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.