Will a bad laser still light up?

My Liteon 401s@411s is toast. Even though my drive shows up in the BIOS (and Windows) I can’t even get a boot CD to load. So anyway I thought it was probably the laser. However when I ran it with the lid off I noticed the laser still shines bright. I’m just wondering if even bad lasers will still shine.
Also part of its problem is my disks will spin but won’t spin-up when initializing. So I’m also wondering if a motor that may not be working up to par may be the drive’s downfall.
I only had this drive for about a month and 30 burns.

Hi skeen,

if there is a defect chip or some other electronic fault, the laser may still be working. Does it still read DVDs? I think that what you see (probably shining red) is the laser used for dvd reading, I don’t think you will be able to see the laser for reading cds since its wavelength (approximatel 780nm) should be beyond what’s visible to the human eye.



Hi skeen,

If your drive is only a month old, you should have just taken it back. By opening it up, you voided any warranty you had.

Also, don’t look into the laser, that warning label IS there for a reason. A laser doesn’t have to be powerful, to seriously damage your eyes. You have to be careful, seeing the laser from the side may not be dangerous, but looking directly into it is a NO NO. People have gone blind from lasers burning their eyes.

BTW, like jackie says, some lasers cannot be seen by human eyes, buy they still CAN hurt you, even if you can’t see them.

Thanks for your replies. Yea, I opened it up and voided the warranty (to clean the lens). I usually buy everything locally, but I mail ordered this one. And no I didn’t stare at the laser. I’ve worked with fiber optics to know better.
It doesn’t play DVD’s, It doesn’t play anything.