Originally Posted by Odarby
I still haven't seen anyone posting photos of a I8600 with this drive installed. I am holding out for that to happen.
Might not wanna hold out any more then. I have a I8600c (bought in Nov 04) and it took me all of about 10 minutes to remove my default Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW, pop off the wierd Dell faceplate, pop off the 6500A faceplate, install the Dell facelate on the 6500A, and install the 6500A.
Its very simple and straight-forward. Hardest parts were slowly and CAREFULLY removing the faceplates (one side is easier than the other) and then finding all the screws to remove the old DVD-ROM/CD-RW from its Dell housing (you have to remove that pull-out arm--the one that clicks in/out that you pull to remove the drive. There is a screw under that that holds the drive in the housing). All told, I think there were about 6 or so screws holding the drive in the housing.
But once you get started, you see it all fall into place.
BTW, I got my NEC ND-6500A from atacom.com. WAY cheaper than Dell (paid about $130).
I do understand what you mean about the faceplate holes lining up. Don't worry, if you have an 8600 than the NEC ND-6500A will DEFINATELY work. But I noticed I couldn't take my (then useless) Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW and install it in an old I7000. Faceplate holes didn't line up (taking the faceplate off my old Toshiba DVD-ROM and putting it on the Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW) and the new NEC 6500's faceplate (which obviously fit the Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW perfectly and is currently on it) didn't fit in the housing for the drive on the I7000. Since I don't want to glue the old Toshiba faceplate on the new Sony, and I don't want to trim/file the new NEC's faceplate on my Sony to fit the I7000's opening, the Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW is sitting in a box on my shelf.
Apparently, the above is only true if you have the Dell Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW. If you have the default DVD-ROM (whatever make/model it is) skifiend stated that it would NOT work. So your only alternative would seem to be Dell Spare Parts (still not that bad of a price for a notebook 8X +/- Dual Layer (+ only) drive.