So I was walking around my school today and I passed by the electronics recycling which usually is filled with a bunch of broken printers or old Pentium 3 computers.
However, today there was a newer Dell that I decided to take a look at. The motherboard was shot, bulging/leaking caps, Hard disk was removed, no memory or CPU, however, the optical drive was still there hooked up to the mobo. I took it out and gave it a quick look. My heart skipped when I saw the identifiable BenQ vent holes on the side of the drive! The Drive is a Philips DVD8701/96 I took it home knowing it was a BenQ OEM drive, but didn't know which model, or if it even worked.
The first thing I did when I got home was install it into one of my World Community Grid crunching computers. It read both CDs and DVDs fine and I was thrilled to learn it was a rebadged DW-1640!!!
Crossflashing the drive was a breeze, I haven't done a burn on it yet but I hope all will be fine. I actually needed a new drive for a friend and I was having a hard time recommending any of the current crop of drives.
Thank you Optical Storage Gods