Installing hardware in PCs can be a daunting task for those new to it or for people without confidence with electronics. Fortunately, installing a new DVD burner, also known as a DVD writer, is one of the easiest things a user can do to add components to his or her PC. Before buying the drive, there are a few things to consider. Installing the drive needs no specialist tools; only the drive, some cables, and a Philips-head screwdriver.
Choosing a DVD Burner to Buy
Many older drives are not compatible with newer PCs right out of the box. For an internal DVD drive, there are two primary connector types: IDE (also known as PATA) and SATA. It is important for users to check which type of connector they have in order to find the right one.
Internal DVD Drives
The best way to check what type of connectors the motherboard has is for users to look at the manual they received with the PC. If that does not say, turn off the PC at the back, as well as at the wall, but keep it plugged in so that it is grounded. Open up the case, usually by unscrewing a couple of screws at the back of the case. Look at a hard drive or other DVD drive to see what cables are coming out of the back.
Also check whether the power cable attached to the drive is a Molex connector, which is white and has four connectors, or whether it also uses a SATA power cable, which is thin. If the user has already purchased a drive and it is the wrong type, an IDE to SATA converter or SATA to IDE converter is required. If the motherboard uses SATA, but the power supply connector type is Molex, then a Molex to SATA power converter is needed.
To install the drive, turn off the PC at the back of the PC and at the plug, but leave it plugged in to the wall socket to keep it grounded. Unscrew the side of the case and place it aside. If there are no expansion bays to install the drive, the old DVD drive may have to be removed. If there is a spare expansion bay but it is blocked at the front, these are usually just easily pushed out from the back. For those with IDE drives, it is important to set the jumper on the back of the drive. If it is the only drive on the IDE cable, then set it to master; otherwise, set it to slave.
Placing the Drive
Most PC cases allow the user to simply slide the drive into the case from the front. Some, however, require rails to be added to the drive. If these are needed, screw them onto the drive. Slide in the drive either by rails or not, and line it up with the front of the case. Once lined up, drives without rails need to be screwed to the case. Most drives come pre-packed with a set of these screws.
Connecting the Drive
If the installer needs to use a connector converter, plug these into the back of the drive. For both SATA and Molex power supplies, plug in the power cables. Connect the IDE or SATA data cable to the drive. After doing this, always ensure that the SATA or IDE cable is securely connected to the motherboard. Replace the side cover of the case.
Turn on the PC. Both Windows and Linux are able to detect most drives without any issues. Open up "My Computer" in Windows or the file explorer in Linux, and the drive shows in the list of drives. If the drive is not shown, turn off the PC again and check that both power supply and data cables are securely connected.
Most drives come with burning software to let the user write his or her music, videos, or files to a DVD. Insert the DVD that comes with the drive and run the software to install it. There are many different ways to use a DVD burner, such as converting VHS home movies to DVD.
How to Buy a New DVD Burner on eBay
There is a wide range of DVD burners available. To find the one you want, search on eBay using the search bar at the top of any eBay page. For example, type 'Sony DVD Burner IDE' or 'SATA DVD Burner'. When looking in the search results, make sure you buy the one that fits your motherboard. If a SATA drive does not come with a SATA cable, you will have to buy one of those, too. With the right knowledge, installing hard drives, DVDs, or Blu-ray burners is simple.