Plextor Premium Tray Won't Open

vbimport

#1

I finally acquired a few original Premiums for CD burning use and I was wondering if anyone has any sort of a clue as to why the tray wouldn’t open without manually opening it, manually closing it, then it’ll open/close maybe 1 or 2 times and the cycle starts all over again? I have 1 that works perfectly and it’s a great drive. Best CD burns I’ve ever made. But I’ve never in my life seen any cdrom/dvdrom/cdrw/dvdrw have this sort of tray problem; and I’ve been in the computer tech business a looooong time.

Any help would be welcomed. All are original Plex Premiums made in 2005.


#3

Door/tray opening problems are the most common optical drive problem of all. Did you buy it used on eBay? If so, tell the seller and ask for a partial refund. That’s one of the reasons why it was being sold.


#4

I’ve ran into this problem on a Premium-U, which got into that state months after I began using it. I was able to take it apart to fix it, with no instructions, no previous experience with taking apart optical drives, and no replacement part(s).

It’s really not that much of a disaster. Anybody with an IQ over 99 should be able to fix it. The true obstacle is in lacking confidence, not intelligence.

Now if a Yamaha CRW-F1 gets into this problem, there’s no fixing it with the materials already on-hand (I later bought a faulty unit after fixing my Premium). But with a Premium the drive-tray problem is fixable with the material(s)/part(s) already inside the unit.


#5

Glathannus, what did you do? Because so far, I’ve cleaned the switch that trips when it opens/closes, oiled the motor (which got one somewhat working, but the motor is far too weak), and lightly greased the rails.


#6

I did all of that yesterday actually. Checked the belt, checked that the actuator was in the track correctly, checked the solders for the switch connected to the actuator, and checked the solders for the power going to the motor as well.


#7

also, negritude…I’ve seen tray motors burnt out on drives, but I’ve never seen one that’ll open/close fine when it wants to but only after you manually open it first. heh.


#8

Tray motors are weak and don’t have enough torque left in them to move the laser assembly down/tray lock, is what it’s looking like.


#9

[QUOTE=Telkar;2466410]Glathannus, what did you do? Because so far, I’ve cleaned the switch that trips when it opens/closes, oiled the motor (which got one somewhat working, but the motor is far too weak), and lightly greased the rails.[/QUOTE]
It’s been a couple of years, so my memory is vague, but the only parts I can remember tampering with were plastic - no wires, no solder, no oil, no motor, and no circuits. There was a plastic piece which was… “off-track”, and if I recall correctly, this piece was near the middle of the front, rather than the sides. It was a similar situation with my Yamaha CRW-F1, except that same plastic piece was broken rather than off-track, like it had a very obvious weakpoint where a break was simply waiting to happen, while this didn’t seem to me to be true about the plastic piece serving the same function inside the Premium.

I’d like to help you further, but I’m not quite charitable enough to take apart one of my Premiums again, and retrace my steps.

But I am fairly confident that it’s a non-electronic fix.

My Premium-U had to be stepped on before it got into its non-ejecting status, and the fact that it was still repairable without additional resources, really says a lot about the drive. The Premium-U is basically an internal IDE Premium inside a fairly tough external enclosure, and with a different bezel than the standard internal black units. Technically, stepping on the Premium-U shouldn’t have made any impact, but somehow it did, and I think if the forces of that could get the drive-tray mechanism(s) off-track, then presumably a rough shipping process could affect the drive too.


#10

Galthannus, thank you for your reply. I’m looking at the gears you spoke of right now. They’re fine. But looking inside these drives…they’ve been through WW3, dust caked onto the grease, metal shavings from the laser servo gear inside the worst one, so I’m 99.9% sure, after going over everything possible, that the tray motors are simply shot from extreme use.

If I tap one of the 2 problem drives on the bottom to help the motor move the actuator it’ll open on its own, though very slowly. One of these had a black bezel, so I suppose I’ll keep that for the working one for when I switch to a black case.

I bought 3 in a Lot, and got a partial refund just now after finding out about the motors.

I’ve always wanted some Premiums…Atleast I have 1 working drive and have learned about everything there is to know about working on them between yesterday and today. They were clearly built like tanks when they were new, I’d say the one with the metal shavings from the servo gear has seen a few thousand cds at a minimum…and it would still work if the tray motor wasn’t gone.

Thanks again for the help,

  • Telk

#11

[QUOTE=Telkar;2466491]looking inside these drives…they’ve been through WW3, dust caked onto the grease, metal shavings from the laser servo gear inside the worst one[/QUOTE]
Well since you put it that way, I don’t feel so inadequate.

[QUOTE=Telkar;2466491]I’ve always wanted some Premiums

They were clearly built like tanks when they were new, I’d say the one with the metal shavings from the servo gear has seen a few thousand cds at a minimum…and it would still work if the tray motor wasn’t gone.[/QUOTE]
A couple of my Premiums have gone through over a thousand discs each, and the units are still fully operational, with consistent C1 scanning between them and my not-so-abused units, blazing-fast Secure ripping (if you’re doing cacheless C2), and the jitter is still nice on lower-speed burnings. Premiums are, in my observations, the ultimate workhorse drive.

Now for some reason, the Premium2 is actually a physically smaller drive (I would know because I have one in the same PC right below an original Premium). I don’t know if that makes the long-term performance better or worse.


#12

The burn quality and secure ripping with lead-in and lead-out were my main reasons for getting these. (And always wanting one…even though my Lite-On 20A4P rips nicely, it’s slow with no lead-in/out in EAC. and its cd burn quality leaves much to be desired.) oddly enough, the one that works great is really clean inside, so atleast I have 1 good one and a black bezel for it.


#13

I see you graduated in your understanding of Overreading (for what you know now compared to what you knew when you first joined CDfreaks). The PX-230 (and its various aliases) as well as a Yamaha or two, are the only non-Plextors I’ve encountered which can do full Overreading.

People who want to get the cheapest brand new drives they can find, would like to believe there’s nothing wrong with LiteOns. Someday I might get a LiteOn if there is copy protection they can overcome which the real Plextors can’t, but in most other respects I think a lot of people need to shut up about their LiteOns (no offense intended toward you).

As for black bezels…
I wouldn’t buy an internal drive without them (unless I have spare black bezels from dead units of the same model), but I don’t particularly like the ones which came with North American Premiums. You either get a plain bezel (no printing) with the internal model, or with the Premium-U you get white print which isn’t consistent with the white print on a black Premium2 or the black print on any white Premium. I have a European black Premium and it looks just like my Japanese black Premium2 (except without a “II” on the end of “Premium”), and neither of them looks like the Premium-U.

If you want to see the other black bezels, you can find pictures of them [post=2231171]here[/post].


#14

Glathannus,

I’ve known about overreading and such for a long while. I’ve been a computer tech for 12 years. This problem was definitely a new one for me though; as I’ve never witnessed 2 drives with weak motors from such abuse. I’ve seen completely dead tray motors, but not weak ones. I’ve also known that Plextor was the best for CD’s as far as DAE and burning alike for a very long time. I’ve just kind of dealt with what I had.

The black bezel I have is indeed the one with no printing, which I’m not fond of either. I’ve ripped many, many, many, CD’s over the years; but have always ripped to LAME APX (preset extreme vbr). and never really cared about them being bit-exact because the few samples I’d lose were always silence. As far as burning, I knew they’d get scratched up in my truck anyway. I just used my Lite-On (or NEC, or whatever other burner I had in the past. My first was a 2x that ran me close to $250 and coastered almost everything.) and dropped it down to 16x, which worked fine for that application.

Now that I know my Kenwood Head Unit will read GigaRec cds, I’m kicking myself for not getting a Plex Premium earlier. Many CDs wasted putting entire discographies on multiple cds. Now that I’m duplicating some for my church and my dads gospel CD as well, I care a bit more (wow, talk about a pun here) and went with what I already knew was the best.

I see that you have a really nice collection of these drives. I wish I could find a European Plex Premium like yours that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

In the end, I feel have the best consumer CD burner/ripper in the Plextor Premium with a wonderful DVD burner/ripper in my Lite-On 20A4P. Great quality DVD burns from that drive, though my old NEC 3520a can still hang with it fairly well @ 16x when it comes to PIE/PIF scans.


#15

Wow, never thought this thread would become the top of “plextor premium tray wont open” on google but it has.

Update, the one with 1k on it is still running like a champ. The other two were thrown away. One had 6k the other 13k (tray wouldnt open at all on it) it seems the motors become weak when stock slow open/close times are left unchanged. Keep the open/close times as fast as possible, keep the drives clean and do not abuse them, and they will continue to last.

If your tray will not open it is ran by a gear motor with no belt. You can try to revive it by shooting electronics cleaner in the hole on the motor, then once it is free use some spray white lithium on the gear (go easy) and in a hole on the motor. Open/close many times to work it in. Thanks to everyone that has turned to this thread for advice, i hope we’ve helped.


#16

I took my recent ebay purchase Plextor premium apart tonight because the tray had a tendedancy to stick close. After receiving the drive and putting in my system the tray wouldn’t open by the button and I had to press pretty hard with a stiff piece of wire in the emergency open hole in order to get the drive’s tray to pop open. After that it worked via the button fine until the drive sat for a while, then it would stick again. A few button presses later it would pop open.

The issue with mine seems to be that the thin spacer adhered to the positioning disc in the lid became sticky and adheres itself to the moving motor / spindle assembly on the bottom. I cleaned off the residue from the spindle / motor assembly on the bottom that had transferred from the top portion and then used a very, very tiny amount of oil the two mating surfaces to hopefully prevent future adhesion. So far it seems to be working.


#17

[QUOTE=Stereodude;2700734]I took my recent ebay purchase Plextor premium apart tonight because the tray had a tendedancy to stick close. After receiving the drive and putting in my system the tray wouldn’t open by the button and I had to press pretty hard with a stiff piece of wire in the emergency open hole in order to get the drive’s tray to pop open. After that it worked via the button fine until the drive sat for a while, then it would stick again. A few button presses later it would pop open.

The issue with mine seems to be that the thin spacer adhered to the positioning disc in the lid became sticky and adheres itself to the moving motor / spindle assembly on the bottom. I cleaned off the residue from the spindle / motor assembly on the bottom that had transferred from the top portion and then used a very, very tiny amount of oil the two mating surfaces to hopefully prevent future adhesion. So far it seems to be working.[/QUOTE]

I had to do this same fix to a Premium TLA# 0002; September 2003 model with ~54 hours burn time (~1000+ CDs). The exact same problem happened and I properly cleaned the yellow residue/goo off the spindle motor from the top assembly positioning disc in the lid and oiled them as mentioned above and it seems to have fixed it (if it happens again, repeat procedure).

If your Premium’s tray seems stuck shut and won’t open after sitting closed for sometime as described above by @Stereodude; it’s not the tray motor as I originally thought too, but the gasket in the lid top assembly positioning disc has become “sticky” over time and causes the tray to “stick” shut as it clamps the top of the spindle motor in the tray closed/disc inserted position. Once the tray has been opened it works but if you leave it closed for a period of time (overnight) the tray won’t open again properly unless you clean and oil the parts mentioned.
Gives one a great opportunity also to properly service/oil tray gears, rails + PUH sled/remove dust/clean the unit (especially if it’s done over ~1000+ CDs)–you wouldn’t believe the dust/lint etc. that gets on the tray runners on some second hand units you find!