Any of you know anything about Writable CD's?

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Staci Matheis

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2000
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OK, I know.... I'm wandering off topic again..... I just figured with all you YOUNG, computer-literate types out there, an old fart might be able to get some help!

For the first time, I've got a new car with a CD player! The music is SO much better than tapes - no, Marke, I don't mean 8-tracks..... And as a couple of you know, I've got a pretty good collection of Classical Music on CD's. I really don't like the idea of having someone reaching in and stealing something I've spent 16 bux for and many of mine are no longer in print. I've got a good CD changer at home so I don't really want to go out and buy a new one with "read" and "write" capability...... My 5 year old Compaq has a CD but I don't know if it will take one of the new CD-WR's. And I've already upgraded it to it's max of 32 meg RAM...... No one at the computer stores is familiar with my "ancient" Presario 4504! And what's the difference between a unit that's 8x4x32 and one that's 12x10x32.......

Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!

Hey Scott,

I not sure if I fully understand what your looking for but I'll give you my 2 cents worth here.

Any standard CD-ROM (Read Only, the kind you probably have in your 4504) is capable of reading any regular CD-R (a CD that can be recorded or written to one time only of course or one that you have recorded your music on to).

I'm not very familiar with the Compaq model 4504 however, provided that you have an open bay (assuming you want internal that is), you should be able to simply connect the CD-RW directly off the same IDE cable as your regular CD-Rom is connected to provided that your IDE cable has an additional, unused open connector. If not, you may need to pick up one that does (before installing, pay close attention to the recomended jumper settings on the back of your new CD-RW). If your running Windows 95 or better, and depending on the type of BIOS (software that runs your hardware, hope that makes sense), it may recognize that you have an additional drive automatically (sometimes the drivers/software that comes with the CD-RW will do this for you and some types will actually walk you through it as well). If not, you will have to go into your BIOS and re-configure your drive setup (i.e., C:, D:, E:). Again, alot of this depends on what type of operating system your running.

As for your RAM, depending on what you use the PC for (i.e., how much stuff do you have on it that really tasks system resources like RAM, Hard Drive, Cache, etc.), 32 meg may be sufficient. Of course, once you have your CD-RW installed you could then copy a lot of stuff of onto a CD-RW disk which would then free up a lot of your hard drive space which may speed your PC up a little (every little bit helps in this situation).

Your other alternative is an external CD-RW (usually more expensive and depending on the type, transfer rates could be somewhat slower, although they are getting much better these days). The upside here is, external devices are sometimes easier to install and operate (key word here is sometimes).

Sorry for rambling and I hope this helps in some way. Feel free to e-mail me if there is anything I can do for you. Good Fishing and God Bless.
Go ahead and by the CD-RW. It is capable of writing to either "read-only" disks or "rewritable" disks. For CD's that you want to copy for your car or truck, buy only CD-R disks. They are incredibly cheap now. Only use the CD-RW type disks for data that you would use in your home computer.

In order for a drive to read disks written in CD-RW format, the drive must be capable of mult-pass reading. Regular audio CD players are not capable of that and can only read disks writeen in CD-R format.

The CD-RW recorder that you buy will fit right in your Presario and will record in either format, depending on the type of disk you buy. The CD-RW disk is quite a bit more expensive than the CD-R and in your case, certainly not worth the extra expense.

I know this is all confusing. Here's the deal:

Go buy practically any CD recorder you want. They will all record on CD-R disks, which is what you need. No problem.

Oh yeah, the numbers you are looking at determine the relative speed of the disk drive performing the funtions. The higher the numbers, the faster the drive is.

Good luck.

Thanks! I was hoping I could just get one of the cheaper CD-RW drives and install it.

Now, if I can ask for just a bit more info......

The cover on my present computer doesn't have a knock-out area for a second drive..... Do I just leave the cover off? Buy a new cover? Or do they package replacements with the accesory drives like they do universal face plates for accessory automotive radios?

You mention an IDE cable and connector..... Will this just be hanging loose next to my primary drive? If I don't have a secondary we're probably talking more $$$ than I want to spend upgrading this old piece of hardware!

I bought this computer in about 1995 or 1996. The 4504 has a 2.1 GB / 200 mHZ hard drive; I only use about 30% of the total memory. It came with 16 meg RAM which I upgraded to 32 about 6 months ago. I figure I'm going to have to replace it at some time in the near future - so I'm not going to spend $200 on a CD-RW. That's about 20% of the cost of a brand new, much faster computer with 2 CD drives OR just a dual drive CD dubbing deck. But, I figure if I can get by for $100..... After all, I'm only going to be using it to record music for the car.

Thanks for the help, Guys!


P.S. Glad to see you here again, Jim! We hadn't heard from you in a while!

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