Fix DVD Drive Taking Long Time to Read or Identify Disks

We have earlier posted about how you can manually eject the stuck CD/DVD writer tray using a simple pin or a piece of hard metal wire. This is not the only trick that I have learned from my various experiences of working and trying to fix some of the common optical disk drive problems. One of the other common problem that occurs in CD/DVD disk drivers is that start to take long time identifying the inserted disks. You put in the CD or DVD disk inside the drive, but it keeps spinning and spinning faster and faster. After 2-3 minutes of spinning, it stops and sometimes identifies the disk.

This is a common problem of dried up lubrication in the mechanical parts of the CD/DVD disk drive. So all you have to do is open up the optical disk drive that is giving you a hard time and put some lubricating oil in it. Here is how:

  1. If your optical disk drive has warranty left, then make use of it. Do not open the disk drive if you can get it fixed for free.
  2. Eject the CD/DVD drive tray and keep it this way. Then shutdown your computer. Open your computer cabinet, disconnect the data and power cables going to your optical drive and unscrew it from the cabinet.
  3. Clean all the dust using a plain cloth. Use a Phillips cross-head screwdriver to remove the four screws from the drive. This results in breaking the warranty seal.Fix CD/DVD Write Reading Delay
  4. After you remove the metallic cover (after removing the four screws), you will see the main circuit board and all the wiring. Do not touch anything or try to blow the dust away.Fix CD/DVD Write Reading Delay
  5. Use the screw driver bit head to push the small plastic holding the front panel to the metal cover. You have to do this on both the sides. This will free up the metallic outer cover holding the rest of the electronics circuitry and mechanical parts.Fix CD/DVD Write Reading Delay
  6. Flip over to the other side after removing the metallic cover. You will see the lens assembly and the shiny steel rod on which it slides back and forth when reading or writing a disk. Do not forcibly try to make it slide.
  7. Dab a cotton swab in some machine oil (sewing machine oil works fine) and apply a thin coat on this steel rod to lubricate it. Do not apply so much oil that it starts to drip.Fix CD/DVD Write Reading Delay
  8. Assemble everything back as it was carefully. Install it back in your computer and check if the disk is taking a little smaller time to read disks now. You will notice an improvement specially when reading DVD disks.

Conclusion: When a CD/DVD disk drive is taking too much time reading a perfectly good disk, then it could be due to dried up lubrication in the mechanical parts of the disk. You can add some lubrication to make it work like brand new once again.