A while back my daughter was in a bit of a dilemma when her laptop went, as she put it, "pear shaped". So she asked me to have a look at it, after telling me what problems she had had with it, and from the sounds of her explanation I instantly thought that it was a virus of some kind.
After a good look into her system, scanning it with everything it would allow me too, I came to the conclusion that the only way to get her system back up and running was to do a complete clean install, adding the extra programs after I had the main body up and running again.
Sadly, unbeknown to me until I tried to re-install the OS from the disk, my daughter had some how broken her disk drive,
At first I thought it may just be a driver issue but, after trying the disk drive in a different laptop, I realised that, as there was no trouble with it 'spinning' the discs, there was something wrong with the actual laser itself probably from her watching and listening to all her, 'trendy' up to date music and movies.
So before I could go about re-installing the OS from the disk I first had to replace the disk drive itself, which delayed me a while and made my daughter become a little, shall we say 'withdrawn from her daily fix of computering.
In my search for an internal disk drive I came across many different types, with some very well known names stamped on them, such as Samsung, HP and even LG, but the one that sung out for me more than the others was from the well known company called Sony.
To be honest though the main reason it sang out to me was the bargain cut price that it was selling for, considering that I had seen this particular one on sale for around the £30 price tag, I managed to bag it for half that price in my local PC accessory shop.
Anyway, the precise name for the bargain I got my hands on that day was called the Sony Optiarc AD-7703S.
** FIRSTLY the STATS...
* Internal SATA disk drive
* Tray loading with front access
* DVD+- RW (+-R DL) / DVD-RAM drive
* 128mm deep x 129mm wide x 13mm thick
* 170 grams in weight
* Read/write speeds are 24X for CD/5-8X for DVD
* Disc labelling technology
* Label flash technology
* Compatible with all windows OS including windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)
* Supports many formats, including CD Text, CD-DA (audio), CD-I, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Video CD, CD-ROM, DVD-Video, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL
** MY OPINION...
As I said earlier I got my hands on this 'almost' fragile looking device at a knock down price, in fact it was that cheap that I made sure it had a guarantee just in case something went wrong with it.
When I got it home I quickly fitted it into the laptop and it was picked up by the system instantly, which was a bonus in itself.
When you first look at it, it doesn't look like a strong casing but you should remember that it is an internal device and once inside your laptop its 'fragile' looks shouldn't matter one bit, although it is not as fragile as it looks.
Along the front of there is a black plastic front which has a small list of which DVD/CD can be used. This plastic front can be taken off and replaced with the front from the laptop that you are fitting it into if it isn't flush, luckily I didn't have to which made my life a bit sweeter.
And before you think that fitting it into your laptop is a bit complicated I can defiantly say that it is as easy as sliding a DVD into a DVD player, in a way.
It is a matter of unscrewing one screw, sliding your old disk drive out, which is easier if you've opened it first, you may have to unscrew the little 'cradle' which the unit sits on if the screw holes are in a different place, but this all makes sense when you look at it. Then it's a matter of sliding this new one in and re-screwing the single screw back home... job done.
And if you feel that you don't know which screw to choose it's the one with a little image of a lock on it on the bottom of your laptop.
Once fitted I gave it a bit f a test run, firstly re-installing the OS and all the bits and bobs that my daughter wanted back onto it, (being very wary of possibly re-installing the root cause of why her laptop had 'gone pear shaped, in the first place).
Then once I was satisfied with it being back up and running I went through many stages of 'burning', both onto DVDs, Cds, writable and re-writeble, having no trouble at all with the speed and quality.
It was then a matter of watching some movies, well bits of them anyway, just to see if the new disk driver laser was in anyway faulty, and it wasn't, it worked a treat, so I hadn't bought a 'dodgy' one I had just got a bargain.
The read/write speeds were as quick as any other disk drives I had used and it is capable of reading/writing almost all types of DVDs/CD s, (see the list above)so buying the correct discs should never be a problem.
For instance I can burn a music CD, 700MB in a matter of minutes, although image and other data 'Burns' depend on the size of the files them selves.
What more can I say about this little laptop device? Well, if you are on the hunt for a new Disk drive then you can't go wrong with this Sony unit, especially if you can get it at a bargain price of course. But even at its full price of around £30.00 you are certainly getting it at a good price.