* Prices may differ from that shown
I seem to spend most of my computing times sat with my laptop, which has made the desk top a little jealous, sort of, and I think it is a streak of jealousy from the desk top that has made is throw a bit of a strop. The strop that this jealous piece of 'what-sits' threw was that it actually decide to stop playing DVDs and CDs
In fact, the DVD drive that had sat in the tower/workstation since buying the thing had decided to stop working all of a sudden, without warning and without any slight noise at all.
I tried to figure out what was wrong with it, taking it out, checking the connections, even making sure that there were no bits of snapped off disc wedge inside the laser area. It was as clean as the proverbial, with all the connections in place, all secure.
I even went as far as to re-install the drivers, just in case they had decided to give up the ghost, but that didn't work.
So I came to the conclusion that the DVD drive itself had dropped off this mortal coil, possibly through over use, or maybe out of complete laptop jealously. But either way if I wanted to use a DVD/CD on the desk top then I had no option but to get a new drive.
The choice of which drive was the first question. Should I get an external one? Simply plug it up to the desk top using a USB port or should I go the whole hog and fit an internal one so that the tower/workstation didn't have any wire and things sticking out of every orifice.
So, after a bit of deliberation, some scratching of my head, with the wife asking if I had fleas?, I decided to go for the latter, the internal DVD drive so that nothing looked out of place on the desk, which would keep everything neat and tidy, almost, apart from the paper, folders, disc and an array of other items scattered about the desk. I haven't even got a clue what some of them are, I dare not touch them in case they bite....
Anyway, the next question was which internal DVD drive was I going to spend my hard earned money on? Fortunately, this question was easier answered than I though as within seconds I had found the perfect one for the perfect price. That drive being from a well known company called Samsung, with the drives actual name being the Samsung Super-WriteMaster SH-S222A
* What does this one look like..?
The images I first saw, online, made it look like a rectangular box with a black plastic front, something like you'd slot into your car to replace an aging stereo system. So when finally got it I wasn't expecting anything special, and it wasn't. it was exactly like the picture depicted, which was nice in a way as some things I've ordered online have looked nothing like the pictures that I had seen.
Anyway, after a quick look around the outside of the drive, checking for any obvious damage, making sure that it had screw holes in the right place, which it did, so that meant I did not need to use the brackets that came wrapped inside some bubble wrap, I was quite pleased with what I had in my hand... (The drive people... stop that..?!?!)
As I said, the entire box looks pretty basic, having a thin metal casing to protect the moving parts inside. The front is again basic, with the CD/DVD tray taking up most of the black plastic covering. Then, slightly below this hinged cover, there is a single button and a little LED light. The button is for opening and closing the tray with the light flashing away when the laser is reading the disc that is inside.
There is also a tiny tiny little hole which is there so that if the tray should become locked, usually in case of a lack of power supply to the unit itself, then, using a thin rod pushed inside this hole, the tray can be manually opened so that any disc that is inside can be removed.
If you turn the unit around you will see the many pins that seem to be scattered all along the back end. These pins are in four sections. There's the master/slave port. The interface, the power and something called unsupported.
Each of these sets of pins are used to connect to your PC, which pins go where is all down to your PC itself, but once you open up tower/workstation, releasing the cables and slots, you'll realise what goes where.
For example, the four pin cable goes into the power supply port. It can only go in one way as the shape of the cable end is designed in such a way, with curved edges on the top.
And that's how it looks...
But before I go on I will say that apart from the DVD drive you do get a few other things in the box, such as a pair of brackets in case you need to expand the sides in order to fit your system. You also get a few screws that help you attach this to your PC, a quick set up guide and the CD's that are needed to get things going.
* Is it hard to put into a computer..?
No, not really. In fact, if you've taken out your old broken one then all you have to do is reverse the procedure to install this one.
I will say that fitting this into your machine may be different that when I fitted it into mine, although I'm guessing that the ideas are basically the same.
I will go as far as to say that getting this onto position is as easy as plugging in an external of the same type.
In brief, you take out your old driver, however that is done, then you simply slide this new one into the gap you have made, making sure you screw it tightly into place as vibrations whilst the discs are turning can be a little on the loud side.
So know you've got the driver in position you have to connect the cables that are coming from the HDD and the motherboard. These cables have plastic fittings on the end and can only fit onto where they are supposed to go so there's no real hassles of getting them in the wrong place.
Just remember, if it doesn't fit with ease then it's in the wrong place.
Then you replace the covering of you desk top system and step back, admiring your handy work with a smile on your face....
Trust me, it can't go wrong, unless you hear something snap, then you know things have gone badly wrong and it's time to find someone else to blame for the damage. I usually blame the dog, but that's for something totally different.
* Do I need any special requirements to run this on my desk top..?
You PC does need a few minimum specs to get this running, such as an OS windows 2000 or later, a CPU such as Pentium4 2.0GHz or later RAM of 512MB or more, although 1GB is needed if you're running windows vista or later.
* And what is this drive good for..?
Once It's in position, and snug as a bug in a rug, it's time to give it a test run, slotting in your discs.
It can handle most DVD/CD formats, such as +/-R/RW so your not trapped to one particular disc type.
As for the speeds, well , it has write speeds of up to 22x on DVD and 48x on CD. Then there's read speeds of up to 40x on CD and 16x on DVD.
* What do I think of this then..?
This has been a bit of a bonus for me as it saved me from taking my desk top system outside, putting it in the middle of the road, borrowing my friends steam roller, and running over the entire system whilst laughing hysterically as I trundled repeatedly up and down the now flattened pieces of plastic and metal.
For such a low price I managed to bring my PC back to reality, giving it the chance to read and write discs once more, making it feel a little wanted as I don't spend as much time on it these days. And what's more, it managed to stop me getting arrested for driving up the main street in a steam roller, (again).
Fitting it was a breeze, taking a few minutes to get the old one out and this one in, and getting it up and running took a few more minutes as the drive seemed to do all the work. All I had to do was put in the disc and close the tray. It was up and running in an instant. To be honest, I don't even think I really needed to put in the disc as the drive would have probably found its own drivers online without any hassles.
Once it was up and running I put it through its paces, throwing in as many different types of discs as I had at hand, and this took each and everyone of them without any hassles at all, reading and writing as I wanted it too.
The tray slides out nice and slowly, with a little whirring sound to let you know that something's happening, and when the disc is reading, or writing, it's really pretty quite overall, being about as loud as a standard DVD player is when the disc is put in properly. You can hear it whirring around but it's not enough to put you off what's you're watching on the screen
The only downside, of I had to give one, is that the black front sticks out slightly as it sits on the desktop. Only ever so slightly and if you didn't know you'd never guess, but as I have seen the old one sitting flush then I can notice this new one sticking out.
There is a way of taking off my old front, taking off this new front and swapping them over, making this one look as neat as the original one. But I've not got round to doing that as yet and, as it isn't that noticeable, I can't see me rushing to do it in the near future.
* What about the price..?
This is a cheap as chips, what a ever that means as chips really aren't that cheap these days, well, not to buy anyway, they may be cheap to make?? I don't know.
Anyway, this drive is a nice low price of about £20 - £25, which isn't too bad if you want to replace the CD/DVD drive in your desktop PC.
* Is it worth the money...
Well, I've had this in my desk top for a while now and have actually used it a bit more than I normally do, just to give it a good thrashing, (old bean...what..what..), and it has done exactly what it is supposed to do.
It reads discs at a good pace and writes onto discs at a good pace. I can play a DVD movie on it and watch it as if I was watching it on a 'normal' DVD player.
It handles all DVD/CD formats without any trouble at all.
I mean, what more can a man, or woman, ask for in what is a DVD/CD drive?
So yes, it is worth the money, as for the meagre amount of £20 - £25 you're getting a bargain really.