View Full Version : CD ROM Repairs

31-05-2003, 03:25 PM
Have two CD ROMíS that will play Audio Disks without fault but neither will read data.

One is an old Creative Quad speed and the other a Mitsumi 24 speed.

Iíve opened them up and checked the lens and mirror for dirt but both look fine. Gave them a gentle clean with Isopropyl Alcohol without improvement.

Also, (I realise it doesnít apply in this case) can anyone tell me how to tell if the laser is working? I understand the laser light is invisible (no little red dot) and looking into it is not recommended.



31-05-2003, 03:55 PM
Only way to test laser emission is a very expensive piece of test gear. Better to try, clean and then buy.

31-05-2003, 04:05 PM
They sound like very old cd-rom drives. I have the creative quad speed one you talk about inside my old 386 comp. Reads data cds fine.

Perhaps a firmware upgrade might be in order before you trash them.

Find the model number on the cdrom drives and either go to the manufacturers websites and download (if those manufacturers still exist). Or you could probably search google?

Graham L
31-05-2003, 04:05 PM
There is usually a very faint visible red output from a working CD player laser diode. Most of the energy is invisible, so this is why you shouldn't look up the spout. In a dark room you might be able to see the visible part on a piece of paper (but not through it).

31-05-2003, 04:12 PM
Newer data disks won't read in older cd rom drives, esp. the new 700mb/80min disks. Also most CDs burnt on home CD Burners won't read in old CD Drives either.

I have a Creative 24x which won't read any newer data CD disks, or any other CDs I burn.

31-05-2003, 04:42 PM
Thanks everyone.

I think ďsomebodyĒ might be on to my problem. Silly me, Iíve been using the newest finest data cdís I have available thinking they would be easier read. (No scratches or imperfections)

So, I out with a genuine old Office 97 Disk and bingo no problem!

Well, you sure live and learn on this site.

With regard to the laser working Graham, I wonder how would something like a piece of tissue paper placed over the lens go? Possibly, there may be a faint red glow when viewed from the side?

Iíll have a try and let you know.

Thanks again


Peter H
31-05-2003, 05:32 PM
If they play Audio discs & Office 97, the Laser must be working.

31-05-2003, 07:45 PM
Ask yourself "how many laser lens did you see in the drive?"

Just the one?

OK then the laser works great !!! , DON'T wreck it, the fault must be some where else,

31-05-2003, 07:48 PM
Sorry too quick off the mark.
You said the CDROM plays music good, but not data CD's

Ask yourself "how many laser lens did you see in the

Just the one?

OK then the laser works great !!! , DON'T wreck it,
the fault must be some where else,

31-05-2003, 10:07 PM
Actually I did realise that the lasers must be working (sort of at least) if they were handling Audio.

The query about how to tell if a laser was actually firing up was an aside in case I strike one that wonít play Audio or acknowledge data.

I think ďsomebodyísĒ post nailed it in one.

Iíll try to remember to put my teeth in the next time I post and stop confusing people. :D



31-05-2003, 10:33 PM
Glad I could help