What Is An Optical Drive?: An optical drive basically allows your system such as a computer or a laptop to use CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs for various purpose like listening to songs, watching a movie or any other video, store important files etc.It also allows you to write data on CD, erase the data prewritten on it or even take a back up.
What Is An Optical Drive?
The process of reading and writing takes place with the help of a laser beam which consists of an electromagnetic wave.The electromagnetic wave is of very specific wavelength near to visible light.Different type of disc has different requirement of wavelength.CD requires wavelength of 780 nanometers (nm) which is of infrared range whereas DVD requires wavelength of 650 nm (red).405 nm (violet) wavelength is used by Blu-ray.
As an optical drive has to work with different types of discs so it consists of multiple lasers.For the process of reading it requires laser lens to focus the laser beam and to detect light reflections it requires photodiodes. The same lens can be used for both CD as well as DVD because their optical mechanism is similar.
There is rotation mechanism to spin the disc.They were earlier designed to work with constant linear velocity (CLV) which means that the disc has a constant speed.Its speed varied in accordance with the laser beams writing position.when the beam is reading near the inner rim than it rotates with 200 RPM and when it is near the outer RPM it rotates with 500 RPM.Constant speed is needed when it comes to music or audio CDs.
Optical Drive Media Formats
Generally, all optical drives are built to support multiple types of media format.
Some of the commonly known optical drive media formats are CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, BD-R, BD-R DL & TL, BD-RE, BD-RE DL & TL, and BDXL.
“R” stands for recordable and “RW” stands for rewritable.Recordable disc cannot be modified once written.The rewritable format allows writing again after erasing the previous content.
Recordable is secure and preferable when you want to share data with others as they cannot modify the existing content but when you want to store the backup, Rewritable is more useful as you can remove old data and make space for new ones.
Some laptops and gaming consoles also have an optical drive and work similar to the one which is there on the pc.
TO help you out with some common problems, here are a few links attached to solve them.
- How To Fix a DVD/BD/CD Drive That Won’t Open or Eject
- How To Boot From a CD, DVD, or BD Disc
- How To Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD
- How To Create an ISO Image File From a CD, DVD, or BD
Different Types Of Optical Drives
As optical drives are disc-based drives they are different in different systems.
It stands for compact disc read-only memory and were the first to be used in personal computers.It uses ISO 9660 and has Compact Disk Filing System.It included reading and saving of files from compact discs and also the memory slots were allowed separately for different data and system booting.They had much slower speed and produced noise.
An evolution from CD-ROM lead to DVD-ROM which stands for Digital Versatile Disk Read Only Memory drives and could perform much better than CD-ROM.DVD has much larger capacity in the same physical shape as that of a CD.
Blu-ray is the latest optical drive available.As it has much high definition qualities it is preferred over CD and DVD.Sony was one of the developers of Blu-ray during its initial phase.They can process a huge amount of data and a typical dual side disc can take up to 50 GB of data.
RW-Drives have all the features of read-only drive and writing speed is a bit slower than its reading speed.CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs and Blu-ray drive all are available in the read-only format.writing process is very sensitive and can easily be damaged with any kind of disturbance.