With a number of software manufacturers using DVDs to distribute their software releases, having a DVD drive is not only convenient but is practically essential to keep up with software releases. Unfortunately, if your laptop doesn't have a DVD drive, installing one isn't quite as simple as it would be if you were installing the drive into a desktop computer. This doesn't mean that installing a laptop DVD drive is difficult, provided you purchase one that is compatible with your laptop.
Check to ensure compatibility between your laptop and the DVD drive you purchase. The best ways to do this are to purchase your DVD drive directly from your laptop manufacturer, look for compatibility information on the drive's packaging or ask a knowledgeable sales associate. If buying online, make sure to read all of the drive's profile to check for compatibility information.
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Remove the CD-ROM or DVD drive that your laptop currently has. Flip the laptop over, setting it on a sturdy surface with the side that the existing drive is on facing you. Depending on how the laptop is designed, you should find 1-to-3 screws holding the drive in place; these screws may be on the bottom of the laptop or on the side next to the drive. Unscrew the screws and set them aside for later use.
Flip the laptop back over. Carefully remove the old drive, pulling gently yet firmly if you encounter resistance/ This will be the drive unplugging from the laptop's drive interface, so a small amount of resistance is not unusual. Once the drive is free of the laptop, set it aside.
Slide the new DVD drive into the empty drive port. Make sure that you press it all the way in so that the drive will plug in to the drive interface. Once the drive is in completely, replace the screws to secure the drive.
Boot up your laptop. Your operating system will detect new hardware and will load temporary drivers for the DVD drive; insert the driver disc that came with the drive to install the manufacturer's drivers in order to get optimal use out of your new laptop DVD drive.
If your laptop doesn't currently have a CD-ROM or DVD drive, the installation instructions will still be largely the same; you will simply need to remove the drive port cover or plastic spacer from the empty drive port before installing the new DVD drive.