How to Install an External CD Drive

By Misty Rodriguez

Updated February 10, 2017

Use an external CD drive to burn CDs.
i cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

Most modern computers come with various bells and whistles, such as DVD and CD burners. However, some are simply "bare bones" models and may just have a CD-ROM drive that isn't able to burn discs. If you have one of these basic models, you can still burn CDs with the help of an external CD drive. These external drives plug in to the USB port on your computer or laptop. You can use an external CD drive on both your desktop and laptop.

Insert one end of the USB cable into the external CD drive.

Plug the other end of the cable into your computer's USB port.

Allow the computer to install the drivers for your external CD drive. Usually the computer will recognize the external drive and automatically install the drivers for the device. However, if yours came with driver software, insert the CD into your computer's internal CD drive and follow the prompts for proper installation.