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Old 12-03-2004, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Made an external DVD-R an internal (help)

I was going to sell this computer (but may not right away) so I took apart my DVD burner, a LaCie Firewire enclosure with a basic 2x DVD-R drive in it. The enclosure was nice, and came off smoothly, leaving me with an average, run of the mill IDE drive, which I put in my box, swapping out a 56x CD reader.

However, Windows (XP, Sp1a) does not recognize the drive in My Computer. It's not in Computer Management/Device Manager either. It has power; the tray opens and closes and the LED light(s) work.

I know it's a Panasonic 2x DVD-RW drive.

Any suggestions?


Oh yeah, now that I have an empty enclosure (it has a power supply, fan, and Firewire to IDE converter), what if anything stops me from buying an internal 300GB hard drive with a 16MB cache spinning at 7200RPM and putting it in that enclosure, BAM! instant external hard drive, very high capacity, Firewire (400MB/s) interface.
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm...I can't think of any reason why it won't work other than the fact that maybe it was meant to be a firewire drive and not an IDE drive.

-Dan The Man
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Two things.

1. Check the actual interface of the drive. Usually if they're included as external retail units, they should work, but sometimes they are setup with unusual controller card setups which can cause problems if you try to make an external drive internal.

2. As for putting in a really fast HDD into the external case, you're most likely going to run into both transfer-speed problems, as well as heat problems. Depending on how good the external case is, you probably don't have more than a little 30mm fan in there (if a fan at all) and a ultra-fast HDD is gonna get hot in that little box (vs's an open-air drive in your case).
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Old 12-03-2004, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Pretty sure it's a regular internal drive in an external case... This is really a long story, but basically I bought it with a Mac G4 tower and they said I'd have to do that, make it an internal. For other reasons I took the G4 tower back and got this PC. Like I said, long story, but I was advised it would work (albeit not "officially") when I bought it. Leading me to consider the jumpers.

Oh yeah, since I put the DVD-R in, Nero's been crashing the whole system when I start it. That tells me Windows can see it, but isn't. Hmm.

The actual interface of the drive is IDE. Hooks up perfectly to the IDE cable. It's in my box now, alongside a CDRW/DVDROM drive, and they both connect exactly the same way.

I would say the enclosure is VERY good, but the fan is about 30mm. The drive gets covered in an aluminum slip, but there's a good amount of air space in there otherwise. The drive's like 16" deep, 3" tall, 7" across. It's big. Not saying it would be perfect for heat, but it's not like my external HD, a Western Digital. This one's much smaller, little bigger than a 5" drive.

Here's a pic of the Firewire enclosure I pulled the DVD-R drive out of. The Acer 56x CD-ROM reader I took out for the DVD-R drive (they're the same size) is sitting atop it, backed into the far corner, so you can see the difference in size.



LaCie makes some pretty good stuff. If you want to wear a grin for the rest of the day (no kidding) look up their Bigger Disk Extreme. 1,600GB RAID array of high-performance 400GB drives. They're not WD SATA Raptors, but they're supposed to be pretty good.
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Old 12-03-2004, 03:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, what are the jumpers set to? The first thing on the IDE chain should be set to master, and the second to slave. If this is how they are set and you're still having problems, try setting both of them to CS (cable select) and see if they act differently.
Oh yeah, and you might wanna go into your bios and make sure that your secondary master and secondary slave are set to "auto"
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It was the jumper cables! Both drives were set to master. So I set the DVD burner to Slave; now it works fine.

As an added bonus, I jacked 256MB of RAM out of that computer (all it had, so sad) so now I have a gig of RAM.

@rasputeena - Actually, I read up on this and read that the device furthest from the controller is the master drive and the one in the middle is the slave. Your explanation, the reverse, makes more sense to me; I guess I'd have to use CS to find out for sure. But with them set to master and slave, that's how they read.

I haven't tried to burn a DVD since then (as I have none) but I'm sure this will make it more reliable. I don't know what the transfer rate over IDE is, but if it's less than or equal to Firewire's 400MB/s rate, then the Firewire would be limited by that. In any case, it's "closer" to the system as an internal unit. I think external optical drives are dumb; my laptop was making coasters hooked up to that burner, so I was only using it for the desktop PC anyway.

I'll be getting rid of this computer, but it's OK, that was only a 2X burner. 16X burners are on Newegg for $55-$60.
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My computer:

AMD Athlon64 3200+ S939
1024MB Dual Channel DDR400 Corsair XMS with LED activity indicators
256MB GeForce 6600 PCI-E by Chaintech
Aspire X-Navigator case with 500W PSU, 6x80mm fans, 1x120mm fan
Gigabyte nForce4/PCI-E S939 mobo
80GB 7200MB 8MB WD IDE HDD
16X DVD±R Dual Layer burner
Memory card read/writer
...and a Led Zeppelin sticker!
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