How to Convert an Internal DVD Drive to External
Converting an internal DVD drive to an external device is a relatively simple task for anyone who has a familiarity with basic hand tools. This project allows a user to add another drive to a small or fully optioned-out computer with no expansion bays remaining or for a desktop CPU that is located under a desk, where opening and closing the drive can be impractical. This task should take roughly 15 minutes to complete.
Things You'll Need
- External 5.25-inch drive enclosure
- Phillips-head screwdriver
Converting an Internal DVD Drive to External Device
Disassemble the external drive enclosure by removing the screws per the manufacturer's instructions. (Please note: This step will vary by manufacturer, make and model, but usually requires the removal of four screws from the bottom of the unit.)
Lift off the top cover.
Attach any mounting brackets to the side of the drive using the retention screws provided. (Please note: Disregard this step if no mounting brackets are required. This is a manufacturer-dependent step and may not apply to your enclosure.)
Lower the cable end of the DVD drive into the case close enough to connect the cables. (Typically, there will be a data cable, a power cable and an audio cable that need to be connected.)
Fit the drive into the base of the enclosure and secure it to the base with the retention screws that were provided with the external enclosure kit.
Place the top cover on the enclosure and secure it with the screws that were provided with the enclosure.
Connect the drive to your system and power if required.
Wait for a New Hardware Found dialogue box to appear. In most installations, this will require you to insert the manufacturer-supplied CD that contains the drivers for the device into your internal CD/DVD drive (as the external drive is not functioning yet) and click "OK."
Remove the manufacturer's driver CD from your internal CD/DVD drive and test your external drive.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep a small cup or bottle to place screws and small parts in while you are working.
- It may be necessary to set the Master/Slave jumper on the DVD drive itself to match your system needs.
- If you do not have an internal CD/DVD drive to insert the manufacturer's driver CD into, this driver can usually be downloaded from the manufacturer's site.