Sucesseful laser aligment on Optiarc AD-7700S

vbimport

#1

Hello guys, new here just registered to share my experience with you. Not sure, is this right place for my post.
Been Googleing for how to align DVD laser for some time and haven’t found any thing, till I pulled out hack of the day my self.
Little background, I’m an electronics technician, fixed a lot of TV’s and VSR’s in my life. Never dealt with DVD’s or CD-ROM’s, because I never had any serious problems with them. Finally I got 1 problematic DVD burner.
Been using my Optiarc for nearly year, been very happy with it but couple months ago it started playing up. First it refused read DVD’s, got it working somehow. Then it started refusing read DVD’s, I wrote with it, now that’s not good. And finally today it refused read CD, I wrote just couple of hours before putting CD in to drive again.
I was like… Awww… Have go tomorrow and buy new one. This one is pretty much dead now. But as it was Friday evening and I had some spare time. Thought my self “What the hell, got nothing much to loose. I’ll give a go”
Tools you need:
Fine phillips screwdriver.
1 original CD (any really, I used musics CD)
1 DVD (bigger is better, I used WoW Cataclysm original DVD, dual layer buy the way).
1 CD and 1 DVD “cooked” with your burner.
Because AD-7700S is SATA, it is also hot swap capable. So you don’t need switch off your laptop or computer. Just every time you plug it back, in Device manager scan for hardware changes.
Paper-clip or piece of wire, for opening tray.
Procedure it’s self is quite simple, took me few hours to figure out, how things do work.
To start, pull DVD-ROM out of your rig. Remove top cover and bottom cover. Now under bottom you going to see yellow-brown ribbon cable. Very fragile buy the way, do not break it. And under same cable is hole with 2 silver thingies, cross on the centre. Those are trimmer potentiometers, one is for aligning with original media and another is for aligning with media written buy you.
If you face burner from back, tray open to right, then top one is for original media and bottom one is for “cooked” media.
Now, aligning could be long process so first thing what you need to do is make 3 washers from thin but strong non electrically conductive material, I made from thin but strong cardboard. Do not screw back back cover.
Just screw back 3 screws with washers, witch holding laser mechanism it’s self (stepping motor and laser). Otherwise it falls down and jams motor driving CD or DVD. Also no need screw back top cower, it helps determine faster alignment point.
Procedure it’s self, I assume that burner is in working condition, it just refuses read certain types of media.

  1. Won’t read any media. It is probably hardest. Insert any original CD media with auto run, best would be musics CD. In that case if you get laser aligned, your favourite media player starts playing CD automatically…
    So, after inserting CD you can hear that motor spins a bit and laser stepping motor does few seeks and stops. CD motor still spins up and down few times and then stops. Totally out of alignment. You have start turning top trimmer potentiometer to left or right buy small steps (do not forget initial position), to find alignment point.
    Hint, when you pull out your DVD burner and media motor is still spinning, you actually could determine how far you are from from alignment point. Than faster media spins, than closer you getting to alignment point. If someone haven’t touched potentiometers then let’s say about 45 degrees to left or right. If you turned potentiometer far enough and nothing is happening, start turning potentiometer to opposite way from centre position (initial position). As you starting getting closer to alignment point, media motor starts spinning faster and faster and laser stepping motor starts seeking more actively and longer. Till one moment auto run starts playing your CD.
    Hint, than faster media motor spins, than faster laser stepping motor seeks out CD and than faster auto play start, than closer you are to perfect alignment point. Let’s say you got it.
  2. DVD, similar to CD. just now you don’t have turn potentiometer that much, as you are quite close. So again, remember initial position and turn top potentiometer buy much smaller steps to left or right and if after let’s say 15 degrees nothing is happening. Turn to opposite way, till auto run kicks in.
    Again, most perfect alignment is when DVD auto run starts with shortest amount of time. AKA: media spins very fast, laser stepping motor seeks out DVD quickest possible.
    When you aligning DVD, also please do not forget insert CD time to time and test, does CD still work.
  3. Own written media. If DVD-ROM does not read any media at all, then you have start with self written CD and this time bottom potentiometer. Procedure is exactly same as with top potentiometer (after you aligned it, do not touch it any more :disagree:).
    If DVD-ROM does read CD’s and no go with DVD’s, then again bottom potentiometer, smaller steps, till you find alignment.

And finally, I believe that this method could be used with any DVD burners, not only with slim. You just need find potentiometers (mostly like they are near laser). As for slim burners like my AD-7700S is, they should have very similar mechanics, so potentiometers you can always find on other side, under ribbon cable.


#2

Or just buy a new one they are relatively inexpensive now days to replace a nonworking and with warranty replacement one shouldn’t have to mess to much with the bad or warranty replacement drive. One has to factor is the replacement more better and less headache then trying to fix something that would go bad with the same problem or replace the unit if the warranty is still in effect otherwise taking apart would VOID your warranty thus no replacement.


#3

I do agree with you but personally for me buying new would be too easy. I like adrenaline rush from fixing things. Last time I used any kind warranty was something 10 years ago. I just can’t deal with warranty services any more, who treating peoples like average cattle.
If we talking about DVD burner for example, it is not that expensive, buying new really would save a lot of time and nerves. But mine was already dead, I had nothing to loose.
I do agree, it is a gamble but every time you fix something, you will learn something new. With enough experience it is not so big gamble as well any more.
I could tell you a lot of real life warranty services jokes. It is amazing how sloppy big names employees are.


#4

To add to a reason to fix an old drive. Maybe it is known to be one of the better models.
One that you can’t buy new any more.


#5

[QUOTE=Cawabunga;2603514]I do agree with you but personally for me buying new would be too easy. I like adrenaline rush from fixing things. Last time I used any kind warranty was something 10 years ago. I just can’t deal with warranty services any more, who treating peoples like average cattle.
If we talking about DVD burner for example, it is not that expensive, buying new really would save a lot of time and nerves. But mine was already dead, I had nothing to loose.
I do agree, it is a gamble but every time you fix something, you will learn something new. With enough experience it is not so big gamble as well any more.
I could tell you a lot of real life warranty services jokes. It is amazing how sloppy big names employees are.[/QUOTE]

Fixing a LCD would be more worth the effort then fixing a dvd burner that is easily replaced and way cheaper to replace. Warranty only works if your item failed because of a defect not something you did to it that is how one VOIDS their warranty. They do check for warranty repair or replacement of which the category you situation fits into.


#6

New DVD burner is roughly $20US. New flat panel then was over $100US+shipping, new external display cost me less. I don’t see point, for mobility ATM I’m using my old Dell Vostro 1000 and it does job perfectly for my needs.
Besides, flat panel was glued on to front bezel, no screw fixtures, witch makes replacing flat panel harder and pointless.
As Cholla stated, AD7700-S is really good, I’m not sure that I could find equal replacement for it.
Ebay you say, I don’t trust second hand stuff, for me only good is factory packaging. Because I seen and fixed enough second had stuff in my life. Even if parts have warranty, I just hate idea start proving something and sending back faulty parts. Now days “Customer is always right” is been changed to “Customer is always wrong”.


#7

[QUOTE=Cawabunga;2603605]New DVD burner is roughly $20US. New flat panel then was over $100US+shipping, new external display cost me less. I don’t see point[/QUOTE]

You just answered the reason why fixing something that is inexpensive to replace rather then fix something that cost more would be a better endeavor. It just sounds like when pointed out the the solution is batted away rather then being taken into consideration. Making a solution not even worth a solution to fix the problem at all. Well if it cost you less then why are you even considering fixing a problem that is easily solved?? That is the problem here. And new external display cost me less I highly doubt that claim to be dubious at best without any information as to how and why.

[QUOTE=Cawabunga;2603605]for mobility ATM I’m using my old Dell Vostro 1000 and it does job perfectly for my needs.
Besides, flat panel was glued on to front bezel, no screw fixtures, witch makes replacing flat panel harder and pointless.
As Cholla stated, AD7700-S is really good, I’m not sure that I could find equal replacement for it.[/QUOTE]

That is one person opinion and not a majority unless there is a independent site that test such units to prove otherwise.

[QUOTE=Cawabunga;2603605]Ebay you say, I don’t trust second hand stuff, for me only good is factory packaging. Because I seen and fixed enough second had stuff in my life. Even if parts have warranty, I just hate idea start proving something and sending back faulty parts. [/QUOTE]

Same thing as buying a used Car or Truck. If you don’t want to buy it no one is holding a gun to your head to buy it all you have to do and go and buy brand new-it’s that easy.

[QUOTE=Cawabunga;2603605]Now days “Customer is always right” is been changed to “Customer is always wrong”.[/QUOTE]

This is the result of customer abuses and lack of responsibility on their side which is why they changed their lines.


#8

Now, hold on, I’ve been known to try to fix a LiteOn LH-20A1H (shipped as an HP DVD Writer something or other, and was a bad writer from the get go). I actually successfully fixed it. I also broke it again later, but that’s neither here nor there. :bigsmile:

It was worth the time and the satisfaction of fixing it. Granted, I had a number of other drives by that point, but it was still worth it to me to fix the drive. I’m sure it was the same for the OP. Let’s not get bogged down in “relative” terms here; if it’s not worth it to you, it’s not worth it to you. There are people who like to tackle any challenge to fix something instead of outright replacing it, just as there are people who find it more valuable to replace the broken item and not concern themselves with repair.


#9

Thank you Albert, seems like coolcolors is not getting a point. It is exactly satisfaction doing something with your own hands. Plus bit of gambling adrenaline, will it work or not.
And especially for you coolcolors, I will break down flat display fixing:
New panel price was then 130$US+ (132 as I remember)+shipping was 38$US+wait time+messing around with clue=complete waste of time and effort.
New external flat monitor, 20 minutes trip to the shop+110$US for display(19" wide screen)+couple minutes stetting up=profit.
Got it now?


#10

coolcolors likes to stir things up. Sometimes we agree & sometimes we don’t.

I also like to fix things & enjoy the satisfaction.
To add to that the time I spend fixing something is most of the time not time I would have been paid for anyway . So it does save money. I guess it could be argued I could have spent the time recreating . But maybe fixing something is recreating to some & better than sweating “playing” in a ball game.