Alienware laptops have CD drives

No CD / DVD drive? How to solve the problem!

Benjamin Schischka

More and more often the PC or the notebook no longer has a DVD drive - with our tricks you can compensate for missing drives.

EnlargeMany computers lack an optical drive.

It all started with the netbooks many years ago: They were small and cheap, but one of their biggest drawbacks was the lack of an optical drive. Normal laptops are increasingly sharing this fate. From the point of view of mobility and power consumption, the lack of a drive in notebooks makes perfect sense. Most of the time it shouldn't bother you, but if you want to install software from CD, DVD or Blu-ray, you have to rely on a few tricks. We'll reveal which ones they are.

Even if the laptop or PC drive says goodbye when you urgently want to burn a PowerPoint presentation or MP3s, the following tricks will help you. Even if your drive is working perfectly, some of the tips will even save you power - an important factor when working on the go.

Tip: Virtual CD drives, which you can set up with Virtual CD, are a useful addition. Once one of the following tricks has been used, the tool saves the disc in compressed form on the hard drive. You don't have to use the tip a second time, you just start the virtual CD from the hard drive.

Use external drive

The simplest solution is an external drive that you usually connect to the computer via USB, preferably USB-C. The external CD / DVD drive draws its power from the socket via the USB cable or a power cable, depending on the model.

Those who value as little additional luggage as possible can opt for the extra-thin slimline model. In addition, the user has the choice between external drives that pull the CD in through a drawer or through a narrow slot, similar to the CD player in a car. The latter variant is usually even thinner, but does not have mini CDs. When buying the drive, it is best to use a burner right away: you not only read data with it, but also write backups to CD or DVD.

Usually the external CD drives lag slightly behind their internal colleagues in terms of speed. You don't have to dig deep into your pocket for an external burner, entry-level models cost less than 30 euros.

Put on a network drive

If you don't want to spend any money, have a network-compatible computer and don't need an optical drive too often, simply use the CD / DVD drive of the existing PC. To do this, connect the two computers via a network - with cable or WLAN - and share the same on the computer with a drive. The drive then appears in the network environment of all other computers in the same workgroup - as long as the drive computer is switched on. The data then end up via the network from the CD drive of the second computer to the driveless netbook or notebook.

If the computer does not recognize the drive from the network, or if it refuses to transfer data, you should take a look at the firewall options of both PCs. Explicitly allow the IP address of the respective other computer.

Use USB sticks

USB sticks or external USB hard drives are particularly suitable for transporting data from the mobile computer - simply drag data to the data carrier or from the memory to the computer. You can also use a second PC with a drive to install software from the USB stick on computers without drives.

If the software, such as a virus scanner, is only available on CD or DVD, it is often sufficient to copy the content or just the Setup.exe to a USB stick in order to run it afterwards on the computer without a drive. Downloading the software from the Internet, for example from the manufacturer's website or our download archive, is even easier. The installation of Windows from the USB stick is a little more complicated.

Conclusion: life without a drive

Although you can replace the missing drive in the notebook with any of the options, each variant works differently, has different requirements and is not suitable for all tasks. When it comes to the copy protection of PC games, for example, the USB stick variant fails. The player can only actually insert the CD while playing in the network drive or in the external drive.