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DVD Drive replacement - IDE vs ATA

by ehowells / March 4, 2005 1:52 AM PST

HP A350N PC with internal HP DVD Writer 300C (CD writer and DVD writer combo drive). Spec says this drive uses an IDE interface. Do I need to replace it with an IDE interface drive or can I use an ATA interface drive? Looking at specs on other drives show interface to be IDE (ATA/EIDE/ATAPI). What does that mean?

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ATA drives are IDE
by Ray Harinec / March 4, 2005 3:27 AM PST

ATA is the basic specification. IDE [and EIDE, first E =enhanced] simply means Integrated Drive Electronics i.e. there is a circuit board on / in the drive that controls it. Years ago the drive control was on a separate card.

The connectors that you hook the ribbon cables to on a mobo are IDE controllers for IDE drives, which are ATA drives [but not SCSI].

To confuse you, and all of us further, the CD and DVD drives are called optical and also ATAPI. The PI is a modification to the ATA spec that extended it to cover the CD type drives.

And, for further confusion, the SATA [serial ATA] drives are also IDE. LOL

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ATA drives are IDE
by ehowells / March 4, 2005 3:51 AM PST
In reply to: ATA drives are IDE

Hi Ray, thank you very much for replying to my question. Based on what you have said, as long as I stay away from a SCSI type drive (which may not exist), I can pretty much install any CD/DVD combo drive. Correct?

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(NT) (NT) yes :)
by AInTeL / March 4, 2005 3:53 AM PST
In reply to: ATA drives are IDE
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Yes, with a possible exception
by Ray Harinec / March 4, 2005 3:56 AM PST
In reply to: ATA drives are IDE

to which ports that you can put the combo drives on. Some mobo's will not accept a combo drive as a Master on either the Primary or Secondary IDE port. I know that Soyo mobos insist that any DVD type be a slave.

I have mine set as slave with no master on the Secondary IDE port.

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Yes, with a possible exception
by ehowells / March 4, 2005 4:01 AM PST

Thanks again Ray. I think I have what I need. My current CD/DVD drive is a master so I assume that its replacement would also be a master.

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Sorry to butt in but........
by alidickson / November 13, 2005 9:38 AM PST

Hi Bob, I run into you everywhere I go! Happy I just stumbled upon your discussion in my search to figure out what to buy. I'm looking for a CDR/DVDR+RW internal (I understand USB drives are a little unreliable re: power, or else I'd go that route). I don't know what to buy. I have an HP Pavilion desktop running WinXP/SP2. 40GB master HDD and a 200GB slave HDD. My PC runs 2.7GHz. I have 256 RAM, but have another 256 stick to add to it (once I figure out WHY the monitor won't come on with the extra stick added...??)

I do have a CDR drive now, but when shopping around, it seems that the CDR and DVDR go together.

What do ya'll think of a USB drive (simplicity - I'm not a techie). I added the hard drive, but it wasn't that easy for me. So how simple is a DVDR to install? I do have an available bay.

And I want to spend less than $100 (OK,I hear the laughter!). Seriously though, I've seen some for $79.

Also, what's this discussion on master/slave w/DVDRs? I thought that applied only to HDDs.

Thanks for any advice!

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DVD burner shopping - my method
by linkit / November 13, 2005 3:58 PM PST

''DVD+/-RW DL'' drive will pretty much do it all. That drive will read CDs, DVDs and dual-layer DVDs. You can get one that will write the following media:

CD-R (at least 48X)
DVD-R (16X = max speed available)
DVD+R (16X = max speed available)
DVD-RAM (I don't use this media, but others do)

The speeds in parentheses are what I shoot for in purchasing the drive. Once I get those three criteria met, I try to maximize the other speeds. You can get a nice OEM drive (just the drive) for about $40 USD. You can get a retail version (comes with the drive and burning software) for a little more if you do some searching. I like to use the DVD burner search too on NewEgg.com.


I set both DVD-R and DVD+R to 16X and search the results for the good deals and highly rated products.

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SCSI drive do exist...in minority...
by martylk2 / November 13, 2005 8:32 PM PST
In reply to: ATA drives are IDE

there's, like, a handful.

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No wonder you didn't explain ATA...
by martylk2 / November 13, 2005 8:30 PM PST
In reply to: ATA drives are IDE

Nobody can. There isn't an explanation other than AT Attachment. AT is something IBM thought up.

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Very interesting link to ATA...
by martylk2 / November 13, 2005 8:26 PM PST
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DVD Drive replacement - IDE vs ATA
by VAPCMD / November 13, 2005 9:28 PM PST

Agree with most of previous comments and add:
unless your system offers SATA interface....stick with compact disc drives with the ATA/IDE interface.

The other thing is the bigger and more popular the brand name is, the more likely it will be supported in terms of firmware updates (user loadable updates to correct minor problems and conflicts) and usable with software programs supporting compact disc drives. For example....products like Norton Ghost will allow you to create backup images to CDs but they do not support ALL drives. From that perspective...Plextor offers some excellent products that usually perform well compared to others, that get firmware updates to correct minor problems and are usually supported in SW programs using compact disc drives. Downside is they're priced on the uppper side of the scale. Kije everything else...you (usually) get what you pay for.


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