Can I use an external dvd/cd drive to run applications on my pc?

I bought a dell computer and have had the DVD/CD Drive replaced twice and it will still not detect anything I put in the driver. Can I use an external driver and still be able to run programs or play movies/cd's etc?
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More about external drive applications
  1. Yes you can do this as long as the external DVD is recognised by the OS.
  2. You should be able to use just about any USB optical dive...depending on your OS most will even work without needing to install drivers.
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