View Full Version : cleaning CD-ROM lens?

24-05-2002, 10:03 PM
The CD-ROM lens seems to be dirty. It reads audio CD OK but not data or programme CDs. It is a LG CD-ROM CRD_8483B.
Is there any way of cleaning the lens (apart from a head cleaning disc, which appears to be quite useless) ?
Is it worth paying to have the CD-ROM stripped and cleaned or would it be better to buy a new unit, which will presumably be faster?
Many thanks in anticipation.

24-05-2002, 10:56 PM
Depending on how old your CD drive is and/or how much use it has had, it may well be dying on you. I have had the same problem where my drive will not read copied disks and no amount of cleaning will do anything to help...the same with my stereo in fact.

If a cleaning disk is not working I would get another one (CD-RW approx $200?) and keep the old one in to use for copying if and when it works. Cost would prohibit getting it cleaned and I wouldn't like to try to do it myself!


25-05-2002, 11:48 AM
Hi -
If you have an old CDROM drive, 8x were about the worst, it may not read the blue CD's and you may need a new unit. CD ROM drives are about less than $100, or as suggested buy a CDRW.

25-05-2002, 03:03 PM
I've found the philips cleaning disk (~$25 at DSE) great for getting old drives working again. Including one with a lense covered in grease (I had to chuck the disk when I was done).

Don't bother with cheap cleaners because the bristles come out and get stuck around the lense.

25-05-2002, 04:28 PM
Definitley not worth taking anywhere to get cleaned,have a go yourself as you have nothing to lose.
I take the lid off my cdrom & clean the lens using meths & a cotton bud.
I find meths ok because its not too aggressive on the plastic lens & it evaporates.

Cheers steve

27-01-2009, 09:23 PM
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE!!! (yeah, I know this thread is 7 years old)

ALWAYS Always, always, disconnect ALL power and cables from the optical unit before opening it up.

DO NOT attempt to test / restore power to the drive until all covers are back in place... unless you want to go blind!

New drives these days are very inexpensive, so a new one is probably gonna serve you better than a dodgy 'cleaned' one.

From my own experiences trying to open up a CD drive to clean it - it's a difficult job, and you may still struggle to get at the lens. Getting the ribbon cables back onto the head can be fiddly work.

27-01-2009, 10:01 PM
I doubt the OP is still here :p

27-01-2009, 10:01 PM
Hey Paul, could you stop opening up all the old thread please:p

28-01-2009, 10:34 AM
Not $200 in N Z, about $60 from one of the advertisers in N Z P C World!

28-01-2009, 11:59 AM
I'm not blind yet. I have had a few optical drives running with the power on with the cover off.

29-01-2009, 02:07 PM
From RepairFAQ:

Laser (CD): The laser in a CD player is infra red, near IR - 780 nm - border of visible range but for all intents and purposes invisible. However, it is very low power (generally under 1 mW at the lens) and due to the optics, extremely unlikely that you could be in any danger. Nonetheless, don't go out of your way to look closely into the lens while the unit is on!
As long as the lens is intact, the beam is highly divergent and at anything beyond a few inches, especially at an oblique angle, is quite safe. The only possibility of risk would be if the lens fell out and you were looking directly into a collimated beam from above. While the power is less than that of most laser pointers, there would be no aversion reflex to the nearly invisible IR. And, yes, some models of CD players are known to drop their lenses!

CAUTION: There is usually a very low intensity (in appearance) emission from an IR laser which appears deep red. It will be visible as a spot the size of the period at the end of this sentence when the lens is viewed from an oblique angle. This is just your eye's response to the near IR energy of the main beam. (Some people apparently cannot see this at all.) Do not be mislead into thinking that the laser is weak as a result of how dim this is. The main beam is up to 10,000 times more intense than it appears! It's power output is generally around 1 mW - comparable to a laser pointer. Take care. However, the red dot is an indication that the laser is being powered and probably functional, though it is no guarantee of the latter. You really need a laser power meter or at least an IR detector to confirm the existence of an IR laser beam.

Whenever a full size (5-1/4") CD is in place, there is absolutely no danger of exposure to the laser beam. Reflections of laser light at these power levels are harmless. However, if you are testing with a 3-1/2" 'single' or homemade cut-down test CD (see the section: Useful ways to mangle CDs, avoid staring into the lens if there is any chance the laser is powered.

If you don't want to take even the minimal risk of looking into the lens at all, project the beam onto a piece of paper held close to the lens. In a dark room, it should be possible to detect a red spot on the paper when the laser is powered.