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DVD burner - Dell computer - can I mix hardware?

In 2004 I purchased a Dell Dimension 4600, 45 Intel Pentium 4. 2.80Ghz, 533 fsb and 512KB cache. 80Gb IDE (7.200rpm) Hard drive.
with a 48X DVD/CDRW combo drive.

I thought I had a DVD rewriter, but now I have come to want to burn my videos to DVDs, I find this is not available on my machine!

I will need to install a DVD burner. Can someone please advise me if I can put a piece of hardware that is not made by Dell into my computer, as someone has told me the size of the slot is different.

If I dont need to buy Dell, what burner would be appropriate here?

Also I have heard that it is a good idea to 'separate' my hard drive for photos/videos etc. Is this correct, and if so, how do I go about doing this?

Is there software you would suggest for editing videos?

Any help with this would be appreciated.

Dianne, Norfolk, England

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Of course you can. . .

In reply to: DVD burner - Dell computer - can I mix hardware?

As far as the PC is concerned, a DVD burner is just an optical drive. It's the software that makes it work. Find one that fits your budget. Think about all the home built machines (I have three) that use mix and match parts. Bay size is pretty much standard for optical drives.

I'm not familiar with your term "seperate" the drive. Maybe creating another "Partition" is what you're referring to. If so, it can be a royal PITA. To do this you need specialized software (to repartition a working drive) and you risk loosing everything. I don't recommend repartitioning a working drive.

I'd suggest saving what you can't afford to loose onto optical media such as CD-R, CD-RW, or with your new drive, DVD-R or DVD-RW. DVD disks can save anything. I use DVD-RW disks for all my backups as they can hold over four Gigabytes of data and the new dual layer disks can save twice that much.


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Dell harware - DVD drive

In reply to: Of course you can. . .

Thanks for your comments. But as a novice to the computer world can I just check with you again, as I am not sure I explained myself well enough, because I am still not sure I have the answer I was looking for.

I quote again my system details.

In 2004 I purchased a Dell Dimension 4600, 45 Intel Pentium 4. 2.80Ghz, 533 fsb and 512KB cache. 80Gb IDE (7.200rpm) Hard drive.
with a 48X DVD/CDRW combo drive.

My question is: Does the 48X DVD/CDRW combo drive have the facility to save video to DVD. Or is it only the CD drive that is the writer?

I have Nero software.

Apologies for my ignorance.

many thanks for your help.


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DVD/CDRW combo drive...

In reply to: Dell harware - DVD drive

The 48X DVD/CDRW combo drive can read and burn CDs, but only read DVDs. This type of combo drive used to be standard before DVD burners became mainstream, allowing you to backup your data on CDs, but still watch DVDs. If you wish to burn DVDs, you will need to purchase a DVD burner.

When searching for a burner, keep in mind that Dell, HP, and most other computer manufacturers do not make their own optical drives. They are actually made by companies such as Sony, Samsung, and LiteOn and customized (color/style) for the computer manufacturer. (The same goes for all components...the manufacturer simply assembles all of the parts to produce the finished unit.) While some computers do require you to but a part directly from the manufacturer, any DVD burner should be fine for your Dell Dimension 4600. Just try to find a color match (if it matters to you), and follow the instructions included with the burner. If something goes wrong, you can always take it back. Also, your Nero burning software should work with the new drive (I say should because I have seen versions that are locked to a specific drive), but burning software is almost always included with the new burner anyways.

Hope this helps,

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DVD/CDRW combo drive

In reply to: DVD/CDRW combo drive...

Dear John

Thanks for your comments. I can now go forward armed with the knowledge I should have had in the first place !


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One Small Caveat

In reply to: DVD burner - Dell computer - can I mix hardware?

A lot of Dell system cases are designed such, that if you don't buy a drive from Dell, it will look pretty god awful ugly with the new/additional drive in there. On Optiplex cases (thankfully only the GX2xx series), the case around the optical drive actually juts out a bit, and can make it more difficult to put in discs to the non-Dell drive. If you can find one, it might be worth considering a slot-loading drive, instead of a tray loading one. If you do get a slot loader however, remember NEVER to use mini-CDs or DVDs in them. They'll get stuck and result in costly repairs.

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Dell system - DVD drive- Can I mix hardware

In reply to: One Small Caveat

Thanks for you comments. I'll look further into this. Maybe I will have to buy Dell hardware after all!


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