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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | CD-ROM Drives | CD-ROM Drive Construction and Operation ]

Single and Multiple Drives

Most CD-ROM drives allow the use of only a single disk at a time. There are available, however, some drives that will let you use four or even more disks at once. This can give you great flexibility, especially if there are one or two disks you use very frequently. You can leave this in the system semi-permanently, and use another slot for disks that you use only infrequently.

The use of a multiple disk CD-ROM drives normally requires special software driver support. The extra disks are normally mapped to additional drive letters by the driver, giving you access to all of the drives independently.

For whatever reason, multiple CD-ROM drives have never really become very popular. They tend to be more expensive than equivalent single drives, of course. They also tend to lag the leading edge of CD-ROM technology; the fastest multiple disk drive is quite a bit slower than the fastest single disk drive.

Next: Connectors and Jumpers


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