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DVD drive not reading discs


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#1 ITQuest

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:10 PM

Hello,

 

On a Toshiba Satellite A665 laptop with Windows 7 x64, the DVD drive has recently stopped recognising discs - first, it sopped reading "home-made" DVDs - archives with documents, photos, and so on (I think the DL first, then the rest), then "factory-made" discs (games requiring them in the drive, etc.), then it finally stopped recognising music CDs. The same discs are recognised and read by another computer. I have had the laptop for a few years, but I wouldn't say the DVD has seen usage that heavy.

 

There are two main doubts I have - either it might have simply got dusty (possibly the better option), or, since my HDD is really filled up currently, in case paging files or anything similar influences the work of the DVD drive, it could be that (however, since the DVD is not working, it would be a bit more difficult to do the obvious "free up some space and see what happens", and I mostly need the data I currently have on the hard disc). Or, of course, it could be something else.  :)

 

If anyone could offer any suggestions what the problem might be and how to approach it, I would appreciate it.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:27 PM

It has died.

 

Replace it.  Replacement optical drives are not at all expensive you just need to be certain that you get one with a tray that matches the external case configuration on your laptop.  See these returned on a smile.amazon.com search.   The replacement process is generally removing a single screw from the bottom of the machine, sliding the existing unit out, sliding the replacement unit in, and replacing the screw.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

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#3 mightywiz

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 11:52 AM

if it's a popout type drive then open the tray and use a q-tip to wipe the lens off.

and test it again, if it doesn't work then replace the drive, it's usually only held in by one screw.



#4 ITQuest

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:06 AM

Thanks to both posters for the replies.

 

Yes, it is a popout drive and if it is indeed dead, I suppose at least it couldn't harm to try to clean it first - I was hoping it might turn out to be something reversible.

 

Just in case, was there something about not using alcohol to clean, or were there some other precautions?

 

Also, would there be any chance at all this could somehow be caused by malware?



#5 Platypus

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 07:00 AM

The ideal would be a lens cleaner, such as intended for camera lenses, but every workshop I've worked in has used isopropyl alcohol, which leaves no deposits. Methylated spirits will work, but isn't as pure and can leave a slight residue.

 

The most effective way to discover whether the drive has stopped working and needs to be replaced is to try booting from a bootable CD or DVD, such as a Windows install disc or a Linux Live disc. This removes any variables like Windows or malware. If the system boots from an optical disc, then you can consider other causes.


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#6 mightywiz

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:44 PM

you can use iso alcohol, but use 90% or higher.  anything less can leave residue.

 

myself some good old spit on one end to clean then the other end to dry.  works great, and that's been my technique ever since cd player came out and I was working in a shop to doing stereo repair and that's how we all cleaned them.  it's way faster then finding the alcohol bottle.



#7 Platypus

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 12:10 AM

some good old spit


Indeed! (Hence the expression "spit & polish") Also quite serviceable when using a microfibre cloth to clean a laptop screen...
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#8 ITQuest

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 03:08 AM

What about DVD cleaner discs such as these here or here, or here?

 

I have heard some not very good comments about them, while some online recommendations seem to begin with using one - would there be any risk of such a cleaner, say, scratching the lens or in any other way doing more harm than good, or would they be, in the worst case, simply useless?

 

Especially the last two (I sort of chose them on purpose) don't look very convincing, but then again - it might be just lack of information on my part.



#9 Platypus

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 03:18 AM

The basic type can help if the problem is simply dust settled on the lens. The one with liquid cleaner included can do more, and might be able to clear away some deposits that occur from contaminants in the air. Neither type can be as effective as manual cleaning.


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#10 britechguy

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 07:51 PM

The basic type can help if the problem is simply dust settled on the lens. The one with liquid cleaner included can do more, and might be able to clear away some deposits that occur from contaminants in the air. Neither type can be as effective as manual cleaning.

 

The only reason to use these sorts of products is if you do not have easy access to the read/write lens for cleaning with a cotton swab, and there are plenty of instances where you don't when a tray arrangement is involved where the lens carrier is not a part of the tray assembly.  Things like tower computers or normal CD/DVD players.

 

Most laptops have the lens hardware attached to the tray and that move along it, so the moment the tray is popped out to put in a disc you have a clear shot at the lens for cleaning.

 

I still doubt, very seriously, this is an issue of dirt.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

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#11 MadmanRB

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:50 PM

Also just in case you cant find a compatible internal DVD player there are plenty of external ones that work just as well.


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#12 Crayon

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 03:22 AM

Optical drives can fail on a sudden basis. Sometimes the device that projects the laser for reading discs fails; that's what this is sounding like to me - you may want to have a technician take a quick look at it just to make certain.  If it still reads CDs (instead of DVDs) and/or will burn to DVDs or CDs, but will not read DVDs, that definitely sounds like a drive that needs replaced.






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