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I want to give an older parent a replacement computer. It would be used for internet/youtube, email, Word, DVD playback and backing up CDs. I've already identified the Compaq 100B as a great choice, in part because of the small size.

But one thing I'm concerned about is the sideways mounting of the DVD drive in this model and a number of other ultra slim case designs. Since it's not slot loading I just don't grasp how it works in the vertical orientation. Does the tower need to be placed on its side like a desktop, or is there some trick to it?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Most drives have tabs to hold the disk in place enter image description here

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I've seen some drives with much larger manual swivel tabs, too. –  Shinrai Nov 4 '11 at 23:00
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There's no trick. The DVD/CD tray has a little lip which you rest the disc on.

It can look unstable and if you knock the tray it probably will fall out, but once in there's no performance penalty in using the drive this way.

If you doubtful that your parents will be able to cope then I'd go for a "normal" horizontal drive. It'll be more familiar and it is fail safe if they knock the tray.

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