DVD tray not coming out

I have a problem with a Pioneer DVD-121 DVD-ROM. Some time ago the tray started to not come out anymore, so ocasionally I had to use a pin to get it out. Also, many times, it refused to get back in when pushing the button, and I had to slightly give it a push before the automated mechanism would take over and bring it back in.

I changed the firmware. I cleaned the lens and the unit, but there was no improvement. I thought there was dust in the button mechanism, leading to an imperfect contact, but it wasn’t. Even when pressing the button 20 times with different pressure, the tray didn’t come out.

Also, each time the tray refused to come out, the unit made a weird sound inside - something like ta-daam, I can’t exactly reproduce it. If I keep pressing on the button it keeps making that sound. It stops after I stop pressing it. It’s proof that the button works, but there’s something wrong inside the unit.

Now, the tray doesn’t come out at all and I have to use a pin every time. It reads the DVDs without problems. To get them out though, I have to use a pin again, the discs are still moving and it’s not exactly good for them. Yesterday I noticed that after manually removing a DVD, the content was still displayed in Windows Explorer. I tried clicking on a file and the unit actually tried reading it, even if there was no disc inside; the led light up and I had to manually eject the tray in order to stop whatever it was doing.

Any ideas about how to fix it?

I know your first suggestion is probably to buy a new one, but they’re not that cheap over here, I kinda need the money right now and I’d rather try to fix it. Also, it’s still a good drive, it read everything I’ve put in, so I wouldn’t want to trash it yet.