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Is it possible to put a slim(read Laptop) cd/dvd/bluray drive in a Desktop

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alysher

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Nov 3, 2012
Location
Ohio
Hey all!

As the title states i need some help figuring out if it is possible to put a slim cdrom out of a laptop/sff computer into a regular desktop. now i did do some google searches and site searches and came up dry for the most part.

reason im asking is because my GF has a Dell 745 SFF, and it has a slim cdrom in it, and uses a regular sata cable for data, but an odd type of power connector(3 wires). now im sure i can find more of the same optical drive(or drive connector - slim drive is on a tray that connects to pcb that has sata and power for desktop).

now is there other hardware that can do this as well? are there slim drives that are designed for full size desktops in mind? or am i going to have to mod a couple of slims to work in a full desktop?
 

Lady Fitzgerald

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
What I would love to find is a slim optical drive/USB 3.0 cardreader combo with at least one USB 3.0 pass-through connector (both running directly off a single USB 3.0 header; none of this long cable out the back nonsense) or the card reader being part of a hub with additional USB ports. Another option might be a drive/fan controller combo.

Personally, I don't see why someone creative and handy with their hands and tools couldn't make an adapter to mount one, or even two, slim drives in a single 5.25" slot. It might require some custom cable adapters.
 
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alysher

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Nov 3, 2012
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Ohio
this is basically my idea, want to use 1 of my 5.25 drive bays for 2 optical drives, and have the space in my 3 others for other modding equipment(water cooling fan/pump controls, Temp monitors...actual room for pump and reservoir.....)
 

petteyg359

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Jul 31, 2004
What I would love to find is a slim optical drive/USB 3.0 cardreader combo with at least one USB 3.0 pass-through connector (both running directly off a single USB 3.0 header; none of this long cable out the back nonsense) or the card reader being part of a hub with additional USB ports. Another option might be a drive/fan controller combo.

Personally, I don't see why someone creative and handy with their hands and tools couldn't make an adapter to mount one, or even two, slim drives in a single 5.25" slot. It might require some custom cable adapters.

I have no access to metal/plastic machining tools, so I couldn't make a case for one, but if I could...

A "5.25 inch" bay is really 1.625" x 5.75". A standard "slim" laptop optical drive is 5.04" x 0.50". This leave plenty of space for a USB port on either side of the optical drive, then in the 1.125" inches of height left, there's room for a multi-card reader on the left, and either several more USB/Firewire/audio/whatever ports or a couple of fan controls (maybe even a small LCD for RPM/temp display) on the right. Anybody got a Makerbot* on hand? I'll do the component layout and soldering if somebody can make the cases :)

* How precise is a Makerbot? Can it make 1/16" vertical walls? Is the product sturdy enough for drilling 2mm holes (for slim drive mounts)?
 
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alysher

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Nov 3, 2012
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Ohio
well physcial make up is easy to do, but what about the adapter? IDE or SATA for the drive is necessary. although i have the necessary skills to solder, i dont have the engineering expertise to setup the pass through for power and data xfer on a pcb.
 

petteyg359

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Jul 31, 2004
There's no need for any PCB in something like this... Any required adapters are very standard are plenty small enough to fit inside a box with the rest of the components.
 
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alysher

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Nov 3, 2012
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Ohio
oh....after doing a quick search for cd rom drive adapter i found them...didnt think they existed. so its possible, just have to make your own tray for the drives. thanks for the info

now i just have to find some decent materal to make a tray....what would hold up better to cutting with a dremel, metal, aluminum or plastic?
 

petteyg359

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Jul 31, 2004
Again, given the ability to make the case, there's room for a lot of stuff in a 5.25" device (since the bay is really 1.625" x 5.75"):
fivequarterbay.png

Some space left for more ports or something. It's "to scale" by visual estimation of the CF card slot on the card reader next to me versus the size of the optical drive on the laptop in front of me :)

I'd stick in a Blu-Ray reader and a regular DVD burner, until Blu-Ray burners get cheaper. Might reduce the USB ports on the left to only two (with a dedicated USB 3.0 header cable out the back), or increase them to four (with two USB 3.0 header cables, but it'd be a tight fit), include a USB 2.0 header cable for the card reader, and maybe try to find a very small port multiplier board to connect the drives to, so they could be run from a single SATA host. Might find a mini-hub to hide in there with a switch, to make the card reader attach to the USB 3.0 connection in case somebody doesn't have a spare USB 2.0 header or just wants to eliminate one cable.
 
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alysher

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Nov 3, 2012
Location
Ohio
You could go all out and mod the 5.25 bay covers to accomodate a slot-like slim drive and a card reader below it, held by pressure and some foam maybe?

i like the idea of using an old 5.25 drive for parts, but not like this...

I'd use the external case from an old CD-rom as a base then create my own front panel from scratch, that way i would have decent mount points for other items. as for using foam...na. would rather use a non conductive metal and or strong plastic for true mounting to a case.....WOW just had a SWEET idea.....my GF has a HP/Compaq NC6400....this particular model has an EJECT-ABLE DVD drive(with a SATA HD caddy that can be used in its place).....it would be nice to incorporate that into the design!

Again, given the ability to make the case, there's room for a lot of stuff in a 5.25" device (since the bay is really 1.625" x 5.75"):
View attachment 118474

Now THIS is what i would do! although with the design of my current case id drop the USB's and add some hard mounted knobs for fan/pump control and an LED temp read out for water cooling.

but my case design is a bit different. nice closing front panel over the 5.25 and 3.5 floppy bays. for a case that doesn't have a cover this would be kinda cool!

I'd stick in a Blu-Ray reader and a regular DVD burner, until Blu-Ray burners get cheaper. Might reduce the USB ports on the left to only two (with a dedicated USB 3.0 header cable out the back), or increase them to four (with two USB 3.0 header cables, but it'd be a tight fit), include a USB 2.0 header cable for the card reader, and maybe try to find a very small port multiplier board to connect the drives to, so they could be run from a single SATA host. Might find a mini-hub to hide in there with a switch, to make the card reader attach to the USB 3.0 connection in case somebody doesn't have a spare USB 2.0 header or just wants to eliminate one cable.

Definitely a Blu-Ray and regular DVD burner, but id move the USB's to above the drives, and turn them on their side, and have six, 2-3.0 and 4-2.0. put a firewire and/or audio ports where you have the USB's currently and make it all look SNAZZY!