Increasingly, modern computers and laptops, especially the class known as Ultrabooks, are becoming thinner and shedding what used to be common peripherals like CD-ROM or DVD drives. Don’t even ask about the long-dead floppy disk. That makes them less useful for reading old sources of data, programs and games that you might want to run on your new PC. However, there are usually a few solutions that we can help with.
If you need to install something from a CD-ROM or DVD disc, then the simplest solution is to buy a portable or external DVD drive that you can plug into your new PC’s USB port. They generally only cost around £10 and provide instant access to your disc collection, allowing you to rip audio CDs and play DVD movies. If you have a blu-ray movie collection you want to watch on your Ultrabook, they cost from £75.
If you don’t have the time to get a portable drive, or if you still have access to a computer with a DVD drive, then there is a slightly more involved solution. You can install a program known as a DVD ripping utility on that machine. This copies the disc contents and creates an ISO file of your CD or DVD that you can copy to a USB memory stick and then run the file on your Ultrabook. The computer will think it is installing the original DVD. This is particularly useful if you want to install an operating system on your PC and only have a disc-based version.
It’s amazing how often a floppy disk turns up with something useful on it, like early digital photos, a potential blockbuster novel text file or some family tree data. You can easily pick up a USB floppy disk drive for under £10.
Assuming the data on the disc is intact (most are fine – if you have kept them somewhere dust-free and away from magnets or electromagnetic sources) then you can copy the data to your PC and hopefully still read the files or import them into a modern app. If not, get in touch and our computer repair experts will try and help.