Is it possible to install old CD Rom drives into a new computer?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by MattM1124, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. MattM1124

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    2
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    Hey everyone,

    I have about 3 older computers laying around the house. I was wondering if it would be worth saving any of the parts, such as the cd roms or other parts just incase one of our newer computers need something. Would I be able to install one of the old cd rom drives into a newer computer or would I need a disc with the drive for it to install? I think I would need a disc so it wouldn't do any good to save the old cd rom drives but wanted to make sure.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,648
    2,346
    Hello,

    As long as the computer has a parallel ata interface (the wide flat-band connection) the older cd-rom drives should work.
    http://www.hardwarebook.info/ATA_Internal
    Most operating systems have standard drivers to work with them.

    Bertus
     
  3. MattM1124

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    2
    0
    My bottom drive on my computer stopped working. So I should be able to just pop in a drive from an older computer and have it work? When I plug it in, will the computer find the new driver automatically?
     
  4. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    The drivers for CDRoms have been standardized for years, there aren't any to download. You just have to worry about having the proper interface, some modern computers are being sold that don't have parallel ATA interfaces, only SATA.

    Honestly, considering the price of modern CDroms there's no reason to keep them. I scrap stuff like that for parts all the time. I'm actually right now taking a break from sorting through my last diassasembly run =) You should see my living room, looks like an electronics catalog exploded.

    After I get the bits from the last desoldering session put away there's two CDRoms on the block for chopping.
     
    panic mode likes this.
  5. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
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    You have a few options.

    If you dont have onboard interfacing for the older CDrom, your next option would be to purchase or acquire a PCI PATA card. However, like sceadwian said, it would be cheaper to pick up a new CD rom for the same or less than the card you would need. And the new CDRom would most definately be faster, more reliable and have more reading and writing options, like say..DVD +/-RW and such.

    Also the firmware for the "book" updates to writing and reading of different disc types would now be supported.

    For instance, remember the old CDR roms were Orange or Yellow or blue?

    now they look just like a store bought CD. Well a 1998 CDRom drive wont "see" these types of disks let alone write to them.
     
  6. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
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    A 'CD Rom' drive won't write to any disk, so don't worry about that. ;)

    More seriously, as long as the old drive was connected to a standard IDE cable in the old machine, it should work fine in any other. Just make sure the Master/Slave jumper is set the same as the one you replace.

    The REALLY old CD-ROMs used dedicated interfaces, which varied from make to make - either on a dedicated plug-in card or an extra connector on some sound cards.

    These were not IDE compatible and each needed it's own specific driver.

    Some CD/DVD drives used SCSI interfaces, which has a larger (50 Pin) connector.
     
  7. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    In general all computer parts are interchangeable unless you're stuck with an old computer with unique parts like Dell and HP used to make that only fit their own computers.
    I haven't ever seen (15 years or so) a proprietary connection for a CD drive or hard drive though sometimes they have a physically weird shape that doesn't fit most computers.

    Even if you don't have the driver disk for a device you can usually find it online and get it working.
     
  8. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Then why do I have several dozen sticks of memory that can't be used in any modern machine and some not in older one's? I have a couple CPU's that won't work in any modern and even older systems. Video cards that rely on specific versions of an AGP bus that won't work on machines older than a a year or two before the specification release etc...

    I'm sorry but the statement that in general all computer parts are interchangeable is blatantly false. Mass storage devices are a special case, and even in that case there are many caveats.

    I've also had many issues with devices in specific systems because of alterations to a basic spec which conflict with some underlying function of the system as a whole. PCs while better now days than they were are anything but universally compatible.
     
  9. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    Obviously if you lack the interface required it will not work. The issue isn't that the part only fits one exact type of computer but that computers have different feature sets which change over time. They do however have a very good history of backwards compatibility... most AGP video cards will support several varieties of AGP. IDE and SATA have many backwards compatible modes.

    My statement wasn't a direct answer to using an ancient device in a modern PC but a general comment that parts should be salvaged and can be used elsewhere. Parts that don't seem to work anywhere are definitely an exception in my experience. I may have been unclear but I stand by my comments.
     
  10. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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  11. coldpenguin

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
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    Perhaps should have been more specific in the answer.
    For Inputs and outputs, there are several categories, within which most devices are interchangeable:
    For example, Direct IO, could be broken down into:
    serial - parallel - USB
    generally anything with a serial port, will plug into anything else with a serial port. Any parallel port will plug into any other parallel port (well, ok, 25pin standard).
    Any USB port is 'pin compatible' with any USB port, however, there are at least 5 different standards on the form factor here.

    With disks, you have
    ATA (this is PATA, IDE and EIDE), SCSI, SATA and SAS
    Most old CD drives fit into the ATA standard, and will plug into any ATA port. SCSI will not plug into anything but SCSI. There are several form factors, which can use changing cables to make them fit other form factors.
    SATA and SAS basically have four form factors, one which is hot-swap, one which is non-hot-swap, these can be changed with cables (and a power supply).
    There are also two multilane standards, internal and external. SAS is generally backwards compatible to SATA, i.e. in general a SATA disk can be plugged into a SAS controller (it isn't actually compatible, but most manufacturers put in the little extra code). However SAS expanders cannot be plugged into SATA controllers.

    With Memory, there are lots of different 'standards'. There is DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and each of those have a high and low voltage version, and that is just the last 5 years. These are physically different formats, to stop people from damaging the components. However, in general for home use, any DDR chip will fit in any DDR slot. In servers it is a little different.

    The same idea is behind processors. Originally AMD and Intel were pin compatible. Now they have different layouts to ensure there is no damage if the wrong chip is attempted to be used.

    Basically, any device can be taken from a machine, and used with an interface of similar vintage and type if it exists in a newer machine. My 16 year old 4 speed DVD reader will work in my current server, as I have an IDE interface, however, it is going to be much slower than the 56speed DVD/RW that I have.
     
  12. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
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    One thing no one mentioned to the op is the fact that most newer IDE drives use 80 conductor IDE cable, these are not compatible with the older drives that use the 40 pin IDE cable..... if you try to connect the old drive to a newer PC using the new 80 conductor IDE cable, you will see smoke come out of the drive and possible the mobo... (trust me on his one, I have seen people do it... as I sat back and waited to say, "I told you so.")

    B. Morse
     
  13. coldpenguin

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    165
    9
    Are you sure you are not getting confused between 44pin IDE and 40 pin IDE? (and given the question, I am expecting the OP to never come across the 44pin variant)

    80 and 40 is compatible, so long as you ensure that orientation is OK (I have done it enough times, 80 pin was chosen for ground plane/data integrity reasons, not extra connections to the drive). 40pin connectors as a standard had orientation lumps, whereas 80pin does not.
    40 to 44 pin is still acceptable, if you are very careful, but I have seen flames before with that (and you require an extra connector usually)
     
  14. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    499
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    Problem being even over a 5 year period that statement is not true even generally.
    I've had two machines that not one single main part was compatible with the other, and neither was 'ancient' There are too many exceptions to state that as a generally true assumption.

    I take that back, both power supplies were ATX but that's the only thing I can think of.
     
  15. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    I simply meant that in general parts from one computer will be usable in some different computer. Whether it will be usable between the two computers you own is a different matter.
    I agree with what you said, it's just the matter of my original wording being too vague.
     
  16. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Which is why I said something =) Mind you, EVERYTHING said in a forum online will likely be searchable for an indefinite period of time. I might seem like a nit picker, clarity of intention is all I'm aiming for. My apologies for being a linguistic slave driver. I'm not any better myself most of the time.
     
  17. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    655
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    True enough, I know where you're coming from and I agree I wasn't specific enough. I didn't take offense, don't worry about me.
     
  18. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    499
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    Not so much worried, but I do try to be respectful, even if I am contradictory frequently.

    That being said given modern standards compared to a few years ago, I wonder where we'll be 5 years from now. Modern technology has reached the point we're actually heading forwards for low power stuff but backwards for processing power with things such as netbooks (which I'm sure will shape up nicely in the next 5 years)

    USB 2.0 is current a dominating force in the market, 3.0 is on the horizon, but I see 2.0 really sinking in for the long haul for a WIDE variety of devices, including external monitors, for the simple sake that you can add more bandwidth simply by adding more controllers on the appropriate bus.
     
  19. gemologist

    New Member

    Jan 13, 2014
    2
    1
    I have a newer motherboard, namely the ECS H61H2-M2 And I have been out of Desktop computers for a long while... I wanted to put a CDr/rw drive in and the drive has a 40pin IDE...

    What kind of converter/connector would I need, or is it possible?

    I have a graphics card, 2 sticks of ram, hard drive, and that's about it right now.
    Not sure what the port is called that the HDD plugs into, but could that work/what is it called?
     
  20. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,392
    497
    You have 4 sata ports. It means you can use 4 sata devices, such as 4 sata hard drives or 4 sata cd-rom drives or any combination of hard drives and cd-rom drives.

    You have no pata (IDE) ports. If you want to use pata devices, you will need an adapter like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812228196 Read the reviews that people posted, there are often the problems and solutions in there. If you don't like this specific adapter, there are a few other adapters.

    Or a controller like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158084 This card goes into one of your PCI-e x1 slot, you have two of them so you should have one free. There are a few similar cards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...NodeId=1&name=PCI Express to SATA / IDE Card Read the reviews.
     
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