View Full Version : Weirdness with my laptop's optical drive.

May 31st, 2009, 08:41 PM
Hi. I have been in several laptops and one thing I noticed is that the optical drive starts having problems burning media after some months (it was 3 years in the case of my first laptop) of having gotten the laptop, and wanted to know. Has any one of you had similar problems with laptop optical drives in general? And what can cause those problems?

May 31st, 2009, 09:16 PM
My old laptop has some major issues with the CD drive. First it won't read DVDs anymore. If I put a DVD in it doesn't even recognize anything is in there at all. Second it even has problems reading from regular CDs. I found that if I slam the tray in hard enough it works correctly with regular CDs. Though lately that doesn't seem to work anymore. Getting a live CD to boot on this thing seems to be a lot of trouble. The CD drive is almost completely dead.

I have no clue what causes these problems. I guess it just went bad.

May 31st, 2009, 09:37 PM
It's probably a dirty or mis-aligned laser lens or something of that sort that is causing the problems in both cases. CD/DVD drives are very much precision instruments and the tiniest fraction of mis-alignment of the disk or lens can cause these problems; I've even had it on a brand new drive once. It would read most disks and have no problems, but it would never boot from just some DVDs or CDs. It was changed straight away by the computer maker (a small local shop, not a big manufacturer) and no more problems.

You could try a lens/drive cleaner disk if you haven't already done so, but don't expect miracles.

May 31st, 2009, 09:57 PM
I would stay away from any cd drive cleaning disks, as I have seen quite a few cd/dvd drives ruined by cleaning disks. In the case of laptop drives, the lens is easy enough to get at, I always use a cotton swap and distilled water to clean laser lenses.

May 31st, 2009, 11:37 PM
I have has simmaler issues with the optical drive on my laptop, it will often refuse to eject a disk and it is a nightmare to get a live CD to boot. However I virtually never use optical media any more so it isn't a problem.

June 1st, 2009, 12:14 AM
My second cd drive won't burn anything. Windows or linux.

June 1st, 2009, 12:25 AM
No laptop DVD+/-RW drive I've found can actually erase a disk. They simply whir for 10 minutes and reject the disk.