How to Use a Laptop DVD Drive on a Desktop

Written by quinn marshall
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How to Use a Laptop DVD Drive on a Desktop
Many laptops have a removable DVD drive. (dvd drive laser closeup image by .shock from

Some laptops have a DVD drive that can be removed from the computer to make room for a secondary battery. Some computer users may wish to use this removable drive as a temporary DVD player/burner in their desktop. To use a laptop DVD drive on a desktop, it has to be fitted with an IDE connector that allows the drive to connect to the desktop's IDE DVD-drive cable.

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Things you need

  • IDE connector
  • Laptop DVD drive

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  1. 1

    Purchase an IDE connector designed to connect laptop DVD drives to desktop computers.

  2. 2

    Remove the DVD drive from the laptop or purchase a laptop DVD drive from an online or electronics store. Some removable laptop drives have a tab that needs to be shifted; others have a button that releases the drive.

  3. 3

    Plug the connector into the port on the back of the laptop's DVD drive. Press it firmly to make sure that it is on all the way.

  4. 4

    Remove your desktop's computer shell or side wall. Many desktops have a slide-on case held in place with small, Philips-head screws. Others have a latch that will release the desktop's case when pulled.

  5. 5

    Identify your desktop's DVD drive cable. If you're not sure which one it is, consult the manual that came with your specific computer.

  6. 6

    Plug the desktop's DVD drive cable into the IDE connector on the laptop's DVD drive.

  7. 7

    Restart the desktop. Once the computer has restarted, navigate to "My Computer" by clicking on the start menu, then "Computer." Look under the Removable Media list for the new DVD drive. It may say something generic like "DVD Burner," or it may list the drive's manufacturer and model type.

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