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Will USB External CD/DVD Drive Work For Op Sys New Install?

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Barryng

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Looking for a new computer case for a new build. To my surprise, most better cases no longer have external optical drive bays. That means I must use a USB external drive anytime I need to install software from a DVD/CD. Will an external USB CD/DVD work as well as a SATA based CD/DVD when I reinstall W10 on a new M.2 SSD?
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Yes A usb cd/dvd drive will work fine, just slowwwwwwwww.
try what bmwbaxter posted and you will not be waiting all day, and another plus of the microsoft tool is less time updating after install.
 
OP
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Barryng

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Thanks for quick response and that is what I planned for the clean install. However, I am reluctant to give up the SATA based optical drives and do not want to be sorry I did so in the future. I would still like to know if the function/compatibility/etc. of a USB CD/DVD will be indistinguishable from a SATA connected drive.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Barryng, how old is the computer you will be installing the OS on? Some older computers (10-12 years ago) do not recognize USB boot devices so an internal optical drive would be needed to do an install.
 
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Barryng

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
It will be a build mostly from scratch. Although I was going to reuse my current Lian Li case, I decided get a new case as the CPU will be an Intel I9-10900K and I understand this CPU needs very good cooling. When investigating new cases I discovered, to my surprise, a strong trend now away from providing external optical drive bays. After all the years having at least one CD/DVD drive, I am reluctant to give up the comfort level I have with them; ergo the question about using a USB CD/DVD drive if I have to have one. For example, aside from Windows 10, my copy of MS Office is on DVDs. I also decided on the rare occasion a SATA CD/DVD might be needed, I could still just temporarily plug it into a SATA port with the side panel off the case. The question is now moot because I decided on a Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 case and that does have two available bays (by lucky coincidence). I have not ordered the new machinery yet but will as soon as the I9-10900K is available from one of the sources I trust (Newegg, BHPhoto, & Amazon).
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
I have a portable usb2 cd burner, cheap one, and a One World Computing external usb3 drive with a nice heavy-duty aluminum case that burns m-discs up to 100GB archival type. I have some 50's now. The 100's are like $20 ea. The rare occasion would be any time a disc comes up. Nice to have tons of storage to keep things tidy but discs are a convenient way to move data as well. Personally? I can't stand usb. Even usb3 is slow imo. A standard needs to be something like small ssd's that work anywhere and come in tiny sizes too. I remember printer buffers. My friend made and sold them next door to where I worked. Now all devices have 'buffers'. Usb is on par with buffers of old. Moves things along but usually just gets in the way.
 

CJustin

Registered
Joined
May 8, 2020
Nobody uses a DVD anymore. They are obsolete now.
Instead, use a thumb drive to make a bootable USB from a Thumb drive.

And use a thumb drive to install the software you want to.
I hope this helps!
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Plenty of people still use optical media. It's slowly dying but not dead.
 

SPL Tech

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Plenty of people still use optical media. It's slowly dying but not dead.

Literately no one uses optical media. Computers arnt even sold with optical drives anymore. You cant even order one as a special option. There is zero reason to have an optical drive. There is absolutely nothing that an optical drive can do that even the cheapest $5 eBay USB thumb drive cant do 5x faster.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
That means I must use a USB external drive anytime I need to install software from a DVD/CD.
It doesn't.

As was said earlier, you can simply go to the website and DL all the drivers and such you need. For the most part, Windows 10 will get you up and running anyway.

I wouldn't spend money on an optical drive if this is going to be your only use. I haven't owned one in five years... never had a need to use one personally as I don't watch DVDs or use this medium for backups.

While it isn't dead dead, optical have been going the way of the dodo for years now.
 
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Barryng

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Literately no one uses optical media. Computers arnt even sold with optical drives anymore. You cant even order one as a special option. There is zero reason to have an optical drive. There is absolutely nothing that an optical drive can do that even the cheapest $5 eBay USB thumb drive cant do 5x faster.

I would agree optical media is now much less main stream than it previously was but it is certainly far from dead. I am sure there is "zero reason" for your needs to have an optical drive but I think such a definitive statement as "zero reason" is presumptuous to apply to everyone. It was a great convenience to me to have an optical drive installed this past week for my clean install. The brand new Z490 mobo came with a DVD. W10 was installed from a USB but drivers for my mobo, printer, scanner, etc. were installed from the CD/DVD media provided by the manufacturers. I know some will say I should have gone to the manufacturers web site for the latest versions but experience has clearly taught me, for multiple reasons, to start with the original media provided by the hardware manufacturers and every bit of that is on optical media. For example, not infrequently, the manufacturers web site does indeed have the latest needed drivers but not always the nice user interface available on the packaged CD/DVD media. Only after I install the required software from the supplied optical media do I go on line to assure I have the latest versions installed. I have three shelves of DVD/CD's (none of music etc.) and I am glad I have it. I just installed MS Office from the original DVDs. Without an optical drive I could not have installed this software nor could I have transferred it to a USB device. Your absolute statement that there is zero reason to have an optical drive is just too absolute to ignore and what works for you is certainly not universal for everyone.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I agree with 99% of your post. .. :)

Where I stray is installing the drivers on the disk first.... it just isn't worth it (to me). For over a decade now I've only used the latest and greatest and typically without issue. Note I'm also a reviewer and in that time reviewed well over 100 motherboards using that same methodology. If the process was wonky, I feel like I would have run into it, ya know?

Also, optical installations are SLOW compared to USB. Downloading MS Office (you can DL older versions as well) from the website and installing it is faster (as long as you don't have potato DL speeds, :p ). No media to lose/damage etc.

As far as installing from disk then updating... that wastes a lot of time to me. Whereas with downloads, they are up to date or at least don't need the full Monty over a dated disk (MS Office is a good example).

AFAIK, anything that is on the driver disk is on the website. I haven't run into anything that wasn't (though it is possible of course, lol). I know sometimes with audio the website will have the driver and then the [name here] software separate, but that is the only thing I can recall off the top of my head. I don't really use anything off the disk, honestly. :)



Anyhoo, to each their own. Personally, I haven't looked back for several years now. The transition off of optical media felt odd, but, you easily get used to it and the speed and convenience is the best we've got and worth it. It certainly isn't dead and there are, without a doubt, reasons to have one. The absolute nature of that post is easily disproved. :)

EDIT: I just realized the only optical media device I have in my house is my BR player. My family and I just got rid of a laptop that had one (3 PCs, 2 laptops).
 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Literately no one uses optical media. Computers arnt even sold with optical drives anymore. You cant even order one as a special option. There is zero reason to have an optical drive. There is absolutely nothing that an optical drive can do that even the cheapest $5 eBay USB thumb drive cant do 5x faster.

I use one occasionally still. So that invalidates your claim that "literately" (I think you meant "literally") no one" uses them anymore. And there are still some new computers being sold with optical drives. Not many, grant you, but they are still available. What's more there are plenty of older computers still in service that do use them. Many people still have libraries of video and audio DVD's, Bluray and even CDs that they don't want to convert to flash media or don't know how.