Upgrading your laptop to make it Blu-Ray compatible can take your multimedia computer to the next level. Before going through the process of upgrading your laptop's components, you will need to research a couple of basic facts about your system components. Make sure that your laptop supports high-definition display; without an HD display, the Blu-Ray is somewhat wasted. Additionally, you will want to make sure that you have your user manual on hand; because there are several different models of HP laptops, the specifics for opening the machine will vary. User manuals can be downloaded from the HP website.
External versus Internal Blu-Ray
While most available internal Blu-Ray drives are made for the desktop rather than the laptop, there are a handful of Blu-Ray drives that are made especially for inserting in your laptop. In order to install these, you will need to be able to open your laptop and remove the old optical drive. Alternatively, there are external Blu-Ray drives that connect via Universal Serial Bus (USB), eliminating the need for any computer savvy in replacing an internal drive. External Blu-Ray drives are good for users with multiple computers because they make the drive usable on any computer.
Opening Your Laptop
If you choose to install an internal Blu-Ray drive, be aware that opening your laptop will void your warranty. Should your upgrade cause any damage to your laptop, this is undertaken at your own risk. If you are at all uncomfortable removing and adding components, consider taking the drive and laptop to a computer hardware professional. You will have to consult your user manual for details on how to open your laptop, but generally you will need to remove anywhere from 10 to 18 screws from the underside of the case. You may also have to remove the keyboard and display to pull off the top half of the case and expose the components for replacement.
Replacing the Optical Drive
When pulling out the old optical drive, make sure that you're not yanking any cables out suddenly, and that you've removed all screws that may be holding it in place. Do not force the drive out if it does not come out easily; this may indicate that it's still secured to another component, and forcing it runs the risk of damaging components around it. Once you've safely removed the old optical drive, secure the Blu-Ray drive in its place, making sure that the connections are firmly seated and snug.
Before spending the time, effort, and money upgrading your computer to a Blu-Ray drive, make sure that drive in question will work both with your computer's hardware configuration and with your operating system.
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