Today I will try  explain to you how to clean your optical drive. When I say clean I mean cleaning the optical part of the device, which is much more sensitive to dust and grime, than the mechanical part, which you will hardly ever need to clean. As maybe some of you know optical drives read data from CD or DVD discs using laser light focused by a special lens and sent to disk. Then the light is reflected from disc’s surface and detected by photodiodes decoding the information contained in the laser beam. But over time lens the optical drive gathers dirt or dust and starts operating incorrectly.  Moreover, sometimes drive fail to read or write discs at all. The major reason for that is because the media you put in the drive could be dirty. Therefore I recommend before you put a disc in your CD/DVD drive, make sure it has clean surface. But now let’s focus on cleaning process.

Instructions.

For this guide I will use DVD writer LG GSA-H55N, but I think the disassembly process would be similar to many other models.

1. Important: The first and the most important thing to do before you start is to take care of your own safety,  so be sure to turn off the computer and unplug the power cord from the outlet.

2. Open the computer’s case according to the user’s manual provided by manufacturer.

3. Remove data and power cables going into the back of the optical drive.

4. Now remove four screws securing drive to the sides of the drive bay, and slide it out of the computer.

Now comes the tricky part. You’ve probably seen that the optical drive case consists of two metal parts, but in order to separate them, you must remove the front panel of the device. This can be easily done by opening the disc tray. For this purpose I’m using an external power adapter, but you can use one of the power cables of your computer’s power supply unit. In such a case you must be very careful!

5. To open disc tray simply connect the power cable and press the Eject button.

dvd rw power supply

6. Unlock two clips, fixing the front panel.

dvd rw front panel 2

dvd rw front panel

7. Remove four screws marked on the picture.

dvd rw underside
8. Remove the lid and gently lift up the mechanics.

dvd rw mechanics
Now you can clean the lens of your optical drive with a cotton swab, slightly moistened with alcohol.

dvd rw mechanics 2

dvd rw cleaning