Ladies Corner of the Corner

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #1

If, like me you are not too sure of the myriad of IT terms that seem to come at us on a daily basis, why not ask your questions here?
Please feel free to ask them in the simplest terms possible.
I quote a recent example that I used when I rang OH in a conference call and said

"The Internet is broken"
Despite sniggers from my OH, the problem was soon solved.
So, if like me you find it hard to explain your problem ladies, do it here in plain old English!

(Nick Aurelius-Haddock) #2

To be fair the new laptop has been a mistake, and I have given Helen my lovely shiny laptop in compensation :wink:

As they say, someday’s you are the pigeon and others you are the statue.

Oh well, I have my iPad to play with.

(Chrissie Ott) #3

I think I might have found an even cheaper one!

Local friend has told me he has a spare external DVD drive… I’m not sure whether he’s offering it as a loan or a gift but I think I ought to pop chez eux for tea sometime soon and investigate…! :slight_smile:

(Phil Benn) #4


Fortunately gone are the days when you needed software device drivers to use DVD and CD drives. If you’re running any of the major operating systems (Windows, Linux etc) then it should work just fine without any changes.

The going rate here in the UK is between £10 and £15 for a DVD drive, and £15 to £25 for a DVD burner which also writes discs. Just look for one that is ‘IDE’ bus; you can buy ‘SATA’ ones but I very much doubt your machine uses this newer type.


(Chrissie Ott) #5

Thanks Phil
As I said to Jan, I’m dithering about replacing the internal drive (thanks for the clear instructions) or getting yet another peripheral.
I didn’t realise that internal drives were standard (I was trying to find one specifically for a Dell Inspiron) so that makes the search easier! Will the existing software work with a new drive (either internal or external) or will I need to replace that as well?

(Chrissie Ott) #6

Thanks Jan
I’m still dithering about replacing the drive or going external…

(Phil Benn) #7


If its an internal DVD drive you are referring to, then its literally four screws (two on the left, two on the right) to remove it and also to fix the new one in place.

There are two cables attached to the drive, a power cable (yellow black black red) and a grey ribbon cable for the data. Both of these cables are keyed and will only fit one way so you can’t get it wrong. If there is also a very thin grey audio cable then unclip this and clip it back into the new drive, this again is keyed one way.

More or less any computer shops in your town will sell a standard DVD drive for a PC. If not, I’m sure Amazon will be able to provide one.

Hope this helps.


(Jan Rogers) #8

I surprised myself by dismantling our PC and fitting new RAM after our son visited and told us that’s what we really needed to get the thing moving a bit faster than snail’s pace. Needless to say he ordered it, with my hope that he’d install it and by the time it arrived he was on the way back to the UK. Husband’s skill is more in the kitchen than the office so it was up to me…and I found demo videos on U tube so I could see what I needed to know before I fetched the screwdriver. You might find the same for installing a new DVD drive.

Failing that - and here’s a real girly solution - go on UK Amazon and look for a DVD drive. They have some external writer/reader drives that connect with a USB connection, and I threw one in my shopping basket and it could be delivered to France for about £4.50.

Bon courage


(Chrissie Ott) #9

My sympathy, Helen, and hope all is fixed pronto before you have to turn off your catering skills!
My ex-husband was co-owner of a printing business. Asking for a few simple letterheads was like asking for the moon…

(Chrissie Ott) #10

Right, got the PDF thing sorted (thank you, lovely techie chaps) so now for the next question!

I have an Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop, imported from Dell UK in order to get an English spec. Vista.

Computer man was returning repaired HD to my neighbour this morning so I grabbed him, to look at my DVD player which doesn’t. Thirty seconds later he pronounced that I need a new DVD drive. ‘Could you arrange that?’ I asked, lashes a-flutter. Totally unmoved, he refused and showed me which screw to undo in order to fit the new one. Hmmm. He has more confidence in me than I have!

So, as I couldn’t find anything on eBay France, could anybody recommend a 100% guaranteed site that I can mail-order the drive from? And is installing a new drive really as easy as he makes out?

Thank you. :slight_smile:

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #11

Hooray for Ladies Corner of the Corner. I shall be discreet here and mention that my brand new notebook is (ahem!) broken down, and I am awaiting it to be resurrected. I am the proverbial plumber’s wife with a leak under her sink…

(Chrissie Ott) #12

Cheers. Thanks Nick.

And, following computer man’s lightning visit this morning, I’m going to post another question in a moment!

(Nick Aurelius-Haddock) #13

You can also install Openoffice for free which works on Vista, that allows you to save any document you produce with it, or any documents - like Microsoft word documents that you can open with it - straight to PDF. This also gives you a full office suite without having to pay the Microsoft tax.

I use it all the time for just this job and it works a treat.



(Chrissie Ott) #14

Thanks… two options now. Excellent.

(Chrissie Ott) #15

Girl after my own heart! I can be a total blonde when the need arises! :wink:

(Chrissie Ott) #16

She heard that whisper… and says a loud ‘thank you’.

(Catharine Higginson) #17

Or this

(Catharine Higginson) #18

Thank you so much for using the word ‘whisper’ - that is the tone we like to adopt in LCC…

Thank you again Male Interloper!

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #19

What can I say other than a girl has to do what a girl has to do to get her laptop repaired. I have given up all my moral principles!

(Ian Gillis) #20

Oh Helen,
I’m surprised that you haven’t had the Politically Correct police feeling your collar!
Surely the feminists will say that assuming computer naivety is solely a female trait is insulting to women, the male chauvinist pigs will be upset that they’ve been excluded and the male non-nerds like me won’t like being left awash with ignorance?

PS please whisper to Chrissie Ott that she can solve her PDF problem with - when installed it appears as an extra printer, so anything you can print or scan can be converted to a PDF file by just sending it to the new “printer”.

Male Interloper