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How to Convert an Internal DVD Writer to an External

Updated April 17, 2017

The DVD writer installed in your computer might have a number of snazzy features, but portability is not among them. If you need a DVD writer while travelling or otherwise away from your computer, think about converting that internal IDE or SATA drive into a portable external drive that can be used with any computer that is equipped with a USB or FireWire port. Doing this involves purchasing a drive enclosure kit, which is fairly inexpensive, and correctly installing that enclosure on your DVD writer, which is fairly straightforward.

Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws holding the enclosure kit's drive tray in place, following the instructions that came with the enclosure kit.

Remove the drive tray from the enclosure.

Plug the drive tray's IDE or SATA cable into the IDE or SATA port on your optical drive.

Use the screwdriver and the screws that held the DVD writer in place inside your computer to fasten the optical drive to the drive tray.

Remove the front panel from the enclosure (if there is one) and slide the drive tray into the enclosure.

Use the screwdriver to tighten the screws holding the drive tray in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Internal DVD writer (IDE or SATA)
  • Optical drive enclosure kit (IDE or SATA, same as DVD writer)
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Since 2010 Zach Dexter has been writing professionally on a number of topics for various websites, with emphasis on audio production and computers. He also blogs at Zaccus. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College Chicago, where he studied music and audio production.