GCA-4080N Read Problems

Ok, I’ve got a Gateway 7510GX with the GCA-4080N, firmware version 0G34. I’ve been having problems reading just about any kind of media lately. It seems to read purchased audio cds fine. However, it hasn’t been reading burned data, video, or music cds or DVDs well, if at all.

For example, I was just watching a movie yesterday with barely a scratch on it (worked fine in every other player in my house) and it was playing fine until all of a sudden it just froze. Well, I Ctrl-Alt-Deleted, closed PowerDVD, and ejected the disc to check on it. I noticed it was really hot, and after that, when I tried re-inserting it, the drive would sit there and make repeated scanning noises with a constant flashing light, but no disc would ever be read (not in My Computer, not in InfoTools, not anywhere).

This is not the first time this has happened. I recently tried installing a program off a burned ISO backup image (since I keep my originals at home and I’m at school) and the drive took a really long time to recognize the disc, after which it just installed miserably slowly, and I eventually gave up around 6% (since it was a big program). I tried again sometime later, but the drive wouldn’t even recognize the disc, even after repeated attempts. This same kind of thing happens with most of my burned data discs or backup images, and even with actual production copies: really slow installation, delayed reads, or just plain not recognizing the disc. Sometimes I’ll get a "please insert disc [whatever disc is already in the drive] message in the middle of an install, and sometimes ejecting the disc and re-inserting it will fix the problem, sometimes not. I always notice that the discs get really hot in a short period of time (not just warm; hot), but that may be normal; I’m not entirely sure.

I am wondering if this is the kind of thing that can be fixed with a firmware update, or if it sounds like a bad drive. I’m not interested in region-free firmware or anything like that; just a solid update from my current version (0G34) that might help fix my problem. If anyone has a link, would you mind posting it? I’ve looked around already without much luck, and I’m not sure if there’s one firmware that works with a whole bunch of different drives (like mine) that I need to get.

Thanks a lot.

Anyone? I could really use some help, since I need to re-install some important apps for school.

Just clean the drive/lense first.

Ok. For that, should I use something like rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip, or some kind of detergent?

Correct, Isopropanol and a q-tip, but be careful.

Ok, I tried cleaning the lens, but it didn’t really improve anything. I went to the LG website to look for firmware updates, but they don’t have anything even indicating they ever made a drive model GCA-4080N. Thus, I don’t know where to look for a firmware update.

I did notice that, when I was cleaning the lens, its suspension traveled vertically really easily, as if spring-loaded with a tiny spring. This seemed odd to me, and I was wondering if this is normal.

Thanks again.

Also, just recently, I was trying (once again) to copy a folder of data from a CD-R onto my computer (about 150 MB). After getting about halfway done (very slowly), the drive started making its usual rapid reading noises and the copying process all but stopped. After trying to eject the disc for a few seconds, a dialog box popped up with an error saying “Cannot copy [folder name]: Data error (cyclic redundancy check).” and the disc popped out. I don’t believe this is the first time I’ve seen this error, and I thought I should post it on here as well in case it points to something more specific. Thanks.

GCA is not LG retail.
You have to search on the OEMs site for firmwares, not from LG!

Biut I think your drive is slowly dying…

Ah, got it. That clears a lot up for me. Anyway, I’ve been in contact with Gateway since it’s still under warranty, so I guess I’ll see what happens.

Thanks again.

I’m having the same problem with the same laptop, drive, and firmware. Dang it. But not only that, my main prob is that it won’t burn dual layer discs like it’s supposed to either! they’re +R and everything but it just aint workin. I didn’t used to have the read problems; just the past couple of days it’s been doin all this spinning up fast stuff but reading slow and freezing, so I’ll try cleaning the lens, too, but I think maybe these drives just came from a bad production line and they are slowly dying like dude said. really freakin sucks, but I wish there was a simple answer, a solution, a firmware update, anything!

Are you using Windows XP’s built-in burning for this? I couldn’t get it to burn DVDs at all. Nero did it fine, though.