Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.
First off, DVD burners have a short life span regardless of brand or model number.
Lasers have to burn into a layer of aluminum and to do that it requires a lot of heat.
Lasers which are diodes, tend to lose their strength after a number of burns. There is no set number for the diodes to start losing their powerful laser beam ability.
The first sign of failure is when you notice that the tracks burnt into a disk are not deep or defined as they once were.
The laser has to produce much more of a powerful beam of light to burn a disk, then it does to read a disk.
You say the drive burns DVDs, but the real question is how defined and deep are the tracks it burns?
Examine the disks and compare them to commercially burned disks to see how deep the layers are.
Drives are also made up of plastic and metal parts, the trays can warp over time, the lubricating grease on moving parts wears thin over time, the trays can get stuck on the disk hub during ejection, because the center of the tray sags and hangs up on the hub.
Noise such as you mentioned could be a stuck lost disk inside the drive, this is probably unlikely since you say the drive still burns disks, so what we are looking at here is the CD or DVD is most likely spinning and hitting something above or below it.
This can happen to if the disk its self is warped or if the tray is warped.
Diagnostic programs can only do one thing with drives such as these, they measure the spin up time and that is all.
Edited by MrBruce1959, 13 July 2011 - 01:52 AM.