the setting and working fine. In fact family members have had them for years with no problems.

    With Master/Slave jumper settings the Master is placed on the end of the cable and the Slave in the middle. A drive by itself on a cable would be placed at the end and the jumper set to Master.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  16. bbmayo

    bbmayo Active member

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    Just read this article http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/confCS-c.html
    and you will see why I tell people to not even bother with cable select. I am not saying it won't work because it will, but it is just much easier to just use the more widley popular set up of using Master and Slave the rest is just to hard for the average joe to understand and it is pretty much useless. Until the rest of the world gets on board with CS which it might in the future I would play it safe and connect those drives as Master & Slave. They could make it easy on all of us and use only cable select with no jumpers on the drives If I had anything to say about it that is what would happen! Just think no more little friken jumpers to lose! LOL
     
  17. PacMan777

    PacMan777 Regular member

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    I think the key to the whole article is this one paragraph. It says Cable Select would have been great had it beem universally accepted. From that it's obvious any nay saying isn't from a working point of view but from people not understanding what's involved.

    If you need a Slave, you have to change the jumper from Master as well. I missed some of the reasoning here. Moving the jumper only takes seconds and a person has to look to make sure of the setting anyway.

    If a person understands Cable Select, there is no harm in using it. With repairs and upgrades, I use what the system was originally set up for. With my own personal builds I go with the Master/Slave setup. I don't find one any better than the other, I just go with the more common convention. But when a system is already set up, there's no need to change it.

    Since the discussion was on a Dell and Dell used Cable Select extensively over the past few years, that's why I mentioned it. The PC industry as a whole may not have adopted Cable Select, but Dell used it a lot. I'm not supporting one convention over the other. Just saying be aware of what's there and adjust the jumpers accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  18. theforwes

    theforwes Guest

    I appreciate the info you both have provided. I have added drives to my, and other people machines before useing the slave/master config. I was just concerned about the CS config. with the Dells. Thanks again fellas.
     
  19. PacMan777

    PacMan777 Regular member

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    You're welcome. It's nothing to worry about and it can confuse people who aren't familiar with it. The article bbmayo posted tells how it works. All you need to remember is if a system is set to CS all drives should be set the same. The required 80 wire cables should already be present. Plug n Play still picks up new drives once installed.
     
  20. rbrock

    rbrock Regular member

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    Just as Im posted take out the old drive set the jumper and the cables as the same as you see on your old drive and reinstall the same way and away you go.
     

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