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I need a new DVD burner (internal) for my father-in-law's computer. He's apparently broken the current one - he forgot to push the tray back in after doing something and hit it with his chair.

Given this, I'd like to get him a slot-loading DVD burner, so as to avoid the problem entirely. I need an internal device, and I'll be mounting in a 5 1/4" bay. He doesn't need any super-spec device - as long as it can read/write all the standard formats, it's good.

I see a few options at newegg.com, but they all have mixed reviews. Are there any out there that are generally seen as reliable?

How does one go about mounting slimline devices in a standard 5 1/4" bay? Is there a standard faceplate kit for that?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I just finished spec'ing out a computer build that nearly required a slim optical drive. Frankly, I'm not a fan of slot loaders at all, so there's not one I can particularly recommend.

But mounting a slim drive in a full-height 5.25" bay should be doable. Not pretty, but doable. I don't know of a mounting bracket offhand, which is what you'd really want, but I expect you'll be able to juryrig something if you can't find an existing product.

You'll need a slim SATA 7P-to-std adapter cable (like this one -- this is an example, not a product recommendation) to hook up the final product. The optical drive itself won't come with one (unless you're buying a retail version instead of an OEM drive).

Update:
Thanks to Molly's answer, I found the Digistor company that provides bezel kits (including single-slimline and dual-slimline mounts) and a 5.25" SATA slot-loading drive (available in DVD-RW and Blu-Ray varieties):

dual-slimline drive mount

5.25" SATA slot-loading drive

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ha! they've even got a combo bezel that'll fit a slimline 3.5" floppy drive under the upper slimline optical: digistor.com/… –  quack quixote Jan 3 '10 at 12:51
    
Presto! We have a winner! The Digistore drive is what I've just ordered for the job at hand. Thanks! –  Michael Kohne Jan 3 '10 at 13:45
    
Post-install: This is working fine, but it turns out he's got a curved-front case. A tray-loading drive would normally push open the little spring-loaded door. For this install, I've removed the sprint-loaded door. Not ideal, but it's definitely not going to get broken again! –  Michael Kohne Jan 22 '10 at 15:07
    
good deal! i'm not surprised about the case's spring-loaded door. glad it worked out for you. –  quack quixote Jan 22 '10 at 15:26

Enter the Plextor PX-DB608AL dual bay slot-loading DVD writer:

alt text

Plextor also had a full size slot-loader, but it seems no longer available.

alt text

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this one seems to be a 2007 vintage device; all the references i found online suggest it's sold with one EIDE drive (not SATA, tho you could certainly replace the EIDE or add your own SATA drive). –  quack quixote Jan 3 '10 at 12:46
    
+1 just for posting the model and adding the link later... searching for the model is what led me to the product i listed in my answer. –  quack quixote Jan 3 '10 at 12:52

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