DVD drive failure? How do you tell?

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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I'm having some issues with my HTPC at present. It is having difficulty reading/playing DVDs.

At first I thought that the OS was at fault, being Linux, I assumed it to be a DRM issue, but after forking out for Windows 7 (and now I remember why I went to Linux) the problem persists. When a DVD is fed into the machine, it's a bit of a lottery as to whether it will be read at all or possibly lock up WMP or any other media player I have tried.

So, OS has been 99% discounted as the problem, as have the apllications, leaving hardware as the most probable cause.

The question is, without replacing the drive, how would you test it for potential failure?
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Twice (with old Panasonic DVD recorders) I had to resort to taking the covers off and cleaning the spindle/hub with a cotton bud dipped in water.

The laser lens was pristine on both occasions. It was the black 'grippy' part of the spindle/hub (and to a lesser extent the clamp on the underside of the cover) that got gunked up causing the DVD to slip or spin eccentically or whatever.

Odd really, given how clean everything else was inside the box and how this has never happened to any other brand of CD player or DVD player or Blu-ray player I have ever used, whether stand-alone, or built into a computer. Nor did it ever re-occur (on the same machine) after cleaning.

The symptoms on both occasions (two different machines) were that increasing numbers of DVDs would fail to be read. Lots of 'chunking' noises (some quite alarming) and lots of retries then a failure message. With both machines it happened within a few weeks of purchase. I reckon Panasonic coated (or lubricated) the spindle/hub/clamp with something that dust got stuck to. After a clean it never happened again on the same machine.
 

Overdose

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Thanks for the reply. My disc 'clamp' is the three point type that you press the disc onto, so will always grip it, but I think that the problem is a disc read only, as the disc still spins, or at least tries to.

I'm ordering a cheap internal DVD drive tonight, so I'll soon know and also know if my Windows 7 will be back on ebay or not. ;)
 

ReValveiT

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Slightly OT perhaps, but you can install windows as a 30 day trial without entering the activation code. You could have just borrowed a win7 disc from someone to trial it.
 

Overdose

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It's a full version and can be installed on any Pc, as long as the first is deactivated. It's already had one other owner. Thanks for the info though, could be useful in the future, although the near future is looking decidedly minty green. ;)
 

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