My problem is that I have a new external DVD r/rw and it uses USB 2. Whenever I play a DVD the sound skips. This is the second drive I have tried so I am sure it's not the drive. I have an Inspiron 8200. My specs on DELL.com just say USB. I assume this means I don't have USB 2.0. If this is correct how can I upgrade/ resolve this problem?
I am pretty sure that laptop does not support USB 2 which means data transfer from the external drive will be limited by the slower USB standard. The skipping is likely due to the drive not being able to supply data quick enough to keep up with the pace of the movie being watched. One solution would be to purchase a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card. This would allow you to connect and operate the external drive at USB 2 speeds.
The card you are looking for can be purchased at Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc. and works very well. You can purchase this with multiple USB 2.0 ports or a combination of USB 2.0 and firewire ports. The one that I used on my I8100 was made by Adaptec and worked well.