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DVD drive

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,329
Thanks: 77
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Registered: 30-08-2007

DVD drive

Over the weekend a fault occurred with my HP laptop; it begun to fail to recognise the built-in DVD/RW drive (Sony optiarc rw ad-7530b) in a number of ways: a) the tray failed to open, either from the button or the drive menu b) if opened using the emergency pin-hole it failed to read the disk.
Device manager see's the drive normally and reports working correctly.
From checking out reports on the web, this is it seems by no means an unusual fault. However, I have noticed that when the tray is open it is possible to trap the flat "ribbon cable" that runs under the tray between the reader/writer head and its connection to the MB (presumably) I believe this cable has become damaged having some severe crosswise bends and sharp creases in it where it has folded between the PC case and the tray front panel.
I would guess that the only option will be to replace the drive? I can obtain one...from a US online supplier for not excessive cash. But though I also have an old laptop that has a working DVD player (non-writer, but this doesn't matter to me) So I have a couple of questions:
Will any laptop drive fit any other laptop? (are they a standard fitting like desktop types)
I have no particular interest in using this laptop for disk burning (I have sufficient capacity for this on my desktop) so will any type DVD player work Ok?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: DVD drive

Unfortunately they are NOT standard fitting1. Even between models of same manufacturer you get differences. Its a case of replace it with exactly the same model number to be sure it will work/fit.
They have different connectors between the drive and the lt and can be different thicknesses as well.
1NB this was true when I was last dealing with lt's (about 3 years ago) but I assume it is still the same now.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: DVD drive

i had something similar with  my Acer laptop; I found a suitable replacement from SVP for about 20 quids.
one thing to be careful of is the size of the facia (the flat vertical bit on the front of the drive) -- not all laptop drives fit all laptops because facias may be different sizes. Get your measuring stick out before you order, though sometimes you can prise off the old facia and clip it on the new one ...
good luck
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,329
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

Thanks guys.
To ask a supplementary question: on the assumption that eventually I will have to obtain the matching drive from the US. does anybody have any experience of getting computer spares from the States?
Er! I haven't found an outlet for this item here in the UK...yet!!
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: DVD drive

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,329
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

That's interesting paulh thank you. The only thing that stops me is the comment "not believed to be at fault" ...but it by the same token it might be.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,329
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

The direct replacement found in the US is $57 inc shipping (I guess it will be more to ship to the UK) not done the $/£ conversion yet.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: DVD drive

there might be perfectly respectable OEM drive that you can get new and cheaper from this side of the pond. A bit of research on specs (and fittings as biker995 rightly says) pays dividends.
Might be worth finding an HP laptop forum and searching it and/or posting a question there (i located the replacement for mine by checking out an acer forum and asking)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: DVD drive

Hi Peter,
Have a look on here,
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/
in particular..... this page... is for "optical drives"
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/Components/OpticalDrives/

or even ring them up..... very helpful.... local to me..... and recommended....
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,329
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

Thanks shutter for the links, the Novatech search came to a dead end unfortunately.
Just doing a Google search for the item came up with the inevitable Amazon link which showed the right player but no stock! However a link from that page did in fact end up with an Ebay entry for a refurbished player for £34 (not an auction item) with a returns policy and 4 in stock. In fact several links in the Google search ended up at the same entry.
So now I have a choice:
paulh and the pattern part
Ebay for the refurb Sony
or, a new Sony from the US
or, continue the search
Uhmm!!
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: DVD drive

The vast majority of laptop drives ARE standard fitting.  There may be an adaptor but you just re-use your current adaptor.  However there are two types of standard fitting, the older Parallel ATA and the newer Serial ATA.  The first thing you need to do is remove your old drive so you can see what the fitting is.   
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

Just to close this I purchased the Ebay refurbish drive. Should it be unusable then at least I have some re-dress through Ebay or PayPal.
Many thanks to all who responded.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,806
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

Glad to see your question as I have a similar problem with my HP laptop where the DVD drive isn't working.  Look forward to hearing how you get on.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,329
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: DVD drive

Yes artmo, it seems to be something of a pandemic as far as I can see. Open the drive drawer and check underneath  and check out the condition of the flat ribbon cable, you may need to pull the tray right out to see all of it. The cable is very easily damaged by being trapped between the the tray leading edge and the PC case, especially if the tray is pulled fully out to change disks; indeed to change a disk the tray actually only needs to pulled out around halfway, but its a natural thing to do to open it completely.
Otherwise actually replacing the drive is simplicity itself...one screw and it practically falls out.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,875
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: DVD drive

I would not recommend a refurbished drive.  The lasers inside an optical drive don't necessarily live very long, as you have discovered, so it must be better to start with a new one.  Now you have removed your old drive you must surely see that it has a standard fitting?