LG External DVD Rewriters



I’ve had to open this thread here as I was getting a distinct lack of replies in an earlier thread (below).


I would’ve tried using the forum Search option but I kept getting a “Page cannot be displayed” error. :a

Anyway, I just want to know if it’s possible to take apart a retail LG External DVD Rewriter (such as the GSA 5163D and the GSA 5169D) and use it as an Internal drive.

Is it possible? It’s just that I can’t seem to see any screws on the External Enclosure. I was hoping someone here would know how to take them apart.

And also, will there be any issues with the firmware? I’m guessing the drive will still be recognised by Windows as a GSA 5163D/GSA 5169D. :confused:

Is it ok to use a drive that was manufactured as an External model and use it Internally? Has anyone tried anything like this before?

Your help will be much appreciated. :clap:


From what I understand, the 5163D is essentially the 4163B in a custom external case. So theoretically, you should be able to use the drive inside as an internal unit for that drive. Nobody knows exactly what is inside the 5169D, so whether this is possible with that unit is questionable.

I can’t tell you how to get the case open exactly. The pictures you linked to in your previous thread aren’t particularly helpful because they don’t show the most critical view of the drive - the bottom. My guess would be that there are screws covered by either stickers or rubber legs on the bottom of the external.

Curiously, why do you want to do this though?


Well, I just recently bought myself a PC tower for £50 a couple of weeks ago (specs 1.3 Ghz with 256 Mb RAM, 30 Gb Hard drive). But it only comes with a DVD-ROM drive. I wanted to put in a DVD Rewriter. But, I currently only have the one DVD-RW drive - an LG GSA 5163D. I was just using the GSA 5169D as an example because they both look quite similar.

I’ve got a bit of experience with PCI cards and Internal DVD/CD drives anyway and I know how to set the jumpers. So I was thinking why waste money on a new Internal DVD Rewriter when I can just turn my External drive into an Internal one.

There’s a couple of rubber grips on both sides of the drive (four in total). The bottom and underside of the drive is completely flat.

So is there anything else you need to know?


Not really but I don’t actually have one of these external models so all I can do is speculate up to this point. I am guessing that there are screws on those things but the screw holes are probably covered by something.


I can take some digital photos of the drive if you think it might help.


It may help, but in the end I suspect you are going to have to do a fair bit of prying around the bottom of the drive to see if there are concealed screw holes.

Either that or unless anyone else has tried removing the internal drive from a 5163D?


I have a pic of one of the sides of the drive.

As you can see, the side has some sort of grips attached to the enclosure. I’ve managed to establish that the white parts of the side are rubber grips. The silver part of the side feels like it’s part of the enclosure.

However, the bottom and top of the enclosure are completely flat. I can’t see or feel any places where there might be some concealed screw holes (apart from the rubber grips on the sides). :confused:

So should I try pulling off the rubber grips on the sides?


I just thought I’d let everyone know that I successfully managed to open up this external drive and connect it internally (via an IDE interface) into my 2nd PC. It’s installed now as a Secondary, Master drive.

I opened it up by removing the six rubber grips on both sides (3 on each side). Then I could see eight cross screws (four on each side). I removed the screws, then I lifted up the grey plastic sides with a thin flat screwdriver and at the same time, pushed the grey plastic strip to the right and lifted the grey strip off from both sides. Then underneath this, I was left with four push-on clips (2 on each side) holding the external enclosure together. Again, I used a very thin flat screwdriver to push the clips down and then pull off one side of the enclosure. I did the same for the other side and voila, I had access to the drive. Now, it was just a matter of removing the IDE cable and the power cable from inside the enclosure.

With the drive now separate from the enclosure, I can now connect it into a PC case (as you normally would with an internal drive).

I haven’t tried burning anything yet but I’ll post the results here of the burn as an internal drive.


In case it wasn’t clear yet, two of the rubber grips on either side come off and reveal the screws.

Well, by the time I wrote this, it WAS clear… :slight_smile:


One question though : with the drive connected as an internal unit,

  • if you connected it with an 80-wire cable, can you do a burst rate test with Nero CD Speed?
  • if you connected it with a 40-wire cable, then it doesn’t matter

This is to answer an age old question over whether the drive inside the 5163D is a UDMA4 or UDMA2 device.


When you took these connectors off the box, are you now in a position to use another IDE drive inside?
Sorry to make the question as I don’t know this model, but allways asked myself if it would be possible or if the manufacturer models were built in a way that wouldn’t allow it.
As you said you were able to install the drive as internal, I assume inside you found a normal metal box like the one you would get if you buy an oem or bulk model, right?


To be honest, I have no idea what type of cable it’s connected to. :confused: All I know is that it’s connected to a conventional E/IDE cable.


Short answer - yes.

After opening up the enclosure, all I was left with was a bare internal drive just like any old internal DVD/CD drives you could buy from a retailer as retail or OEM.

As for the enclosure, it is possible to use it for another DVD/CD drive. But the problem is, only certain drives will fit. I tried connecting an old internal DVD-ROM drive inside the enclosure but the drive was too big (depth-wise). The width and the height of the DVD-ROM drive was fine (in order for it to fit the LG enclosure).

I don’t know the depth of the LG GSA 5163D as an internal drive but from attempting to put in another drive into the enclosure, I’d say you would have to put in a drive that has a similar depth.


Ok, Thks Vm

Obviously, even last LG models have differences in measures terms and the enclosure is made of rigid materials. My point was about how the drive inside was built and connected to the outside.
As you say it is a normal drive the interface has to be also, and its just a matter that the new one fits inside the “box”.
Tks again



if the DVD rewriter you are talking about has a black casing, or even if it is does not, i visited maplin’s yesterday, and they told me that the LG that you are refering cannot be transfered from its external casing to your computer, as an internal device. It is not made or designed for that. It is specifically a external device.

i hope this helps.


Of course you can, but it looks really ugly :eek:



:doh: Appreciate the reply but you obviously haven’t read the whole of this thread, have you?

I posted here a while ago that I successfully opened up the LG GSA 5163D (from it’s external casing) [I]and[/I] attached it internally into my second PC.

You’ve been misled my friend. I wouldn’t trust advice that the staff at any old electronics store give you over the experts advice here at cdfreaks.

And if you really want proof, I’ve got graphical evidence that the LG GSA 5163D can be used as an internal drive if you [I]really[/I] want to see it.

Just say the word.


Maybe the recent 216x drives are not suitable to be used internally. Your 5163 is one of the good old ones :slight_smile:



The 5163D is essentially a 4163B inside an external casing from what I know. However, inside the 216xD series of writers is either a 4166B (2166D) or a 4164B (2164D). If it is a 4166B, you should in theory be able to use it internally, as such a model does exist. There is no such model as the GSA-4164B on sale (not officially anyway) and no firmware support for it. So you would have to resort to trying to cross flash it with 4166B firmware which may work, but you will not get lightscribe support. Not really worth the trouble, IMHO.


Looky here:

This should now put this matter to bed.