Do ODD's have finite lifespan when installed in PC case even when not used?


I read once that ODD’s are assured of lasting only a few years (a certain number of hours) when installed inside a PC case, due to current continuously running through the drive even when idle, and/or because of heat from the PC case, and/or because of dust getting on the lens… Even when the burner is never or rarely used.

Is there any truth to this?

I seem to have experienced it. Several ODD’s, used only 2-3 times in perhaps 3 years, when asked to finally burn a disc, had all sorts of errors (and audible mechanical and/or electrical hardships). I did in contrast also have several ODD’s used to burn hundreds of discs that lasted several years, but I wonder if these also would’ve died in a few years if I hadn’t used them (and if they remained connected inside the case).

(With DVD burners, and certainly with Blu Ray burners, it can get really expensive per disc when this happens. I resorted to removing the ODD from the case when not in use, or using a USB interface to run an internal ODD externally and removing when not in use, but this doesn’t work well. Another option is to buy an external USB ODD and removing when not in use, but external ODD’s are much more expensive and it should be unnecessary to buy one for this purpose if this phenomenon isn’t true.)

Many thanks.


Well, there are certain parts (e.g. electrolytic capacitors) that will age, it’s not just the ODDs laser unit being used. So the short answer to your question is yes.
I had some phenomenon with older Toshiba DVD-ROMs, which when not used for a longer period of time (like a year) would have problems with the drive motor.
First thing to do with a drive after a longer period of not using, is to try to clean the lense though. Helped me couple of times to try that first.


Is it worse when the ODD is continuously connected and powered on thru the SATA ports (current continuously running through the SATA ports) as opposed to, say, sitting around on your shelf in the box?

I’d read something about “mean time until failure” when the ODD is powered on inside the PC case - this was from the manufacturers. But never really read anything in plain English about what this means for users.

In other words, is there anything to be gained by unplugging the ODD from the SATA ports when not in use, as far as extending the lifespan?