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Home > Optical Storage > Understanding CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Drives An Introduction To Optical Storage Technologies
Introduction And Overviews
Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard

The CD burner comes in two forms: internal and
external. External CD burners don't need to be
attached to your CPU, and they cnnan be connected to your computer through a USB port with its own power source. The internal type of CD burner is the one that attaches to your CPU and fits on the inside of your computer tower.

The CD burner is quite the piece of equipment
to have, as it can copy from one CD to another
or even from a hard drive to a blank CD, and
vice versa as well.

To use your CD player, you'll need to have
software. You can find some types of this
software available to download for free on the
internet. Some great examples include ISO
Recorder, Deep Burner, and Windows Media Player.

If you prefer, you can also purchase quality
programs as well. Some examples of these include Nero, Roxio, and Sonic Record Now. The programs that are free have the same burning capacity, although those that cost money will give you more features and overall flexibility.

Keep in mind that CD burners aren't limited to
only copying audio. You can also use it to
copy document files, programs, games, videos,
MP3, and many other types of files.

The burners with DVD burning capabilities will
enable you to copy your favorite DVD to another CD in case you want to share it with a friend or back it up. You can also burn a movie to DVD if you downloaded it off the internet,
then watch it on your television or computer.

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Related Pages:

chip icon Introduction To CD-ROM Storage chip icon Introduction To CD-RW Storage chip icon Introduction To DVD-ROM Storage
chip icon Introduction To DVD-RAM Storage chip icon Introduction To BluRay Storage chip icon  
Overview Of CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Drives

The CDROM, or Compact Disk Read Only Memory drive is a device that reads,writes and can decode data stored on a cdrom disc. Data is stored on this disc in the form of tiny pits in aluminum film. The data is organized on tracks on the cdrom in about 682 megabytes.

The CDROM uses a controller to "talk" to the PC. The Interface is the actual connection from the drive to the motherboard or expansion slot. CDROM drives are available in the SCSI, the IDE and Parallel-Port interfaces.

There are basically two types of disk storage for computers: magnetic and optical. In magnetic storage, data is recorded magnetically on rotating disks. Optical disc storage is similar to magnetic disk storage in basic operation, but it reads and writes using light (optically) instead of magnetism.

Although most magnetic disk storage is fully read and write capable many times over, many optical storage media are either read-only or write-once. Note the convention in which we refer to magnetic as disk and optical as disc. This is not a law or rule but is followed by most in the industry. At one time, it was thought that optical storage would replace magnetic as the primary online storage medium. However, optical storage has proven to be much slower and far less dense than magnetic storage and is much more adaptable to removable-media designs. As such, optical storage is more often used for backup or archival storage purposes and as a mechanism by which programs or data can be loaded onto magnetic drives. Magnetic storage, being significantly faster and capable of holding much more information than optical media in the same amount of space, is more suited for direct online storage and most likely won’t be replaced in that role by optical storage anytime soon.

Optical technology standards for computers can be divided into three major types:

■ CD (compact disc)
■ DVD (digital versatile disc)
■ BD (Blu-ray disc)

All of these are descended from popular music and video entertainment standards; CD-based
devices can also play music CDs, and DVD and BD-based devices can play the same video discs you can purchase or rent. However, computer drives that can use these types of media also offer many additional features.

The Laser Diode emits a low-level beam toward the reflection mirror. A servo motor is activated by a microprocessor onto the tracks on the disc. This is done by moving the reflecting mirror.

When the beam hits the disc, refracted lights is then focused through the first lens under the disc. It is then bounced off the mirror,and directed to the beam splitter. The beam splitter sends returning laser light to the next focusing lens. And the last lens sends the beam to a photodetector, which converts the light into electric pulses.

The microprocessor then decode these electric pulses and send them to the computer through the data cable and the controller.

When you look inside your computer you will notice that the CDROM Drive is mounted at the top in all tower units and may be mounted in an assembly at the front of the Desktop PC.

As with the Hard and the Floppy Drives,the CDROM Drive processes data with the help of the Controller which may be mounted in an expansion slot but in most cases it will be mounted directly unto the motherboard. The drive and controller are connected by the Ribbon Cable which allows the data to flow back and forth as needed.

At the rear of the CDROM Drive you will see a Jumper which is used to assigned the drive as the Master drive or the Slave drive. Since the CDROM is can be used to play music on compact disks, the Sound Card is connected at the rear of the cdrom drive. At the other end of this connection you will see the Power Supply connector.

Take the time to remove the cover of your PC and get to know each and every component. Study the location of your CDROM drive and how its mounted in the System Unit. By doing so you will become more confident about understanding your computer system.

How To Install A DVD-ROM Drive
This document will outline the steps required to install a DVD-ROM drive into your computer. You'll learn the basics of how to configure the drive for proper installation.
Read Full Article
How To Boot Your Computer Directly From An Optical Drive
This document will outline the steps required to boot your computer directly from an optical storage drive, for the purpose of troubleshooting your computer or reinstalling an operating system.
Read Full Article
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