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Digital Video Disk drive
by John Anthony


DVD (Digital Video Disk drive), installs in one of the external 5 1/4 inch drive bays in the PC. It is secured by machine screws. Some manufacturers offer special rail-like systems that mount on the DVD. These allow the drive to be removed from the PC without having to remove screws.

It is designed to optically access data stored on a DVD. A laser moves back and forth near the disk surface and accesses data at a very fast rate.

Data between the DVD drive and the motherboard is carried on a 40-pin IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) cable on older units and with a 7-pin SATA data cable on newer units.

Power is provided to unit on newer drives with a 15 pin SATA power connector if the DVD uses SATA for data transfers.
On older units a 4-pin cable from the power supply provides power to it.

There are two types of DVD drives that typically go into PCs.
  • DVD-ROM (Read Only Memory) can read DVDs and CDs and costs about $40.

  • DVD-RAM (Random Access Memory) units can read and write DVDs. They can also read CDs and cost about $100.

A standard DVD disk stores up to 4.7 Gbytes on one side of the disk. Digitally formatted movies can be stored on a standard DVD in MPEG-2 format.


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