From: Matthew French (mfrench42 at domain yahoo.co.uk)
Date: Thu 12 Sep 2002 - 23:06:33 IST
Niall responded to Paul Kelly who responded to me:
> > >Even worse idea. CD ROM drives are the one component I replace more > >
> > >than mice (closely followed by keyboards). They also tend to fail at
> > >awkward
> > >moments.
> > WTF are you doing to them! Are you a smoker or something?
> As I seem to have started this I'll throw in my oar :-) because now that I
> think of it, I've seen at least as many failing CD drives as disk drives.
For the record, I have very few HD failures, but I seem to have a deft touch
with CD-ROM drives. I have gone through 7 drives in 8 years... <sigh> To be
fair, the latest one has been with me for over two years now.
I suspect it has something to do with having to rush off and buy the first
replacement I can find. Since the replacement is usually cheap and dirty, it
fails in no time at all.
More recently it can be explained by "sticky fingers" slamming the CD tray
shut as she sticks in her latest educational game. [Three year olds will do
that to a CD drive. :) ] Except that I have become adept at opening up CD
drives and cleaning up common problems.
More practically: because CD-ROM drives are physically open it is much
easier for them to break. A number of times the drive failed because the
part that grips the CD when it spins does not hold on properly, so the CD
does not rotate at the correct speed. Masking tape can fix this up to a
Another problem seems to be that an unbalanced CD left in the drive for too
long can distort (bend?) the drive mechanism. At least, I think this is what
happens. The end result is a lot of vibration from disks that would normally
be properly balanced in other drives.
And then dirt can grim get in the mechanism and cleaning the lense on a CD
drive is not as easy as, say, on a flip top CD player. Although I have not
seen this problem too often - I did see it often enough on early CD drives.
Talking of which: one strange problem I had on an early CD drive was that
the mounting screws had been hand tightened. This had obviously distorted
the casing enough that the lens was out of alignment. Loosening all screws
except one fixed the problem.
So in my experience, CD drives are mechanically unreliable. But at least
they are easier to replace than hard drives. Maybe I should buy more
reliable CD drives. (Or as some on this list would say: maybe I should buy
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