Old 19-08-2005   #1
CD Freaks Junior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 99
Will a LASER wear out/need cleaning?

I have been using an older (3+years) Apex DVD player. It was low end when I bought it but has played well on commercial DVDs.

I recently started burning my own (fair use) copies of movies.

Last night, I started having problems with playing some DVDs which had up to that time worked well. Problem was the typical freezing up for a few seconds and then finally freezing completely.

I did the standard cleaning of the DVD (wipe across and not around) but that didn't help.

Then, I changed players to my new (last month) Polaroid Model 1100. Again, a basic low-end player, and the DVDs played well.

Since there is no physical contact between the LASER reader and the dksk, and assuming the disk is clean, I'm thinking about the LASER wearing out or being dirty.

I'm open for input which will be appreciated.

Talosian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2005   #2
Video editing software expert
harley2ride's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,113
Re: Will a LASER wear out/need cleaning?

Yes lasers do wear out, or they can get weak. But, your problem could also be media related. Every standalone unit is slightly different as well. Some like +r, some like -r, and some are picky about brands of media. I wouldn't give up on your apex yet. Try a good quality media like verbatim or taiyo yuden, and see if you still have problems with it.

IN WIN Dragon Rider case, Asrock z68 extreme4, core I7 2600k @4.0, cm hyper 212 plus, 8gb Gskill 1600mhz cl8 memory,EVGA GTX 970 FTW, Samsung pinpoint f3 1tb 7200 rpm hdd, Crucial M4 128gb SSD, wd 600gb velociraptor, 4tb NAS, win 7 pro 64bit, Samsung S203N DVD burner,LG bluray burner, Dell 27" U2713HM, Klipsch Pro-Media 5.1

C2D E6550,3gb DDR2-800mhz,150gb 10000rpm raptor (R.I.P.) - replaced with 180GB Intel 330 SSD ,1TB sata hdd, geforce 8800 gt, Vista Ultimate, Hanspree 25" LCD ,Samsung bluray DVD reader\dvd\rw16x, Samsung S203N, ADS Pyro A/V Link,Klipsch Pro-Media 5.1 SS
harley2ride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2005   #3
CDFreaks Resident
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,940
Re: Will a LASER wear out/need cleaning?

Media can change/wear out, and so can lasers.

Especially cheap ones.

Or ones made by Sony.
Gurm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2005   #4
Senior Administrator & Reviewer
Seán's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Republic of Ireland (North West)
Posts: 11,185
Re: Will a LASER wear out/need cleaning?

From my experience with frequently used Hi-Fi systems, portable CD players and even PC CD & DVD-ROM drives, the laser can get quite dusty over a year or two, especially if the drive is present in a bedroom or living room. If you have ever opened an appliance that is cooled by fans and is over a few years old, you’ll see the amount of dust that can build up over time. The same applies with CD and DVD players as the spinning disc causes air to circulate over the laser, thus leading to dust building up after quite a bit use.

As your player can still play discs, what I would recommend doing is to get a CD/DVD cleaning kit. A CD cleaner is usually an audio CD with several fine brushes across the surface of the disc. These sweep some of the dust off the laser as the disc plays. There are some CD cleaning kits where the disc does not contain any content, but instead have one or more thicker fine brushes on them. These tend to do a better job at cleaning the laser, however many players are very quick to reject these (show ‘No Disc’) upon loading. I would recommend avoiding kits that use cleaning fluid as these often leave a residue on the laser and I even have seen these cause CD players to become more picky!

Finally, if you are willing to open your player (assuming it is out of warranty), you could try cleaning the laser with a Q-tip instead. I had to do this before with a Hi-Fi system and a Playstation2 where the laser got dusty to the point where it would no longer recognise (or spin up) any disc. If you would like to try this method, only lightly brush off the laser lens to avoid cotton strands from getting caught on the laser or its assembly. At the same time, I would recommend cleaning dust and hairs off the tracking and lightly lubricating it with Vaseline or petroleum jelly (these also help silence drives with noisy seeking).

So far I have only encountered two cases where a laser wore out. One was in my first CD writer (an early Ricoh 2x2x6 speed) and the other was in a well used Hi-Fi system.
Seán is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Laser pointer from Blu-ray violet laser module Seán Latest News Headlines 4 14-05-2009 17:38
Cleaning Laser Lens Works Great workknot CD, DVD and Blu-ray Writers 19 04-01-2007 19:03
What wristwatch do you wear... alex thyl Living Room 49 21-12-2006 00:41
Do burners wear out? littleberry LiteOn / PLDS / Sony Writer 8 25-10-2004 20:55
Lame laser cleaning question ntloser Plextor Writer 8 21-09-2002 18:53

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 21:23.