Powering External DVD-RW via USB Phone Charger

Custom / N/A
September 14, 2014 at 19:14:16
Specs: See Below, See Below
Hey Everyone,

I have an odd question today:

I own an HP external DVD-RW drive. It has two USB cables, one for data and one for power. My question is, could I hook up the power USB to a USB phone charger, like this one:


The one I have is rated 4.8 V and 1 Amp. This brings up two questions:

1. I thought USB 2.0 could only deliver 500 mA of power...does it use the data terminals for extra power or something?

2. I don't know how much power the drive draws...that being said, could it really damage the drive trying? I would assume that the drive draws the most power allowed by a USB cable, and a wall adapter shouldn't be able to deliver more power than a computer...right? Or are there no voltage limits on USB cables?

In case you are wondering, I only want to do this so I could open/close the drive without the computer being on.


User Info Page Biography for full specs.

See More: Powering External DVD-RW via USB Phone Charger

Report •

September 14, 2014 at 19:33:37
Strange. My Samsung DVD RW only has 1 USB port....

Report •

September 14, 2014 at 21:30:00
The voltage will remain constant at 5 volts, it's the current draw that will change. Tablets & iPads can draw upwards of 2 amps or 10 watts, I doubt your drive draws that much but if you're concerned go to a computer or electronics store and get a power supply that works with tablets. You probably wouldn't burn out the drive with a under rated power supply but the drive could give you data errors. You could fry the power supply if it doesn't have decent protection and the drive wants to pull more current then the supply can deliver. Usually there is a sticker on the back or bottom of the drive with the specifications on it.

No, the data terminals do not supply extra power.

message edited by THX 1138

Report •

September 15, 2014 at 05:51:29
I would be seriously disinclined to use a phone charger to power a usb drive - whatever style/type the drive might be. Many usb psu are often overrate in terms of what current they can safely deliver - without starting to run warm/hot... which might well shorten the life of the psu. Some of the bottom end/cheaper units have had problems in that regard... Check around for reviews of any psu you might consider using; typically Amazon sites various of course have reviews...

That same psu would then be available for other usb devices too.

Look for a decent make with at least 2-3amps - or more current rating.

An overrated psu wouldn't normally damage a drive; although the drive might well not run properly if the true current o/p available was inadequate... But if the psu decided to deliver the wrong DC volts (higher than 5Volts...) that "might" be a serious and troublesome issue for the drive...

Report •

Related Solutions

September 15, 2014 at 14:09:50
Yeah, the drive I have works with only 1 cable attached - but not quite as well (and only when the computer is on).

Ah, I see. I didn't realize that when I heard USB 2.0 only supports 500 mA that was with full data, and that it could handle up to 5 A without data transmission (I think...?)

I also have a power supply rated at 5 V, though I've never had a problem charging phones/tablets off of only 4.8 V...I suppose it might be different for something like a DVD drive.

When I checked on amazon.com I saw several chargers that were rated upwards of 6 A - they also have multiple USB ports, so I'm assuming that the Amp rating is the combined output for all the ports.

To be honest, I don't really care if I damage the charger itself, it was free :)

Oh, and after reading through several pages of documentation (sadly the sticker on the bottom fell off), I finally found the power consumption of the drive. It uses 5 V and 1.5 A...though I don't know if it uses the 500 mA from the data cable (thus requiring only 1 A of power from the second USB).

User Info Page Biography for full specs.

Report •

September 15, 2014 at 14:36:29
I have a Samsung cd/dvd burner that comes with usual Y cord. It will work via 2 usb ports on the computer - be it an Acer laptop, or assorted Mac kit. But I prefer to power it via an ac adapter, at least when chez-moi.

Report •

January 7, 2015 at 11:34:12
Does an external DVD rewriter use the same power as a portable DVD player?

Report •

Ask Question