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Fix calibration of CD/DVD drive - no disc error

Many times people complain that their optical drive in their PC, XBox, PS, DVD Player, etc does not read any disc they put in to it. The cause of this is usually a dirty lens but can also be related to a drive whose laser is starting to weaken.

Most, not all, optical devices have one or more laser calibration screws. CD players have 1, DVD drives has 2 (one for Cd's and one for DVD's). Turning these screws in the correct direction with increments will resolve more disc read issue not solved by cleaning the lens. This article will explain how to do this on a PC optical drive which can be applied to other drives as well.

1) First thing you need to do is shut the PC off.

2) Next you will need to remove the unit from the PC. To do this you open your computer case and then remove the screws from the drive as-well-as the cables. Then pull the drive out.

3) Almost all units have 4 screws on the bottom of the unit close to the 4 corners. Remove these screws and move to the side.

4) This step requires a paper clip or stiff pin like object about 2 inches long. In the front of the drive you will see a little pin hole, usually on the right side. Put the paper clip into it and push. This will manually release the drive tray. Pull the drive tray all the way out til it stops.

5) Depending on the drive this step will vary but we will use the most common. On the left and right of the drive are clips for the face plate. Push those in and pull gently on the face play toward the tray. Then on top of the drive there is another clip. Press this one in. Once the face plate moves, pull it to the end of the drive tray.

6) Now you can remove the top cover, this may take a little work. Some drives have the top partially clipped on to the drive inner workings.

7) Once inside you will need to study your unit's circuit board to see how it comes off and remove it.

8) Now look at the laser device. Study the device on the top back and bottom and look for 1 screw for CD and 2 for DVD. The 2 screws will be right next to each other about a 1/4 inch in most units. These screws are small and require a tiny flat head to move. Some allow phillips. Since each unit is different I opted not to provide a picture. The screw will be close to a small trace or ribbon. This is my best way to tell you where it is located.

9) Most increase calibration by turning to the right (clockwise). If this doesn't work try going left (counter-clockwise). Turn the screw a 1/4 turn.

10) Place the board back on and place the top cover over it. The top cover is needed for testing because it contains the disc guide for spin-up.

11) Use some plastic to insulate the bottom of the unit and hook it to the PC then boot up. Test the drive. If it works shut off the PC and reassemble the unit. If not repeat the calibration process in #9 until the unit works.

If the calibration does not work or is already all the way up, the unit will need to be replaced. Typically you can get 1-2 tuneups per unit this way til you need a new laser or unit.

Good Luck

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