Today, not every PC has a CD or DVD drive. We show that this is not a downfall in the following article!
No drive – no problem?
Many years ago, it was the netbooks that got things started: The particularly compact notebook offshoots did without optical drives . This made it smaller and cheaper, but it also lacked the ability to read CDs or DVDs.
Today you won’t find an optical drive even in many full-grown notebooks. This is mainly due to the fact that other storage media such as USB sticks and downloading from the Internet have become the standard way of transferring content to the PC.
Sometimes you wish you had a classic drive back anyway? For this case we have compiled some useful alternatives for you.
How to replace a missing CD or DVD drive
Tip 1: External drives
It’s very simple and easy with an external drive that you can connect to your PC via a USB port. Power comes over the USB cable in the best case, but sometimes the manufacturers also provide a small external power supply unit.
If you are on the road a lot, we can recommend the slim drives. These drives do not have a drawer, but rather a thin slot at the front into which you simply insert CDs or DVDs. Perhaps you already know the principle from the CD player in the car. When buying, also make sure to purchase a burner right away. These are no longer more expensive than normal drives and offer the advantage of being able to burn data in case of emergency. Entry-level models in this area are already available for around 30 euros – so this alternative is by no means expensive.
Tip 2: the USB stick
To transport data, USB sticks are the right solution. Today, even for very little money, they offer much more storage space than a DVD and especially a CD, and they are also less error-prone. Every notebook and PC has a USB port, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility either. Modern mainboards can also boot from USB sticks, so you can even install entire operating systems from the small storage media on a fresh PC – and they are very easy to write to and read without any additional tools.
Tip 3: Network drives
If you have a PC with a CD or DVD drive in your household, you can also access it from all other devices. To do this, connect the PC and external device together and then share the drive on the PC with all connected devices. Then you can use this drive as if it were present in your own device. You can then install software that is on the CD via the network, for example.
Tip 4: Virtual Drives
With suitable software such as VirtualCD, you can copy the contents of an optical disc to a virtual drive on your device. This software emulation then works just like a real existing drive and allows access to the "CD", even if it is not really in your PC. You can start the data medium anytime you need it simply by double clicking on the drive.
Conclusion: Do we need a drive??
As a rule? No, not really. However, in exceptional cases – perhaps you have an audio CD and the data is not available anywhere else – drives may still be necessary. Then external devices are the best solution.