How to Do Optical Drive Maintenance in Daily Use?

Optical drive is a very important part of a computer. So it is very necessary to learn how to maintain a DVD drive and prolong its usage time. Somebody says that the laser head is the very part in an optical drive that is most easily to become aging. It can be used for 2-4 years as long as it is rightly maintained. But if no maintenance is done, its usage time can be about 1 year. Is this statement true? Of course not! Why? An experiment has already improved that a common certified laser head can work regularly for 32,000 hours. That is to say that if we use the optical drive for 10 hours per day, it can work for over 8 years! So the DVD drive of very good quality can work for an even longer time.


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But if you use the DVD drive at will without protecting it, the drive may be damaged quickly. So here I’ll share with you something about optical drive maintenance knowledge. Hope it can help you.

1. Prevent dust from entering the optical drive

Some people say that leaving the DVD disc into DVD-ROM before shutting down the computer can prevent the dust falling on the laser head to prolong the laser head’s usage time. However, this is wrong. Here is the reason: as most optical drive will do a violent focusing movement when the power is turned on and off. This is very easy to hit the DVD disc stayed in the drive. Then after a long time, the optical drive will be physically damaged at last. Then is there any other way to prevent the dust? The answer is yes.

For the dust brought by the disc, you can clean the DVD disc to reduce the risk to bring the dust to optical drive. For the dust breathing in by the heat extraction fan, you can set the optical drive outside the motherboard. If you have enough money, you are suggested to buy the wonderful external SCSI optical drive. Except the good performance, it also can be used for a long time.

2. Clean the laser head regularly

After the DVD drive is used for some time, the laser head will unavoidably catch some dust on it. Then the disk read speed will slow down and the display screen and the sound will appear mosaic or pause. In severe cases, you even can hear the sound of the disc is read in a fast speed. These phenomena will do harm to the laser head and other parts. Therefore, you should regularly clean and maintain the drive or ask for professional maintenance.

3. Do not hot-plug optical drive of IDE port

In fact, not only DVD drive, but also nearly all IDE devices are not allowed to enable hot-plug action. It is a small matter that the computer is frozen, but it is a big deal if the lens is damaged. Although the probability of damage of the part of the circuit is very small, it did happen. So we have to wait for the power is cut and then hot plug the optical drive.

4. Do not insert serious scratched discs into the drive

If you want the scratched drive is read by the optical drive, the correction capability of the drive is required to be very high. If the drive keeps in correction statement frequently, the power of the laser tube will become very large, and this is very bad for the usage life of laser head. Actually, there are many methods to fix the scratches on DVD discs, and you can Google for such information. However, for those important data disc, you can ask for help from the professional recovery departments. They have the special disk repairing machine to polish the disc.

5. Take out the DVD disc before closing the computer

If a DVD disc is in the DVD drive, the computer start time will take a long time to read disk and the disk is also in the high rotating speed. In this way, the laser head working time will be increased and the electrical machinery and transmission components inside the drive will be in wear condition which will shorten the optical drive work life. So you should take out the DVD disc before closing the computer.

If you follow the suggestions mentioned above, I believe the optical drive will work for longer time as expected.

Lacey Young is an editor of This site provides many useful tools and tips for you. Here is one for you: With this DRM stripping software, you can easily get rid of the protection on DVD/ Blu-ray digital copies and play DRM-free videos on Galaxy S phones, iPad, iPhone, etc.

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