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CD/DVD burner no longer burns, can't read DVDs.


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#1
Clyde Machine

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Hey GtG, been here before on malware issues and loved the results, so I'm back again, this time with a hardware problem. As tempting as it is to simply buy a replacement for my CD/DVD drive (if I can find one that is), I'm dead-set determined to fix this drive and get it back to working condition.

I have a HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop from about five years ago, have used it near-daily ever since. I've taken care of the hardware, and it has lasted me all this time with minimal hardware issues. I've changed OSes many times over the years, and am now running Windows XP and Linux Mint 9 as a dual-boot setup.

About the drive: sometime last year I discovered that my CD/DVD rewritable drive could no longer burn discs, CDs or DVDs. It could read them fine, but whenever I'd finish a regular burning process, I'd pull out the disc only to find it was still blank. Fast forward to a month ago, it stopped reading DVDs altogether. It can still read CDs (ripped an album with it just fine this month), but now it cannot burn CDs nor DVDs, and can't read DVDs - when I put a DVD in it'll make a clunking pattern and the disc is never recognized by either OS, resulting in me ejecting the drive out of frustration. The drive is recognized any other time.

Any insights will be appreciated, and while I'm not above replacing it, I want to take this as an opportunity to learn something about disc drives, and how I might fix this one.

Edited by Clyde Machine, 28 November 2010 - 02:48 PM.

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#2
rshaffer61

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DVD read side is faulty
Burning side sounds like it is gone also
This is caused most likely by the laser eye being dirty, scratched out of alignment or in most cases just bad.
It can still read cd's because the cd side of the drive is still good. No telling how long that will last as it sounds like the drive is headed for the big failure soon.
My suggestion is to replace it with any 2.5 inch optical drive but I'm sure with a little research you can probably find the exact drive from maybe HP or someplace like Amazon online.
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#3
Clyde Machine

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Thanks rshaffer61 for your reply, now I've got a little better understanding of what could be going on.

I saw a similar topic on a faulty CD/DVD drive (oddly enough, same exact model of my laptop), but for a totally different problem, so I know there's still options out there for replacement.

However, if it's at all possible to save it, I'd like to exhaust all those options first. How might I effectively clean the laser eye (I only see one lens in here, does it do both the reading and burning for both the CDs and DVDs?), and how might I check/adjust the alignment of the laser eye?
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#4
rshaffer61

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Normally that work is done by the factory.
You could try a cd lens cleaning disk but IMHO I've never had any luck with them when they are as far gone yours sounds.
If it was a reading or a writing issue then I would say you might give it a try. Yours has lost most of it's original capabilities at this point.
In your case I would be willing to guarantee the laser is failing and the clunking sound you hear is the mechanics of the drive starting to fail now. :D
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#5
Clyde Machine

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I also don't see any dirt or scratches on the lens.... So I guess there's not much I can do for this particular drive. Bah, humbug.

Thanks for your time and information, I'll be looking into replacement drives, potentially USB external ones. What do you know of their quality vs. an internal drive?

EDIT: Erm. I just got my drive to read a DVD simply by pushing the lens carriage around a bit. Got me kinda excited, but I'll keep checking for the possibility of it failing again.

Edited by Clyde Machine, 28 November 2010 - 03:31 PM.

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#6
D-Berd

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I had a Internal Plextor CD/DVD burner in a desktop years ago and it made a clicking sound when trying to read discs. I pulled it apart and noticed the mechanism that moved the laser head back and forth was loose
It was a corkscrew type gear and the screw that held it in place fell out. I screwed it back in and the burner worked great.........For about a week then it just stopped reading and writing discs.
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#7
rshaffer61

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Thanks for your time and information, I'll be looking into replacement drives, potentially USB external ones. What do you know of their quality vs. an internal drive?

I like the USB external drives. Fast reliable and the cost has come down a lot.
Found this one HERE
USB, External and after mail in rebate your cost is 19.99
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#8
Clyde Machine

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Thanks again for the replies everyone - I'd seen externals for $40-$60, figured I wouldn't see them any cheaper. I'll have a look into that one.

@D-Berd I've taken this one out and taken the cover off, but haven't looked into any of the gears/springs/other moveable parts. I figured I had some issue like that because my house is heated by a wood furnace - i.e., EVERYTHING has dust on it, all the time, computer innards being no exception.

That little fix I mentioned has me thinking my DVD reading problems are related to how dirty it may be under the carriage. Any thoughts on this?

More information about said "fix": Repeated trials of gently pushing the laser carriage back and forth prior to inserting a working test DVD have only yielded two successes out of about ten attempts. "Success" is marked by fully functioning DVD read, "failure" being the drive making a set pattern of sounds (CD sounds, drive component sounds, etc.) in set intervals that only cease when I eject the drive.

Edited by Clyde Machine, 28 November 2010 - 04:05 PM.

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#9
SpywareDr

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my house my house is heated by a wood furnace - i.e., EVERYTHING has dust on it, all the time, computer innards being no exception.

Wood smoke contains large amounts of particulate ("soot") ... as well as carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants.
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#10
D-Berd

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If you're keeping the pc on the ground then It may be worth getting it off of the floor. Or at least elevating off the ground somehow with wood blocks or books. A pc is like a little vacuum cleaner, it's always sucking air in from the front and blowing it out the back or top. Dirt, hair, dust, you name it. all ends up on the floor and then gets sucked in to the pc at some point.
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#11
Clyde Machine

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Actually, we're talking about a laptop and I've kept it up on a desk almost every time I've turned it on (occasionally on my lap, on a couch, other such places), but I will admit it's seen its fair share of travel to many different locations, all with varying amounts of dust and dirt and hair.

However, I've taken a look inside it many times and the greatest amount of dust appears to be in the CD/DVD drive, of which there is still very little. It's enough to notice, unlike the rest of the computer's insides.

I think it's worth noting that the fix I mentioned (after about 40 total attempts tonight) worked 2 more times, just long enough for me to get Ubuntu Studio 10.10 installed on my machine. What I find really weird is that after I got it to work that one time, that whole session behaved as though I had a pristine drive reading that disc. So long as I didn't eject that disc, it would run just fine. Does this still sound like a laser issue....? I'm going to attempt a disc burning sometime soon as another test.
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