The DVD drive in my laptop broke and a friend told me I would have to contact the manufacturer to replace it. It's awfully expensive. Is there a way to get one cheaper?
I, too, always thought that the DVD drive was unique to the laptop and if there was a problem you had to get the new DVD from the manufacturer.
As it turns out, DVD drives are standard, and you can buy a generic DVD drive. You must simply move the face and connection plates on both ends of the old drive to the new drive, and for a lot less money you can replace your DVD drive. This isn't something a computer neophyte should tackle, but for someone who is used to digging around inside computers, it's a simple task. (One of the best sites for computer parts like this is Newegg.com. There are many others, as well, including Amazon.com.)
The hard drive in your laptop is also replaceable, and it will cost less than purchasing a replacement from the laptop manufacturer. You can check the drive type by looking in your technical manual and find a matching drive from local office supply store or online sites and increase the size and speed of your old drive at significant savings.
Of course you need to get the data off your old drive if possible and restore it to the new drive. You may want to contact one of the local computer stores to help you. You can also purchase a backup/restore utility, such as True Image from Acronis.com to help. Again, this isn't a difficult task, but not one that most computer beginners would want to tackle.