Alright well I've got a Pioneer DVR-104 in my current PC and I have a DVD-ROM drive leftover from my previous PC and I am considering picking up an Enclosure so I can use it for ripping DVD's to avoid unnecesary wear on my DVD Burner. Do these enclosures have Firewire and USB 2.0 outputs on the back of the unit or is it just 1 type of cable only, already attached? Are there any particular brands of enclosures that any of you would recommend? Do I need to use IDE cables inside of the enclosure? Or audio cables? Are any specific drivers needed for this setup? I just want to make sure I know what I'm getting into before I go and do this. If anyone can provide me with a link with some info on this, or answer any of my questions it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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I've heard of mobile racks for harddrives but not for disc drives. I would use IDE, as it's simpliest (is that a word?). Look into your computer. It's not that hard to do in the end, as you'll only need to connect about 2 or 3 cables.
Unless you don't have the room in your PC, the easiest way is to leave both DVD drives in your PC.
As for external enclosure boxes, if you get the fullsize 5.25" boxes, you can put in a CD drive/DVD drive/etc. These boxes can come as either USB1.1, USB2.0, Firewire or both USB and Firewire. Obviously, having an enclosure box with both USB2.0 and Firewire is the best of both worlds but you will have to pay for it (and you can't use both at once either).
As for the cabling, the enclosure box kits will usually come with all the necessary cables for attaching your drive and the screws for fixing it into place. Drivers are usually not required for WinXP/ME. However, most enclosure kits will come with drivers for Win98. The default drivers will work fine for HDDs and standard optical drives. For recordable drives, you may need to have software that supports writing to that drive as an external drive (for example, CDRDAO and CDRWin won't write to external drives).
As for the audio from an optical drive, most 5.25" boxes will have L and R RCA jacks at the back where the audio comes out. The audio will not be automatically connected to your PC. The USB/Firewire link is for data only.
Well with my CD-RW and DVD-RW taking up both 5.25" Drive slots, unfortunately installation inside the PC isn't really possible. I use CDRWIN for most of my CD based burning as well so I don't think I will be swapping that into the Enclosure and then placing the DVD-ROM drive into the PC as I would only use the DVD-ROM for ripping DVD's, I really don't think its necesary to put that in when its use would be limited to just that. Thanks for all the info though, but one final question...any particular brand of Enclosures I should look out for? I think I'd just get the USB 2.0 as I have easier access to that port on my PC...once again, thanks for all your help.
If it were me, i'd just buy a bigger case!
Midi cases with 3 bays can be had for about £12 ($16) and i daresay you won't find an enclosure for that price.....
Another option, grab a box like this from maplin or radio shack or somewhere
Mount the drive inside, with the power and IDE connector accesible, and just run the two cables out of your PC and into the back of the box when you need them. External drive for under $15 !
If you get an enclosure with FireWire make sure it uses an Oxford chipset. That's all I was told when I picked up a FireWire enclosure for my first DVR-104. There are a lot of brands or unbranded enclosures, just go with whatever looks the best to you (as long as it has the above-mentioned chipset). Inside there's an IDE interface so you just install the drive just as you would inside a computer and you're set. Usually a good idea to get one with a small fan built in to keep things cool. Don't expect to find anything that will be USB or FireWire powered though, that would only be too cool
IMO I'd lose the CD-RW and replace it with the DVD-ROM. I got rid of my CD-RW drive and just use the DVD burner when I need to make CDs. Or maybe put the CD-RW in the enclosure. Heck I hardly ever burn CDs anymore. Maybe even put the burner in the enclosure! I have a Sony 510 in my FireWire enclosure at the moment.
Well new FireWire standards may change that so that there is enough power on the bus to power external drives. You can supposedly already power laptop drives in an enclosure with FireWire. Or at least that's gotta be what this one-off enclosure is that I've got. When plugged in it runs fine, but when not plugged into an outlet I can still access files, albeit slowly. Wierd.
2.5" har drives on www.tomshardware.com
Power Supply Via FireWire or USB
None of the three candidates come with a power supply, because, according to the manufacturers, power is supplied to each of the three via its respective interface. With the USB versions, this worked absolutely flawlessly, as long as a current 2.0 standard USB 2.0 controller was used. The Fujitsu HandyDrive (Data Edition) was not recognized by a system with an Intel Southbridge ICH2 and USB 1.1; same thing for the Video Edition with an old Sony Vaio notebook with FireWire. Tests with a recent Samsung Q10 and a PCI-based FireWire controller ran without a problem.
Things get more critical with FireWire when several devices are strung along, one after the other. In this case, the HandyDrive could not be operated without help from a separate power supply; the load on the FireWire was too heavy.
Take a look at the following case at http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ME-320U2F.
It has USB2 and Firewire (Oxford Semi OXFW911-TQ-A). I converted my HP-200i using this external case and I got excellent results.
I have used my converted drive through the USB interface with the following OS'es: W98 (USB1), WME (USB2) and WXP (USB2).
The firewire port I has been used with: DOS , WME, W2K and WXP.
Note: There are firewire drivers for DOS and they work properly.