Using internal optical drive outside of the computer case

Jul 22, 2018
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MESSAGE TO THE MODS: Please move this topic if it is in the wrong place. The forum does not seem to have a location for optical drive posts.

Hi everyone. This is my first post to the forum so I apologise if I've done something wrong.

I want to use an internal SATA optical drive outside my PC. It is designed to be mounted inside a computer case but I want to use it bare on the desk. Could using it in this way put the drive at risk of damage, for example from electrostatic discharge or electromagnetic interference? I am NOT concerned about physical damage such as knocks and scratches.

Alternatively, I could purchase (at a significant cost of about £50) an external enclosure for the drive. Does the external enclosure provide any meaningful protection against these two potential sources of damage to the drive? Again, I am NOT concerned about physical damage.

- Please do not ask me to explain why I want to use the drive in this way, as that doesn't help answer the question.
- I fully understand the disadvantages of using a USB to SATA controller but they do not apply in my case as I don't require high transfer speeds.
 
Jul 22, 2018
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I should have explained in my original post but I require a blu-ray burner drive, rather than a DVD drive. I didn't want to mention this because I didn't want to be told to "just get Netflix" or similar. These are significantly more expensive which rules out buying an dedicated external drive for me. I already have an internal one which works well and I would like to continue using it. Powered USB to SATA controller cables are much cheaper than a proper 5.25 inch external enclosure so it would be preferable if I could use the drive without an enclosure without causing damage to the drive such as from ESD.

Questions:
1. Are optical drives susceptible to ESD damage?
2. And could touching the metal of a bare optical drive while it is running cause damage to other components in my computer?

Again, physical damage is not a concern to me.
 
Jul 22, 2018
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I intend to use a controller like this one...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-Converter-Adapter-Cable-included/dp/B006J2L0ZM/

It comes supplied with a 12V 2A power adapter and searching the amazon reviews seems to show other people have had success playing blu-rays with this controller, so I'm not too concerned about the "how will I connect it all up" side of things.

I will attach four self-adhesive rubber feet to the bottom of the drive to dampen vibrations and reduce noise but I wouldn't have thought that these would provide any additional ESD protection compared to just putting the drive on a bare wooden or plastic table...

You say that optical drives are no more susceptible to ESD damage than anything else. Does that mean I would need to wear an anti static wrist strap etc every time I put a film in the drive? I wore one as a matter of good practice when assembling my PC but that would be very inconvenient. Would I run the risk of causing damage to my drive by not wearing one or is the issue overhyped?
 
Jul 22, 2018
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Interesting. So touching the drive with my skin in day to day operation wouldn't cause a problem, the source of ESD would have to be something much stronger?

Thanks for all your help and patience.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


I see zero difference in an otherwise internal drive on your desk, or that same internal drive in a metal USB enclosure.
 

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