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Thread: Repairing an old DVD-ROM drive?

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    Repairing an old DVD-ROM drive?

    I have an old DVD-ROM drive (broken) which could come up useful for something I want to do.

    Anyway, basically it broke.. an old PSU blew it up (you could smell burning around the molex connection).


    I'm just wondering if there is anyway I could repair it (by opening it up) and maybe replacing something? (I have an old CD-Rom drive... working, which I could take parts from). Or anything like that?

    What is the most likely thing that will of blown? I'm guessing it won't have a fuse/circuit-breaker type component inside it.


    Any help is appreicated,
    Thanks

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    As a rule you only ever put fuse components on power out rails, not in. They are also not cheap (well, when buying thousands of them for production) so it won't have one. If by some bizarre chance the designer had put one in, it would probably have reset itself by now. If it smelled then you may well see visible signs of what has blown. You have nothing to lose, open it up and take a look.

    If the IDE interface components have blown, you may be able to plug an amp into the audio connector and use the play button on the front to play audio CDs.

    You might be able to turn it into a motorised cup holder if the tray drive still works.

    A new one with guarantee is just over a tenner, so I wouldn't spend much time on the project.

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    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
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    How much is your time worth?

    How much will a similar second hand DVD-ROM cost you?

    How long will it take you to diagnose the problem?

    When you identify the blown component, how much will a repalcement cost? (and how hard will it be to get hold of just one)

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    @DanceswithUnix: The DVD-rom doesn't open up, it's not detected, no signs of life at all.

    @chrestomanci: I don't know, I have another month or so of free time. I know it's not much to buy a new one or even a second hand one, but I just want to mess about with it and see if I can get it working... especially if it saves me money. I don't know what the blown component is.. not sure how to figure it out either, that's why I'm asking

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Honestly, open it up and check for scorch marks on the circuit board, if only to sate your curiosity. Sounds pretty dead to me though

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    I already have (before I made this thread).

    I couldn't see any signs of damage to be honest.

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    I opened up a CD-RW drive which suffered the same problem, and I immediately I spotted this on the (I think it's called the logic board?):



    And some of the black stuff has got underneith too:


    (but none is under the PCB)


    So what is that?.. doesn't look replaceable.


    Edit: I noticed another few things that have gone bad with it too, especially one chip which looks like it's just melted altogether. I'll have another good look at this DVD rom drive.

    Edit: I can't see ANYTHING at all wrong with the DVD-ROM drive, confusing.
    Last edited by XA04; 09-08-2006 at 10:27 PM.

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    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
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    The chip that appears to be melted together could just be covered with epoxy.

    This is sometimes done for simple chips that don't put out much heat instead of a convetonal package. The silicon chip is surface mounted directly to the motherboard and then protected with a drop of epoxy. This saves money compared with a plastic package that is solder onto the logic board.

    Obvousy you can't replace such chips.

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    can't really see what you have highlited because of the camera shake and blurring.

    But, on the second pic, that looks like the screw that moves the lens about. this often picks up gunk because of lubricant/oil on the threads.

    Very possible that all the ICs could be blown internally, even if they look fine on the outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar
    can't really see what you have highlited because of the camera shake and blurring.

    But, on the second pic, that looks like the screw that moves the lens about. this often picks up gunk because of lubricant/oil on the threads.

    Very possible that all the ICs could be blown internally, even if they look fine on the outside.
    Yeah it was the best picture I could take with my camera.

    It is the screw that moves the lens which you see.

    What are the ICs?

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    sorry, Integrated Circuits = the microchips etc.

    the most obvious things would be blown capacitors, they make a mess and smell when they go. but really *anything* on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) could be blown and you might never know.

    I think your only chance of recovering anything useful would be if you had another damaged drive of the same type (might not need to be exactly the same model, but probably) that has a dead laser that you could switch the PCB with. The controllers on the PCB are usually matched specifically with the other components of the drive. This is especially true of older drives. New drives rely more on software than older drives.

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