How to Fix a Computer Disc Drive

by Stephen Lilley

As with any piece of electronic equipment, computer disc drives can sometimes start to develop problems. Electronics have a limited life span, and many things can affect the way they operate. Computer disc drives in particular tend to be finicky pieces of equipment. There are a variety of things you can do, however, to both prolong your disc drive's lifespan and fix the problems you are experiencing.

Examine the disc you are using. If you begin to have problems with your computer disc drive, the first thing you should always check is the data side of the CD or DVD you are attempting to use. If the disc has any dirt, smudges or scratches on it, this could prevent the drive's laser from being able to read the data. Clean the disc with a soft, dry cloth before trying to use it again.

Clean the drive's laser. On a computer disc drive, the part of the device that scans and reads the data from the disc you are using is the laser. If that laser is blocked by dust or dirt on the inside of the drive itself, it will be unable to operate properly. Use a can of compressed air to spray out the drive while the door is open before continuing.

Make sure the disc drive hasn't come unplugged from the computer. If your computer's disc drive is internal, open up the case and take a look inside. There should be a cable that goes from the back of the drive to your computer's motherboard. If this cable has come unplugged, plug it back in, as this could cause the drive not to function at all.

Make sure your USB or Firewire ports are working if you have an external disc drive that plugs into your computer via USB or Firewire. Plug in other devices that you know are working, and see what the results are. Plug the disc drive into another computer that you know is working. If the ports have gone bad, you may need to take your computer to a repair shop and have them replaced.

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

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