If you have a laptop CD drive not working usually it’s a simple straight forward fix.
Firstly does the same issue occur on all DVD’s or CD’s?
Of course if it does then it’s a drive issue, but if only certain disks are readable it’s normally a problem with the media itself.
That said there are even exceptions to this, for example many home created CD’s or DVD’s do seem to be less resilient than original disk media, this could be down to the quality of the CD/DVD media.
If you find that all media is unreadable or Windows cannot see the drive itself power off the laptop and then remove the drive, just about every laptop has a removable CD/DVD which can be removed by pressing the release button which will then pop out, then pulling it to remove the drive itself.
CD/DVD drive connections can become somewhat flaky over time, so removing and reseating will ensure a good connection.
The second point is to make sure that the drives laser/lens is periodically cleaned, for this a standard DVD player cleaning disk works well, it’s then just a question of putting the cleaning disk into the drive and allowing it to run its cycle, many of them even have audible prompts to let you know when cleaning is starting and finishing.
You can also clean it manually if you wish, with the laptop powered off and the drive caddy open a cotton bud with suitable cleaning solution gently moved over the lasers lens will suffice, just make sure the laptop is powered off, disconnected from the mains and has the battery removed so no power is connected.
If you find the DVD/CD media to be the problem the next step is to check the media for any scratches, on media such as home created CD’s and DVD’s even the smallest of scratches can cause read issues.
Unless the scratch has actually penetrated the inner layer of the CD or DVD media it can usually be removed to allow its contents to be read.
The art to removing scratches is to remove larger scratches by making lots of smaller ones, this can be achieved using light abrasive compounds such as toothpaste or baking soda.
If you have a number of scratched disks it may be worth purchasing a CD/DVD scratch remover kit, they are not expensive and generally work quickly giving good results.
If you’d prefer not to do this yourself checkout some of your local video hire shops, many offer CD/DVD scratch removal services.
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