Are my CD-RW drives overheating?

This was originally posted in the LiteOn DVD Burner / Sony DVD Burner area because I thought it pertained to Sony burners, but no one has responded so maybe hardware would be a better choice

In the past 2 months, I’ve had 2 separate CD-RW drives fail on me on 2 separate machines, but both failed the same way.

It starts with the burner refusing to eject the CD. I tried pressing the normal eject button, doing it through windows, and even the emergency eject hole, but none of them work. The drive sounds like it tries to eject, but something gets stuck. So, I rip the sucker apart in an effort to discover what happened and hopefully fix it.

After taking apart the drive, my belief was confirmed as there was definately an attempt to eject, but something was stuck. After using a little bit of brute force, I was able to get the drive to eject the CD. This is the part that gets interesting. Both of the CDs that were ejected from the broken burners had a ring of sticky glue/like substance around the center hole. Upon further dissembly of the burner, I found that the glue ring matches perfectly with the part in the burner than holds the CD and makes it spin; this part was also sticky on the outside part.

Now, I compared these two broken drives with a working DVD drive that I have. The DVD drive has the exact same ring in it. Maybe its used to grip the CD. However, the gripping ring in the working drive wasn’t sticky. This leads me to the conclusion that somehow, in the broken burners, this ring was melting down and fusing to the CD, thus preventing the burner from ejecting.

Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there any way to fix and/or prevent it.

For reference, the first RW that failed was a Sony CRX216E. The second one was a Memorex “UltraSpeed,” but as I was taking it apart, it had Sony stamped all over its parts.

The obvious answer is that you used a disc that had something on it which was transferred to the spindle assembly. “Sticky stuff” is not normally part of a drive.
There’s nothing in the drive normally that would melt at any possible temperatures that wouldn’t also melt everything else in your case. Suggest you stay with the obvious explanation: you somehow introduced this stuff into the drives. Likewise, there’s nothing in a normal disc that would melt like this.

Thanks for posting this “sticky hub” experience.

My wife’s computer stopped ejecting and, because of your post, I discovered the “eject hole”, was able, with some effort, to force the CD out, and saw that it was sticky also. It was only in a small ring where the CD sits on the hub.

I accused her of putting something sticky in the drive but she denied it! <smile> She told me that she had left the CD in the drive for some days before trying to remove it.

Putting in other CDs results in some of the sticky stuff transferring to them also so we will probably replace the drive.

[quote=aethers;1240599]Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there any way to fix and/or prevent it.
[/quote] I only just saw this weird problem today with my Lite-On SOHW-1653S dvd writer. I noticed clear small bits of sticky film stuff toward the inner regions of the DVD on the data side of the DVD. This sticky stuff is not permanent…it can be rubbed even with fingers. When you use sticky tape to stick on to a glass surface, and then you pull the sticky tape off, you may see bits of sticky stuff that you can rub off with your fingers. Well, that is what the sticky stuff looks like on the inner region of the DVD - toward the area where the spindle of the DVD drive is meant to clamp (or something like that). I don’t think that this stuff is due to DVD’s bringing it into the DVD drive. I suspect that something is breaking down/degrading inside the DVD drive. The reason why I am replying here right now…is because I had only just finished using the internet to see if anybody else has experienced this. Obviously at least somebody else has seen this problem. At the moment, I’m wondering it’s possible to open up the DVD drive to see what’s going on in there.

Has anyone here contacted the manufacture directly to see about that sticky substance in the drive? I think that would be the first thing to do. And then do a RMA to replace the drive.

I haven’t asked. But it is really weird how my lite-on drive has started depositing small specks or small patches (eg 0.2+ mm blotches) of a sticky clear substance onto the dvd disk, around the region where the spindle contacts the dvd disk. At the moment, I’m suspecting that it deposits this stuff a lot more when the dvd writer is writing. And I think that this sticky stuff can cause the spindle (or something) to grip the dvd disk like weak glue or sticky-tape, and it can stop the dvd disk from ejecting. And yesterday…as I was ejecting, the dvd disk was partially stuck somehow, and then it popped upward at an angle as the tray was ejecting. This kind of behaviour surprises me, because I don’t expect weird stuff like this to happen for a DVD/CD writer. My lite-on drive is at least a few years old now, and it has been functioning really well before this. It still works, but the sticky stuff getting transferred to the dvd disk and possibly causing the ejecting problems… is a bit of an issue. Plus, my dvd disks are absolutely clean…like I don’t believe that the sticky stuff comes from outside. The other thing is…I’ve never opened up a DVD drive before. I wonder if they can be opened to see what’s going on in there…or to perform some kind of cleaning of the offending part.

I’d replace that drive immediately, in view of the low cost involved.

They’re easy to open for inspection if you’re curious though: open tray, unclip faceplate, remove 4 screws on bottom, take off top cover.

[quote=Cressida;2063851]I’d replace that drive immediately, in view of the low cost involved.

They’re easy to open for inspection if you’re curious though: open tray, unclip faceplate, remove 4 screws on bottom, take off top cover.[/quote]

Thanks for your comments and suggestions Cressida. I think I may need to replace this drive. Only about 10 minutes ago, a cdrom disk did the jumping-out thing when the tray door was opening up (for ejection). The cdrom disk at least didn’t get damaged this time. But, yesterday, another cdrom did the jumping-thing during ejection, and got jammed…and when I finally got it out, there were two long gouge marks that went straight through the paint layer, and I could see straight through the cdrom (through these gouge marks). That was bad. But fortunately, I had a backup of this cdrom disk. So now I’m really curious to see if something is sticking during ejection to make the cdrom occasionally jump upward like that. The ridiculous thing is that it doesn’t do this all the time…it’s intermittent. And thanks for letting me know that I can take a look inside by unclipping the face plate and removing the screws on the bottom. I will take a look inside! Thanks again!

Back again! I followed your excellent instructions Cressida, and managed to separate the entire metal shell from the internal plastic chassis of the Lite-On SOHW-1653S dvd writer. I must say that this drive is extremely well designed - for quite trouble free disassembly. There’s no need to remove circuit boards or anything, which is quite impressive.

But now for the details of what I saw inside. I put my finger on the surface of the spindle. It was sticky! The surface of the spindle really had a industrial type of sticky tape annulus on it…obviously the purpose of this is for gripping the cdrom disk, and also doubles as a barrier between the hard plastic spindle and a cdrom disk.

I decided to try to clean the sticky stuff from this annulus made of a industrial type of sticky tape. Eventually, I noticed that this ‘sticky tape’ was sticky because it had actually degraded! Kind of like turning into a sticky mush. This was bad news. So now I’ve actually used my fingers to remove most of the sticky goo that used to the ‘tape’.

And now I’m left with just the hard surface of the plastic spindle. And it’s still gooey. I need to think about what kind of cleaning substance can help to remove this sticky film of goo. And then think about whether or not there’s a makeshift fix for this spindle that’s now without the grip tape in the form of an annulus.

Ok…I can say…top marks for Lite-On in the read/write ability of this drive, but I don’t rate this sticky tape degradation thing very highly at all. At least we know that it’s this degraded annular tape that’s creating the sticky stuff on the cdrom/dvd disks. And now we know it’s not due to ‘overheating’.

Extra EDIT: That ‘sticky’ annulus thing I’m talking about is shown at this link, which I only just found before using google search …

It’s the grey-whitish textured annulus.

I just read on that other cd-freaks link, that somebody suggested that the sticky annulus could be for blocking hairs etc. Anyway, whether that is right or wrong, this is likely to be the thing that’s depositing sticky stuff on the bottom (data side) side of the cdrom/dvd disk.

That ring is just some anti-slip tape glued to the spindle-platter. If you can find some similar material, you can probably replace it and continue using the drive. The spindle actually contains a pretty strong magnet, which grips the disc firmly, in combination with the spindle-disc in the top cover of the drive.

I’ve never seen this degradation in a burner, but I guess it’s possible.

Thanks for letting me know that the annulus layer is anti-slip type material Cressida. I will see if I can find some anti-slip tape to put on the bare spindle. And, just as a test before, I decided to try out the drive with just the bare spindle, and sure enough, the drive has some problems with gripping the DVD hehe. I managed to burn 2 backup images to DVD without the grip tape, but the DVD writer had to stop and start quite a number of times before it finally managed to get enough grip to get going properly. I’ve taken the dvd writer out again and opened it up again, and just applying some selley’s urethane bond glue to the spindle…a very thin layer only, and will see if that gives some grip. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to remove it and find some nice grip tape.

Back once more here. The selley’s urethane glue (Urethane Bond) has dried out now. I had applied about 8 pin-head blobs spaced equally around the spindle’s surface. And then I used my fingers to spread these small pin-head blobs out very thinly around the spindle’s surface. Once the urethane glue was dry, I tested out dvd writing by writing four DVDs, each putting 4.3 GB of data on each DVD. The grip from this glue is fantastic. And the urethane is soft enough to be gentle on the DVD disks, while developing excellent grip.

The DVD writer works really well again now. None of the DVD disks are doing the occasional jumping-out-of-the-tray-and-getting-damaged thing anymore…and the tray even sounds very smooth again on every ejection.

Thanks a lot for your help Cressida - for letting me know how to open up the DVD writer. I really appreciate that.

You’re welcome! Sounds like you’ve found a good way to repair the drive. :slight_smile:

Thanks for that pic SouthParkBucket.
Someday I’ll open mine because it is leaving glue on CD’s as well. It leaves mostly after burning dvd discs.
Today I’ve burned a DLayer and there was plenty of it and then I resolved to check out on the web to see if anyone was having a similar problem.

Rather then post in a post dating back to 2006, why don’t we start a new one…and when responding as I sometimes do to old post only to say doh…when I look at the date…So, Please for future post including me look at the OP post date.

[QUOTE=coolcolors;2073631]Rather then post in a post dating back to 2006, why don’t we start a new one…and when responding as I sometimes do to old post only to say doh…when I look at the date…So, Please for future post including me look at the OP post date.[/QUOTE]

I think it is to avoid […]that was (already?) discussed in post#199blabla[…]
But imo in contents like these I agree with you.

Ah I’m never getting the time to open this shit nor the money to buy another one even them being cheap these days. Mine costed about 80€ back then…