Help Me Close The Tray From Hell
April 5, 2008 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Help! The CD drive keeps re-opening!

I just got into work and the computer (XP) at our (small) office is having problems. The CD tray is open; when I push the button to close it, it closes, thinks for a second or two, and the re-opens.

Cursory googling has led to me believe this may be a defective drive (it's about 3 years old and this has never happened before). But is there anything I can do in the short term to keep this thing shut? Access to the actual drive itself is not terribly important, but I don't want to have to open up the case and pull anything out.

Any suggestions for short- or long-term fixes would be greatly appreciated. Right now it's just sticking out like the "cup holder" of mid-90s computer n00b jokes.
posted by rossination to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What I would try doing is disabling the drive via my computer while the tray is shut.
posted by stresstwig at 11:20 AM on April 5, 2008

Well, if by "pull out" you mean "remove" then this may meet your criteria:
-open case
-close CD drive
-quickly unplug the CD drive from the power supply before it can open again.
posted by winston at 11:21 AM on April 5, 2008

Is there any chance you might be the victim of Office Poltergeist?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:23 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry to overmoderate, just wanted to clarify a few things:

-- stresstwig: how would I disable the drive?
-- winston: yeah, I thought of that, too. That's going to be a last resort, since it's not really something I'm comfortable doing.
-- Inspector.Gadget: we have only one computer in our office and I'm the only one here. But yeah, I did think of something like that. It's the kind of thing I would do to a coworker...

Thanks, all.
posted by rossination at 11:26 AM on April 5, 2008

I might be misreading winston's method, but it sounds like it might cause a power surge that could fry something...
Slight modification: if you're opening the case, turn your computer off, then use a straightened paperclip to push the 'manual open button' (in the small hole on the outside of the drive). Finally, pull the power clip from the back of the drive to disable it entirely.
posted by acro at 11:26 AM on April 5, 2008

Response by poster: (stresstwig -- I just disabled the drive through the device manager while it was shut, and it did not work -- just popped back out).
posted by rossination at 11:28 AM on April 5, 2008

If you haven't tried the usual restarting, blowing the dust out and whatnot, it probably couldn't hurt.

You could also seal the drive shut with tape or glue or something (note: if the drive wasn't broken before, this will almost certainly break it). This is only a good idea if a)you're absolutely unwilling to open the case, b)it is absolutely essential that the tray is closed and c)you've already written off the drive. Come to think of it, even then, it's probably not a good idea.
posted by box at 11:28 AM on April 5, 2008

It's probably just gunked up where the sensor tries to figure out if a finger is stuck in it or something. Compressed air will likely blow the dust out and get things working again. Do not open the case and unplug it while the computer is on or anything like that.
posted by rhizome at 12:08 PM on April 5, 2008

Best answer: When a CD-ROM drive detects that it's failed to close properly, it generally reverses the cycle and opens again. The easiest solution is to hit the close button again, and hold the tray in a half-open position, exerting just enough force to keep it in place. The motor will run back and forth a couple of times, but it should give up after about 10 seconds. At that point, the motor and sensors are deactivated, and you can manually slide the tray closed.

(Disclaimer: I have done this a bunch of times and never seen any problems resulting from it, but I can't swear on my life that this won't break your drive.)

As an alternative, you can always open the case and unplug the power and data cables from the drive. IDE cables aren't designed to be hot-pluggable, so shut the computer down first.
posted by teraflop at 3:36 PM on April 5, 2008

Response by poster: Teraflop -- thanks! That worked! I don't have high hopes for the drive, at any rate -- it's not reading discs now. But, that's not a huge deal; I've told my bosses that they probably should invest in a new drive and I can probably pop it in next weekend.
posted by rossination at 3:42 PM on April 5, 2008

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