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Considering new CD drive for my venerable Solo 2150 1.5...Any recommendations?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Eran Ludvick, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Eran Ludvick

    Eran Ludvick Guest

    I have a Solo 2150 version 1.5 laptop with a Pentium 3-600 Mobile CPU,
    160 Megs of RAM, 6 Gig harddrive and running a dual Win98SE/WinXP Pro

    I was hoping to change out the stock CD-ROM drive for a DVD/CR-RW
    drive or splurge on a slim internal DVD-R/-RW drive.

    I've narrowed it down to two drives now but I'm not sure whether or
    not they will fit in my system and in the case of the DVD-R drive if I
    have enough horsepower to operate it adequately.

    Here are the two models I'm interested in:

    - TEAC 24X CD/10X CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo Drive Model: DW-224EA93
    (Says it supports Gateway model laptops)

    - TOSHIBA 24X10X24X / 2X DVD-RW Drive Model: SD-R6112
    (Also says it supports Gateway model laptops)

    And there's also a Sony model that seems to be similiar to the TEAC
    drive speedwise but it says you'll need an OEM housing (I'm assuming
    this means the housing my current CD-ROM drive is enclosed in?)

    I'd prefer the DVD-R drive if it'd work, but the Sony one is
    attratctive too price-wise.

    Are there any cheap/affordable slim +R drives I should know about?

    I know I'm asking alot, but if you could help me out here, it'd mean
    alot to me.
    Eran Ludvick, Apr 22, 2004
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  2. Eran Ludvick

    bobchang Guest

    Drives are fairly generic (but not entirely). But your biggest problem,
    even if you get a drive that works, is: since every laptop's cd/dvd
    drive's face plate (the front that has the eject button and the "hole") is
    custom (are very rarely interchangeable.

    How would I start? I would take the face plate off my Solo 2150's cd rom
    drive, then go looking for a replacement drive that'll be able to use that
    face plate. If the glove doesn't fit, then you must acquit. If it fits,
    then you can go to the next step: determine whether that drive will work
    in your system...
    bobchang, Apr 23, 2004
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  3. Can't help you with what will fit in your system, but in regards to
    your hardware, you appear to have enough for good DVD decoding and
    playback. I've read elsewhere that for good playback, 400MHz Celeron
    would be the minimum for good playback. Note that in a laptop, 400MHz
    would be on a 66MHz FSB, whereas your PIII 600 is on a 100MHz FSB, so
    that won't be a choke point.

    From my own experience, I get pretty good DVD playback (occasional
    jerkiness, but not overly bad or annoying) on a Pentium I 233MHz
    laptop, 64MB RAM, running the DVD via the PC card (PCMCIA) slot.
    Anonymous Jack, Apr 23, 2004
  4. Eran Ludvick

    Eran Ludvick Guest

    I was fairly sure that DVD playback wouldn't be a problem. I've
    played a few DivX encoded AVIs and there was no slowdown at all.

    Its nice to have some reassurance though. I still am kinda worried
    about the fairly weak video processor (ATI Rage Mobility with 4 megs
    of video ram) but I've heard of other people running DVDs on Solo
    2150s without any problems.

    When I refer to worrying about the DVD-R drive any my horsepower, I
    was mainly worried about being able to burn DVD-R-RW discs. I'm not
    sure exactly how much the processor or harddrive space will affect its
    operation. I understand that notebook DVD-R drives are less powerful
    than their desktop counterparts, but I'm not exactly thrilled about my
    harddrive's chances of keeping up with one.
    Eran Ludvick, Apr 23, 2004
  5. Eran Ludvick

    Eran Ludvick Guest

    I didn't consider that. I just assumed that the placement was
    standard or would be. The advertisements I've been browsing say the
    drive *is* compatible with Gateway model laptops howeve, whatever that
    really means.

    Thanks for giving me the heads up on this. I never would have known
    until I had the drive in hand!
    Eran Ludvick, Apr 24, 2004
  6. even if you get a drive that works, is: since every laptop's cd/dvd
    It depends on the laptop and your aesthetic sense. Most modern laptops
    use a very low-profile faceplate which is more or less exactly the
    area of the front of the drive, and rectangular. So color is really
    the only major issue. Some older laptops used to have more elaborate
    moldings, and/or unusual shapes; rounded ends, for example.

    By and large, a given manufacturer will *generally* use the same
    mounting screw positions between drives. Unfortunately, that isn't
    entirely reliable :(

    Note: You can of course hack it - cut off the posts on the back of the
    faceplate, put the drive in the unit, and work out where to glue the
    face onto the front of the drive.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards, Apr 24, 2004
  7. Eran Ludvick

    bobchang Guest

    Hacking it ain't gonna cut it. Why? 'Cause the eject buttons are not
    located in the same place between drives (unless one drive is a close
    cousin of another, such as an SD-2502 and a SD-2503...) Some face plates
    are curved, while some are rectangular shaped, while still others are
    odd-shaped, and the placements of the face plates are hugely different.

    Anyway, once you've tried to do it - just once - of putting a face plate
    from say, a Toshiba drive, onto a Matsushita drive, you'll know...
    bobchang, Apr 25, 2004
  8. Eran Ludvick

    Eran Ludvick Guest

    Okay, I just took a casual look at my cdrom drive. Let me get
    something straight before I go on. By face plate, you mean the outer
    plate facing of the drive where the eject button is located?

    If so, I don't see how it can come apart from the drive unit itself.
    It looks like its actually a part of the drive. I know some drives
    are sold without face plates and others (probably brand specific
    models?) do have them.

    If the drive size matches up with my current drive size (face-plate
    wise) shouldn't I be able to just swap faceplate and all?

    I know the chances of an exact size matching are probably slim
    considering all the different manufacturers, but I don't see how this
    would be impossible unless there's something I'm missing.
    Eran Ludvick, Apr 25, 2004
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