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Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

The cd/dvd burner in my (out of warranty) Acer laptop seems to be dying; almost every burn fails, and often the drive won't recognise that there's a cd in it, or even respond to the button being pressed (or right-clicking "eject" in windows explorer). It was OK for the first few months, then got stroppy for a little while, and then had been fine again until recent weeks.
Unlikely to be a driver problem I think (it is also misbehaved under Linux)
It appears to be a LG GSA 4082N, of which there seem to be plenty available used on eBay, but I can't find new ones.
So, I guess I can:

    Get my local compooter shop to replace it (probably costing about £60-£80 including parts + labour, either with a used device or a brand new compatible one)

OR
    Buy a new external USB device, which seem to be available for £20-£30

While on the face of it, it seems to be a no-brainer (as our colonial cousins say) I'd appreciate any suggestions others have, perhaps especially about what devices you've had good experience of and which might be worth avoiding.
thanks in advance
paul
8 REPLIES
BenG
Grafter
Posts: 202
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

Hi from my experince with laptops, well not mine but my dads  he been looking for parts and to be honest they are a huge rip of for laptops from what I seen, If i was you I go for a nise External USB one, I just had a look now on Amazon and there seems to be some nise prices for DVD Recorders
Best one to go for I think is something like a Pioneer, I had one of them for my own PC and I had mine for over 5 years and never let me down. Other good makes are LiteOn I avoid others tho, I know there cheap, but as the saying goes, Buy cheap buy twice.
anyway I hope I helped a little.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

my first step would be to get a drive cleaner.  this is a cd with a small brush stuck to the surface, which cleans the lens.  with laptop drives, you can often see the lens and clean it with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton bud.
next step is to listen to it when you put a cd in and hear if it winds up to speed.  not an accurate test, but it can help.
k3b is my burner of choice and if a burn after cleaning with that fails, then i'd consider replacement.
how much work has the drive done?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

thanks to both.
Yep, already tried the cotton-bud and isopropanol trick to no avail.
It's hardly done any work at all -- on average a burn a week, probably even less than that, and I've played cds or dvds in it about twice in 18 months. Not impressed really as it's less than 2 years old, but I guess this is age of built-in obsolescence ...
Mostly I burn ISOs using BurnCDCC on XP but NTI, ImgBurn, all have problems too as has burniso2cd, Pburn etc under Linux. Never used k3b as I never run KDE  Sometimes the cd just pops oput halfway through a burn with a generic "hardware error".  Sometimes you put a disc in and it spins up, sometimes not.
I'm guessing there's a fault with the "sense" function that recognises there's a disc in the drive.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

it begins to sound like a hardware fault.  i'd be inclined to go for the usb external drive on the grounds that this will work on any machine, so you would be able to hang onto it when you upgraded your computer.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

hummm well I found a service manual for my laptop which told me how to dismantle it (very easy actually -- Acer seem to have designed their laptops so that they come apart as well as go together), removed the CD/DVD drive, blew the dust out, cleaned the contacts and scrubbed the lens with a bit of Ajax.
Now it seems to be behaving itself again (for the time being anyway).
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

I hope you were joking
Quote
scrubbed the lens with a bit of Ajax.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

I couldn't find any Vim
pd
Grafter
Posts: 235
Registered: 09-05-2008

Re: Help/advice wanted re: laptop cd/dvd burner

You could try using a different brand of disk.  Some drives are a bit fussy and prefer some disks over others.  Ask around the forums to see what others are using with the same drive as yours.

pd