4 Expedients to Let the Failed Laptop’s CD/DVD Drive Read Disc Again

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Many laptop computer users usually don’t notice their laptop’s CD/DVD drives have not been able to read disc until they need to reinstall or upgrade operating system. The inserted disc revolves normally but the icon of optical drive (CD/DVD) just won’t show in computer window. The question still remains after changing disc. Is it a must to dispatch the laptop to the computer repair shop? Not quite, followings are four ways with which you may have your laptop’s CD/DVD drive work again by yourself.

1.   Check to see if the CD/DVD drive device driver is normal. Right click the “Computer” icon on desktop, and then click “Properties” -> “Device Manager” to get into Windows Device Manager. In Device Manager, if your DVD/CD-ROM drive has an yellow triangle with an exclamation mark in it, it proves that the CD/DVD drive device driver goes wrong, and you will need to uninstall and reinstall the device driver. I strongly recommend you download the driver program from the office website of the CD/DVD drive’s manufacturer.

2.   Clean the laser with the absorbent tampon or q-tip. Open the CD/DVD drive by pressing the eject button. Due to the long-lasting disuse, there must be a lot of dust covering on the CD/DVD drive tray and laser lens. The dust will block the laser from reading data in the disc. You can use a absorbent tampon or q-tip to clean up the laser lens.

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3.   Use the absolute alcohol to “wash” the laser lens. If the clean of the absorbent tampon or q-tip does not let your CD/DVD drive work, you can strengthen the clean, dipping the absorbent tampon or q-tip into the absolute alcohol and then cleaning the laser lens. Note, don’t let the liquid drip onto the circuit card during the clean. Some people say the alcohol will corrode the laser lens or the reflective metal coating, but I have already operated many times, and my CD/DVD drive is still in a very good condition now.

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4.   Adjust the variable resistor in CD/DVD drive. If the situation still does not improve, I suggest you adjust the variable resistor in the laser lens circuit to increase the power of the laser by adding more voltages. The steps are described below:

1). Eject the CD/DVD drive tray, and then shut down your laptop. Turn your laptop over and open the cover plate of the optical drive components. Fair warning: don’t let the small screws drop into the inside of your laptop when unscrewing them, in addition, avoid cutting the laser lens and ribbon cable by a sharp tool.

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2). Find the variable resistor in the laser lens circuit. If you don’t know what the variable resistor looks like, the part in the red circle in the following graphic is the variable resistor. Note, some optical drives place their variable resistors on the side instead of the back.

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3). Finally, adjust the variable resistor by rotating clockwise by 5-10 degrees, and then turn on your laptop to see if the CD/DVD drive get well, if not, do that adjustment on more time.

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The above are the four solutions to the problem that the laptop computer’s CD/DVD drive does not read disc. Hope it helps those in immediate need.

About Author: Edwin is keen to collect classic DVDs and Blu-rays. If you are also a DVD collector and want to back up your DVD collection onto local hard drive, here is a world’s top DVD ripping software which may help you.

Myself, Vaibhav S is a Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TechnoGiants, working Software Professional, and an avid lover of Software's and Web Services. I love computers and also love to write and share about Tech-related Stuff, Computers etc with others.

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