Can you make an internal drive external?

Perhaps it’s a silly question.

I recently got a Liteon internal combo drive that is DVD region free, but now I’m selling my desktop. :?

Since it’s region free, I should like to keep it, so can it be made external or is it not worth the time and effort?


Can’t you insert into your new computer ?
It wouldn’t surprise me if someone has invented a kit to use an internal drive externally, you might have to wander around Bade road or Nova or something.

Oh wait, someone has invented one ->,aid,105255,00.asp
No idea where you can get one though

Thanks. The new computer is a notebook, and I doubt I can “region free” that drive without spending $$$. I just saw some online kits, too, but it looks beyond my capabilities :cry:

There’s tons of USB 2.0 external drive kits out on the market. Any 3C store at Guanghua will have a few models to choose from. A 5.25" model that will fit your drive will run about NT1500 or so.

Agree with jlick, saw 2 or 3 external housings at 3C a few days ago, around NT1500 for a plastic one, aluminium is a tad more expensive.
Connection is mostly via USB2.0 but FireWire (IEEE1394) might also be available …

Yes, there’s also Firewire available. It’s a better option if you have a Mac as USB 2.0 is pretty rare on Macs. On PCs USB 2.0 is pretty prevalent these days and nearly as good as firewire. The firewire cases will tend to be a bit more expensive starting around NT2000. And if you want to be completely agnostic, there’s also kits with BOTH firewire and USB 2.0, though again, you’re paying more, probably NT3000 or so.

The external case is the way to go for this. USB 2.0 - make sure the computer has a USB 2.0 connection (it should if it’s new but some older machines don’t have them so you’d have to get a card for it).

I have my Pioneer DVD-R-RW in an ext. case and it works fine. It needs it’s own power source and the case is a big ol’ thing so it will affect your notebook’s portability if you want to carry the DVD around with you.

Are you sure it’s the DVD drive that’s “region free” and not the software drivers you use with it?

I found the cases at 3C for under $2,000, featuring USB 2.0 and FireWire. Now I’m thinking to buy a second one to house my old PC’s hard drive, so I can do a complete backup of my notebook.

Apparently, USB 2.0 supports a slightly faster data transfer rate than firewire, so is firewire really preferable to USB 2.0?

There are subtle differences that make a huge difference depending on your application. FireWire 800 still has much more usable bandwidth capacity than USB 2.0. Also, IEEE 1394 (FireWire) is better for video capture and hard drive access as it outperforms in most tests based on its isochronous data transfer capability. Furthermore, FireWire is still peer-to-peer, not requiring a controller (central hub). FireWire can be looped between devices to create redundancy if one device fails.

The kits are easy (at least for 3.25" drives). Basically just open them up, plug in the wires, insert the drive, close the lid and off you go. Any shop should have them and a little li-mien chu wan-mien wil get you help if necessary. If you’re really technically declined, bring the drive, go to a small shop, and get the staff to do the plugging for you.

Standard firewire is rated at 400mbps transfer rate and USB 2.0 is rated at 480mbps. However USB 2.0 is not as efficient, so real data transfer rates are slightly higher on firewire. As already mentioned, firewire also has some additional features like daisy chaining and device-to-device direct transfer. There’s also firewire-b which is at 800mbps, and there’s a firewire-c standard coming out at 1600mbps. However firewire-b is not yet widely supported, so the number of devices are very few. USB 2.0 is cheaper to implement, so devices will cost less, but Macs and MiniDV camcorders still use firewire almost exclusively.

Practically speaking though, there’s not enough of a difference between firewire and usb 2.0 to worry about. Therefore you should look at what you will be using it for. If you have a Mac, you will likely want Firewire. If you want to play with Digital Video cameras, you really want to use firewire. If you have a PC and want to connect up disks, digital still cameras and scanners, usb 2.0 is the best choice. It all depends on what you want to use it for.

Check out DVD Region Killer:

If you have firewire, go firewire. If you have USB 2.0, use that. Definitely do not choose it based upon speed. It’s not like your hard disks would really be able to use up all that bandwidth anyway (especially your laptop). The nice thing about the USB is that you can still use it on someone with a 1.0 connection (basically all computers out there these days) but not too many people have a firewire connector.