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ThinkPad P71 - internal optical drive options?

2018-12-02, 3:14 AM

Hello all - as a new P71 owner, I am looking to add an internal optical drive to my laptop (preferably a blu-ray writer). I am having no luck finding out where I can purchase a drive with bezel. Has anyone else dealt with this? Thanks for any guidance!





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Re: ThinkPad P71 - internal optical drive options?

2018-12-02, 3:19 AM



Have you tried Lenovo?  Choose optical drives on the left side.  I dont think they have BluRay though




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Re: ThinkPad P71 - internal optical drive options?

2018-12-02, 17:56 PM
I found something for P71 on ebay, but to be safe, order a genuine DVD writer, pop the bezel and put it on the BD writer.

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Re: ThinkPad P71 - internal optical drive options?

2018-12-02, 18:37 PM

I had a similar goal back in January 2016 when I received my P70 which had been ordered with the standard Lenovo optical CD/DVD drive factory installed. I had previously swapped the Lenovo factory optical CD/DVD drive for a BluRay drive successfully on my older W530 and I assumed it would also be similarly easy to perform the same surgery on my new P70.  Again, both drives were ordered from Lenovo with the factory optical CD/DVD drive pre-installed so that the swap is presumably a relatively simple (a) removal of the old drive assembly, (b) remove the bezel and other mounting "clips/brackets" from the factory drive, (c) install the bezel and clips/brackets onto the new "bare" retail drive, and (d) install the newly completed replacement drive assembly back into the laptop.


Well, it went well with the W530 back in 2013.  But it didn't go so well with my P70 in 2016. In the end I had to abandon the planned P70 effort as unsuccessful, and returned the Panasonic 9.5mm UJ-272 BluRay drive I had purchased for the project.


Plus, during the effort I had done irreperable physical harm to the original bezel from the factory drive, breaking one of the plastic clips that snaps it on to the front of the bare drive so that I couldn't securely re-attach it to the original Lenovo CD/DVD drive. I ended up having to order a complete replacement CD/DVD drive part (which comes complete with a new bezel already attached to the bare drive behind it) from Lenovo in order to get me right back where I started.


You can read about my 2016 experience in this thread.  I was replying to someone else's question about the very same subject, as you are here but for the P71.


There was another thread back in 2016 regarding the likely cause of the problem, namely the new thinner and 2-faced bezel used for the P70 (and presumably the P71 as well) due to the relocation of the optical drive from thicker (12.7mm) flat bezel location on the rear of the right edge of the W530 to the new thinner (9.5mm) and sloped location on the front of the left edge of the P70. This caused relocation of the micro-switch to open the tray and a much smaller area for all of this to exist in. The button was placed on the lower face of the 2-faced bezel, making it extremely difficult to find and push successfully.


Anyway, if you want to try it yourself on the P71 which you describe as NOT having been ordered with an optiical CD/DVD drive already installed, then you received a machine that only has a "blank" bezel as a placeholder for the drive bay opening. I don't believe this bezel can be used on a genuine drive, but I don't know that for sure.  What is definitely true though is that if you do order a replacement optical CD/DVD drive from Lenovo (it was either 00NY383 or 00NY384 as I recall) the new part will come with a brand new bezel and installation brackets and clips that you can remove and transfer to whatever new BluRay drive you decide to buy.  Just be EXTREMELY careful prying that bezel off of the "throwaway CD/DVD drive" from Lenovo, and then installing it onto your BluRay drive.  I believe there is also another black plastic clip on the side which is critical to transfer in order for it to fit properly and lock securely inside of the bay.


I've tried to locate my original thread where I describe the entire failed project to get a BluRay drive into my P70, but so far I can't find that actual thread. I think I included photos and lots of detail comments, although in the end as I stated earlier I just couldn't complete it successfully. That smaller lower micro-switch location on the bezel just didn't seem to match up perfectly with the micro-switch on the replacement Panny UJ-272 drive so I couldn't get the tray to open reliably.  And even then, something about the device didn't seem to work well with Win7 and player software even just for playing music audio CDs.  After much struggle I just decided I wasn't really going to have a problem reverting back to a regular CD/DVD that DOES work dependably. 


And that's where I am today, and honestly I haven't missed having a BluRay drive.  But that's just me and my needs. Your situation may be different, so good luck.

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