Question about Sony RDR-GX300 DVD Recorder

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The drive, model DW-U15A, on my Sony RX900 needs to be replaced. I cannot find another.

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  • Daren Egan May 14, 2012

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Finding a replacement is next to impossible. However, you may be able to repair this drive if the only fault is that it will not recognise disks.
WARNING: The following instructions involve opening your recorder and being exposed to dangerous voltages. make sure you unplug the unit from the mains supply before opening the unit. DO NOT PLUG INTO THE MAINS WITH THE COVER REMOVED.

1. Eject the disk tray and then switch off the unit at the mains socket. Remove the plug from the socket for safety.
2. Unclip the front bezel from the disk tray. Push the tray back in.
3. Remove the top cover of the unit. Remove the front plastic bezel from the unit (should be clipped on).
4. I am not familiar with your particular model but you will probably need to loosen one or more boards inside to gain access to the actual DVD unit.
5. Remove the DW-U15A. Take the metal casing off the DW-U15A.
6. Slide the laser carriage back, away from the center. You will notice that one side if the carriage is firmly attached to the slide rail while the other side can be wobbled up and down on it's rail. There should be very little actual wobble. Unfortunately, the grub screw used on the carriage at this point is made from plastic instead of metal. So over a period of time this grub screw gets worn down and eventually the carriage leans too far over for the laser to bounce off the disk correctly.
7. You need to adjust the white grub screw to adjust the angle of the carriage (and therefore the laser). You will need a small ALLEN KEY (HEX key) or you can try a small flat blade screwdriver. The grub screw is locked by a small amount of coloured resin which will need to be broken.
8. The adjustment of the grub screw will basically be a case of trial and error. Turn the grub screw about a quarter of a turn CLOCKWISE (i.e. it should move down to lift the carriage up) and then reconnect to the main unit. put the cover back onto the unit and plug into the mains. Test the drive.
9. If it does not work then repeat step 8 until the unit reads the DVD.
10. You may need to fine tune the adjustment by trying a range of pre-recorded and home-grown DVDs.
11. If it still does not work after two or three full turns of the grub screw then either the laser unit is too dirty or the laser has failed, in which case you definitely need a replacement drive. Try finding a working DRU-510A and swap the control boards.

Posted on Oct 11, 2010

  • 5 more comments 
  • IanHamilton Feb 06, 2011

    Thank you for this solution. It worked perfectly and my Sony RDR-HX900 now plays every old and new, commercial and home-brew DVD and CD that I can test it with. I've yet to try recording but can't see why that should not be OK too.

    I varied the solution slightly. Firstly, before changing the position of the grub screw, I made a tiny mark with a fine spirit marker to help with judging the angle of change. The "wobble" before I changed anything was a good 1.5-2.0mm. So I turned the grub screw until the wobble reduced to zero. This took about two and a quarter turns so I went for a single change of one full turn. I wanted to avoid too many iterations as the fragile connectors were not meant ot be fiddled with too many times. So a single change of one turn did the trick. Thanks again.

  • nibbsuk May 16, 2011

    Thank you for that excellent advice ! The grub screw on mine tightened some 2-3 turns, and I opted to wind it up fully then back it off a quarter of a turn. It works on several DVD's, but I can't say I've performed an exhaustive `all types of media test`. I'd have been more happy to test different media at different screw settings if it wasn't such as ba***rd to dismantle and re-assemble !

    Thank you for posting that tip.

  • Charles Garrett Dec 09, 2011

    Thank you for that excellent advice ! The grub screw on mine tightened some 2-3 turns, and I opted to wind it up fully then back it off a quarter of a turn. It works like new

    Thank you again for posting that tip. Finding the grub screw was the thing.
    Chuck fromGR MI.

  • Daren Egan May 14, 2012

    Raj, you are the man!! My Sony RDR GX300 has been getting worse and worse at reading and recognizing DVD's lately (both home-grown and store-bought). Took it apart, adjusted the DW-U15A per your instructions (and nibbsuk's suggestion), and it works like it's brand spankin' new! Thank you!!! Sorry guys, I meant to post this for Raj and not for malexop. Oops, sorry!

  • dhod7669
    dhod7669 Apr 14, 2013

    This solution worked for me too, thanks for the tip.

  • djnic
    djnic Jun 19, 2013

    Thanks a lot! Its working! The best solution! All is working!

  • dvd981 Jul 23, 2013

    Thanks Raj! I tightened the plastic grub (set) screw on the drive of my Sony RDR GX-300 DVD Recorder. It took about a couple turns until the laser carriage could no longer be moved. Then I loosened the screw about 1/4 to 1/2 a turn until the laser carriage started moving freely again. It looked like the laser carriage was now sitting about a millimetre higher than before on the grub screw side. I tried out the disc open/close and suddenly discs that were previously giving me an error message could be loaded properly and played again. This problem started when a few of my DVDs couldn't load anymore and over a few months none of my DVDs could load. The gradual onset of the problem made me think that the laser lens was dirty. That's why it was so puzzling to find it clean. But all along it was the gradual erosion of the set screw that caused the problem. Thanks again for some great advice!

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I have a Sony RDR-HX900 which I love, but the DVD burner recently began giving error messages stating that the disc is unreadable. This was for blank DVD-R as well as commercial movie DVDs. I was afraid that my beloved HX900 was at the end of it's life, until I found this post. It took about an hour and a half, mostly trying to figure out how the various parts were removed in order to gain access to and remove the burner. I finally got it out, took it apart, and adjusted the grub screw in a quarter turn. After reassembling everything, I tried burning a video to a blank DVD, and voila! It worked perfectly fine and plays and burns DVDs perfectly once more. Thanks to the OP for posting these directions!

Posted on Dec 05, 2012

  • Maltytasker Dec 05, 2012

    I have a Sony RDR-HX900 which I love, but the DVD burner recently began giving error messages stating that the disc is unreadable. This was for blank DVD-R as well as commercial movie DVDs. I was afraid that my beloved HX900 was at the end of it's life, until I found this post. It took about an hour and a half, mostly trying to figure out how the various parts were removed in order to gain access to and remove the burner. I finally got it out, took it apart, and adjusted the grub screw in a quarter turn. After reassembling everything, I tried burning a video to a blank DVD, and voila! It worked perfectly fine and plays and burns DVDs perfectly once more. Thanks to the OP for posting these directions!

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Dear Ray, this was an excellent hint. The Recorder refused the read some DVD's, specifically rewritable blank Discs. After following your instructions it now reads and writes without any problem. Thank you for posting this solution.

Posted on Feb 15, 2016

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Thank you for the advice. I also can fix this problem. Although there is a small (8x5cm) Z shaped aluminum bracket which I cannot put back because I do not know its place when I assembled the device, and I do not find its place in the service manual neither, but the recorder works correctly. :)

Posted on Jun 03, 2012

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