Most modern laptops are equipped with a CD/DVD-RW drive also known as an optical disc drive which allows it to read and write data from or to a CD/DVD disc. All laptop CD/DVD drives are shaped the same but they all have different face plates also know as front bezels. On the picture above you can see three different laptop CD/DVD drives with different face plates/front bezels.

When you are replacing a failed CD/DVD drive, you have to make sure that the face plate from the old drive will fit your new drive.

On the picture below you can see two different types of connectors found in modern CD/DVD optical disc drives. One drive has a SATA connector and the other one has an older slim ATAPI connector.

An optical disc drive with a SATA connector is not interchangeable with an optical disc drive with a slim ATAPI connector and vice versa. In other words, if your laptop motherboard comes with a SATA connector for the optical drive, you can only use CD/DVD drives with SATA connectors.

On the next picture I compare a SATA connector used in laptop hard drives with a SATA connector used in CD/DVD drives. As you see, these two connectors are a little bit different. The data connector (right connector) is shaped similarly for both drives, but the power connector (left connector) is shaped differently.

By the way, you can connect a 2.5″ laptop SATA hard drive to a desktop computer using same cables as you use for a regular 3.5″ desktop hard drive.

In order to connect a Slimline SATA optical CD/DVD drive to a desktop computer, you’ll have to purchase the Slimline SATA Cable.

If you are replacing the CD/DVD disc drive in your laptop with a new one, make sure your new drive is compatible with the laptop. The best way to find a new optical disc drive is searching by the manufacturer’s part number found on the old drive.

When you install an optical drive which is not compatible with your laptop, it will not be recognized by the BIOS or you’ll get an IDE #1 ERROR on start up.


In most laptops, the CD/DVD disc drive is secured by one or two screws on the bottom of the laptops. Remove these screws and pull the optical disc drive from the laptop.

On some other models, the optical drive is secured by one or two screws located under the keyboard. If that’s the case, you’ll have to remove the keyboard first. After that remove those screws and pull the drive from the laptop.

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