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laptop optical drive noise

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sgull, Jan 14, 2009.

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  1. sgull

    sgull Thread Starter

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    Often, depending on the DVD it seems, when I pop one into my laptop I hear a loud whirring like vibration humming noise coming from the optical drive as the DVD is spinning. The sound generally seems to speed up (get louder) and then slow down (get softer) as I'm doing things such as switching to various menu places on the DVD. The DVDs that cause this sound play through okay, but obviously there shouldn't be this loud sound I describe coming from the drive. And these are commercially produced factory quality DVDs, not irregular in any particular way. These DVDs are ones I borrow from a friend, not sure if it something caused by some player he's previously played them on or what. Most other DVD's, also borrowed from him, play fine with absolutely quiet operation from the drive, it's sort of random whether the noise will happen or not.
    I found the following info online, but don't really know if this could be causing the issue:
    Rotational vibration. Some discs are less balanced and cause more wobbling and vibrations, which in turn, lead to more noise. The imbalance of discs is random and uncontrollable. However, some drives seem to deal better with imbalanced discs because of clamping / damping mechanisms.
    Any comments appreciated.
     
  2. CDATech

    CDATech

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    It sounds as if the drive itself is spinning up those discs and causing vibration. This shouldn't happen, but what type of laptop is it? Is it still under warranty? Does it happen when you Burn a CD/DVD? Is it only on DVD's or does it happen on CD's as well?
     
  3. sgull

    sgull Thread Starter

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    It's an Acer brand laptop, about a year old I guess, haven't really used the optical drive excessively or really very often. I'd have to check but laptop may still be under warantee.
    Seems to happen only with DVD's, but only some, as I described. Just yesterday it happened on two out of three DVDs I tried. Haven't experienced it with CD's as of yet. Loaded a program from a CD yesterday onto the machine, and didn't encounter the noise.
    Don't burn CDs or DVDs often enough to know if it's an issue then. However I have burned at least a few DVDs in the past on the machine, and did not encounter the noise those times.

    You say "it sounds as if the drive itself is spinning up those discs and causing vibration." What do you mean by that?

    thanks, any further comments/suggestions appreciated.
     
  4. CDATech

    CDATech

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    Well...basically the drive itself is shaking and either tapping up against it's cage or the actual internals of the laptop. If the drive is removable then you might have luck popping it out and tightening any screws that seem loose, however this may not solve the problem.

    It sounds like some of those DVDs may be just slightly warped, witch is sometimes not even noticeable and causes the dvd drive to shake. This is probably more a flaw of the drive than the actual DVD.
     
  5. sgull

    sgull Thread Starter

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    Ok, maybe I'll see how much trouble it might be to remove the drive and see if I can tighten any screws. In the case where some of the DVDs may just be unnoticeably warped and that is causing the issue, and if the drive can't handle it right and shakes and makes the noise, then is the "flaw" of the drive a probably a defect (which might be solved be replacement) or likely due to the design of that particular drive (in which case with replacement would still have same issue with same DVDs)?

    Also you asked whether it happens with CDs as well, and whether it happens when burning CDs or DVDs. How might knowing this help to troubleshoot?
    thanks
     
  6. CDATech

    CDATech

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    It'll be hard to tell whether or not it's an inherent flaw with the actual optical drive design without obtaining a replacement for it and giving it a spin (heh).

    Well, it would just be interesting to know when EXACTLY the problem occurred. Ruling out all other scenarios is just a great way of eliminating variables. No specific reason. Although the weight of CD's vs DVD's can differ..etc.
     
  7. sgull

    sgull Thread Starter

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    Do you know if some DVD's would have a different weight than others, and if so whether such likely very slight differences in weight could affect performance in the drive (depending on what kind of drive it is, I suppose)? Or do all DVDs weigh the same, and all CDs weigh the same?
     
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