I think my optical drives are trying to eat my CDs.
September 1, 2006 1:26 PM   Subscribe

I've had two DVD drives exhibit the same odd behavior when ejecting discs, and I can't figure out how to stop it.

The first drive, a tray-loader LG CD-R/DVD-ROM drive, worked fine for a year or so before it started to stutter slightly when ejecting. As time went on, the problem got worse, until finally I would hit the eject button and hear the mechanism start, but the tray wouldn't come out. It seemed to act as though it was blocked by something, though every time I'd check the bay there was nothing obvious. By this point I'd have to let the drive attempt to eject the disc, give up, and then press the button again before finally it worked properly. I lived with this for a couple of years before I got a DVD burner and relegated the hobbled combo drive to secondary optical drive status.

Now my DVD burner, a Lite-On tray-loader, has started doing the same thing. The only hint to the problem is that when the tray does eject, occasionally the CD is unseated—sometimes so far that the rear edge of the CD gets stuck on the plastic rim and blocks the tray's operation. My guess is that the violence of the tray opening is causing the CD to fly around and block something, but this doesn't make much sense to me. With this drive, the problem is much worse: repeated attempts to eject the CD fail, and it's only when I try to force the front bezel of the tray down while pressing the button that anything happens.

To add insult to injury, the old combo drive now ejects CDs perfectly fine. I haven't done anything other than let it sit for a while without a disc inside. Conversely, the problems for both drives seemed to start when I left a disc in them for a while8212;no moving or anything I can remember, just that I put a disc in and then didn't use the drives for a while. What's going on?
posted by chrominance to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Sounds like the drive bay may be a little crooked. Not enough to register to the human eye, but enough to screw up ejecting over time. I'm especially suspicious since your first drive is working fine now.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:40 PM on September 1, 2006

I would actually check the power supply. Most small computer shops will have an ATX Power Supply tester box (they're $40 ish, so they should!!!).

If the power supply isn't supplying a good solid 12V, or if it's spiking, the motor inside may exhibit odd behavior until things settle down.

I had a bad power supply that ended up frying my motherboard.... it was really bad, hence other things ended up getting damaged because I was told that it wasn't the power supply. Now when spooky things happen, I always check the power supply first...
posted by hatsix at 9:01 PM on September 1, 2006

Response by poster: I doubt it's the power supply for two reasons: one, the other drive works fine; two, the drive ejects the tray as normal when there's no CD. (I guess I should've mentioned the latter in the question itself, but you always miss something...)

Crooked, you say? Along which axis? It also occurs to me that the computer has been on several cross-country trips, though the problem with the first drive happened before the computer ever got on an airplane.
posted by chrominance at 9:45 AM on September 2, 2006

When it is stuck, use a paperclip inserted in the small hole on the front of it to get it to open. Forcing it open by grabbing the front bezel will break it.

Since it is both your drives and you say you move the PC around alot, the case itself could be bent a little. So like PinkStainlessTail said it may be just enough off to get stuck.

Did you move the combo drive when you got the DVD Burner?
posted by Ateo Fiel at 6:54 AM on December 27, 2006

« Older Where best to sit at the Oval?   |   Lots of data Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.