Laptop DVD burner

Just got a Thinkpad T41 with a DVD-ROM drive. I want to put a DVD burner into it. The drive is modular. Anyone know of a drive I can swap the drive caddy and bezel? Or a good place to look? IBM sells a drive, but it is $349 and it is only burns -R and -RAM. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I don’t know much about IBM drives. But at least this is how it works with Dell drives…

Most (maybe even almost all) slimline laptop drives are manufacturered to a set of standard specifications: dimensions, connector pins, etc. Dell’s internal optical drives (the ones they don’t want you to remove and replace) are industry-standard slimline drives with a funky Dell bezel. I replaced my internal drive like this; removed the old Dell drive and put in a new standard slimline drive. The bezel didn’t quite match, but I didn’t care.

As for Dell’s modular drives, the ones that you can snap in and out like a battery, those, too, were industry standard slimline drives, just enclosed in a proprietary Dell enclosure. One of my friends wanted to upgrade her drive, so we unscrewed the existing drive module, removed the slimline drive from it, and put in a new one, and now her module has been upgraded.

It is possible that IBM does the same thing because it is much cheaper to use off-the-shelf industry-standard parts and then encase them in something proprietary than to use proprietary stuff all the way.

Thanks for the reply. I am pretty sure most slimline burners will fit. They are pretty standard. The question is whether i can use use the bezel and the caddy off the existing drive. I need to know if the screw holes and the eject buttons match up. I hate to spend $100+ and not have it fit.

I see. I guess that’ll all depend on what model you’re getting. The bezel from my Dell internal drive did not match up with my replacement Litey.

This is made by Matsushita, Japan. Panasonic brand.

About US$200. Not that much considering it’s 8x DVD+R, 8x DVD-R, and 3x DVD-RAM for notebooks. It must be about the same price in the US market, but not available affordably in South Korea.

Too bad I can’t speak Japanese. The drive in there currently is a Hitachi-LG GDR-8083n, if that is helpful.

I don’t and can’t speak Japanese either and you don’t really need to speak Japanese to browse the page or to buy something in Tokyo because most important information and products are available in English and Arabic numbers and most people in Tokyo who sell some things speak English a little at least.

When I bought my Laptop it was a must to have a built-in DVD burner. It can be handy. Some months later I bought an external USB 2.0 all-in-one (all formats) DVD burner. The idea was to spare the internal DVD burner and actually I realized that though being mobile I don’t actually need a burner on the “road”. So, an external DVD burner can also be a solution. To my surprise these units are really plug and play. It took 5 seconds to make it work, no installation, etc. Works fine, speed is better than of the internal one and I can use it with all my computers at home and at work. (Price varies, but still much lower than 349 bucks).
Just have a look at one of the possible choices: