An Optical Drive is an internal or external computer system that allows users to use DVDs, CDs, and Blu rays. It uses laser beam technology to read and write data. An Optical Drive contains lenses that project electromagnetic waves, responsible for reading and writing data on optical discs. They are an integral part of any electronic device, especially VCD players and certain video game consoles, including Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U. Since CDs/DVDs use a sophisticated file system, it prevents data recovery software from performing a file history scan which makes it very hard to recover deleted files. Therefore if you are using an optical drive, it is important you back up any crucial files to a reliable system. You can choose to save data for permanent or temporary storage with an optical drive and data writing software, however, there is no guarantee of recovery in case of lost files.
How do Optical Drives Work
It works by rotating the inserted disc at a constant speed and is read with a laser beam using a lens embedded within the optical drive’s head. Optical drives often use an Advanced Technology Attachment bus or a Serial ATA bus to send and receive data. Optical drives became popular due to their capacity for data storage and the less intrusive build.
However, with more advanced technology taking over optical drives have become less common. The technological revolution has brought about better data management systems and storage devices. There are a few optical drives that are no longer manufactured or even supported by PCs anymore. These mainly include the CD-ROM drive and combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW. Consumers shifted their demands to flash drives, which allowed them to store the same data with a smaller form factor. In more recent years, the cloud revolution has turned optical drives almost obsolete. Especially in the media world, with the rise of streaming video, where no physical media was necessary to access any data.
This is not to say that we can ignore the importance they have even today, being a great source for writing capabilities.
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How to back up your files without an optical drive?
Using external discs and flash drives is one of the best ways to back your data. This allows you to store copies of your data even without an optical disc drive and makes it easy to access your data on another device as well. Today there are several online services available as well that allow you to store files.
Types of Optical Drives
● Read-only Formats : These optical drives cannot be used to store new data and are read-only. They are mainly used in commercial software, such as windows installation CDs.
● Recordable and Rewritable Disc : There are some Optical Drives that are record-able, meaning they can be written a single time. Once filled with new input, it is permanent. On the other hand, there are some discs, signified by the suffix ‘RW’, which are rewritable. This implies that the data store can be altered a number of times.
Optical Drives for Gaming
While you might not find Optical Drives being used in laptops anymore, its still used by gamers. My Laptop Spares has a number of optical drives best suited for your uses.
- Asus ZenDrive : U9M One of the fastest drives, it has a solid build compared to any other DVD drive. Though it has a slightly slow burn speed, it can be used to write and burn CDs. The Asus ZenDrive U9M is also portable and offers quality storage to protect photo, video, and data.
- Pioneer BDR-XD07B : This is a top-loading Blu-ray drive with a smaller footprint. The USP for this is that rips DVDs faster than any other drive, making it a great choice if you mostly work with DVDs. However, it does not support UHD Blu-ray discs and is slower to rip Blu-ray discs.
- ASUS BW-16D1X-U-Drive : Though many optical drives have a smaller form factor to make portability easier, this ASUS drive has a large form factor. This extra size leds to substantial performance for almost all activities and provides quick access times to all types of optical media. My Laptop Spares offers a range of devices best suited for your use. With varied hard discs at your disposal, choose one that feels the best to save all your files. There is no wrong option here!