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Buying advice for MO drive?

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I was wondering if I could have some advice about purchasing a replacement optical drive. We currently have a Maxoptix optical drive in a Windows 98 machine which is connected to an expensive piece of medical imaging equipment. The drive is used to store the medical images. It is not working anymore, and it's out of the 3 year warranty. The old exams are stored on the MO disks, so we can't switch to another type of storage. The company that makes the medical equipment said to replace it with a Sony SMO-F551 which retails for about $1500. I saw them on ebay (used) for about $150 with no drivers (guaranteed not to be DOA). There was also one listed for $600 with a 90 warranty. I was wondering if you thought the used drive would work (someone told me that drivers are not needed since it's a SCSI device). Can I just slide the old one out and slide the new one in? Or do you think we need to spring for the brand new expensive one to make it work? I'd appreciate any advice about this! Thanks in advance...
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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if this device is as critical as you claim it is..i wouldn't go with a used one..i would go with a brand new one that has a warranty....otherwise if it doesn't work or breaks...you're still spending more on the drive...any time a device is mission crtical...go with a new device that has a good warranty..never buy something used or refurbished unless you're ok with the device breaking down the line
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If you go with the same model, you should not have a problem with drivers since you should already have what you need. While the drive might work without specific drivers, there could also be things that don't work properly or as well as it should. You might be able to get any needed drivers from the maker's web site.

Personally, I don't have much of an issue with used drives for some uses, but if you go that route or even if you buy a new one (which is obviously best), I would also get a spare one or two. I would also consider transfering the data to another media, such as DVD. One aspect you need to consider is that if the replacement drive has a problem it can cost you more money than you save by buying a used drive.
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You could always get a cheaper one of the MO drives and then get newer standard medium(i had to look up what those drives are to not alot of luck). You can get a new drive like a DVD-RW/RAM drive which are alot cheaper and you will be able to have support for it in the future(although here the win98 might cause a conflict) that is better.

But switching mediums would be a bigger job for you, but woul give you more flexability and let the disks be more flexible as you can use more than one medium that would be compatible with every system and the capacities fomr what i seen would be larger as single layer DVDs are just over 4Gb and dual 9Gb. But youll have to way that up and check if you can actually do it and wether it would be a good thing to try with limited information we cant help you decide as well as if we were there and as familiar with the problem as you are.

Dsenette is correct though if you need the drive and arent going to change to anything else then there, and im not really to familiar with the technology frmo what i gather its an older system similar to current DVD RAM standard to allow rewriting to optical disks.
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