What is wrong with my DVD R/RW drive?

This is my current drive, and it has always worked before.

It will not read or recognize any disk that I insert. When there is no disk in the drive, I can right-click its icon and go “eject,” and it will open. (Its light, of course, is on.)

As soon as I put a disk in, it will freeze up completely. At that point, when I right-click the icon, I get no context menu, just the optical drive equivalent of an hourglass cursor. Eventually, the menu comes back, and clicking “open” or “explore” shows me an empty drive.

I have tried different disks; no change.

The drive crapped out. Mine did the exact same thing about a week ago.

I spent $30 on tigerdirect.com and got a new drive and installed it today. When I removed the old drive, I saw that I’d written the install date on the side of it in sharpie marker…11/2002. Guess it was time for a new one!

Aw, crap. I’ll bet you’re right; my DVD drive probably went to high school with yours.

On the bright side, Tiger Direct is awesome!

Thanks for the advice.

Every CD/DVD reader I’ve had that physically died did the same thing.

Well, if the drive is that old, I guess it’s best to get a new one, but if you are cheap, you can try to clean the lens. You have to disassemble the drive, then find the lens which looks like this ( here’s a view of the whole inside of an optical drive). Just clean the lens with a cotton swab and a little naphtha or alcohol, and there’s a good chance that the drive will work again. I did that with a lot of optical drives/players (I’m a smoker, so my drives tend to get easily contaminated), and it always worked.