Laptop scratching discs in drive - any cures?

  Little Flower 13:11 30 Dec 2011

I've got a Toshiba Satellite A200 2BO laptop that's about 4 years old; elder son has been using it so he can do homework in his room without being disturbed by younger son... And play games without being told to do homework by cruel mother (me).

He got a new game for Christmas, went to load it, wouldn't load, realised disc was scratched, managed to get it changed for new disc. Checked new disc was ok, put it in my laptop, tried to load, wouldn't load, took it out, scratched disc.

So, something has got into the drive - cue unhappy me. And unhappy son, but he's not the one who'll have to pay to fix it.

Is it likely we can get it fixed? Is there anything I can do at home, bearing in mind that of course as it's a laptop, the disc drive is integral so can't be removed... I do know that much about it! I have opened it up to check the obvious, that there's nothing visible to the human eye.

Thanks for reading!

  northumbria61 13:29 30 Dec 2011

If you can't physically see anything inside the tray and you are sure the disc is "seating" correctly then try cleaning it enter link description here

  pompyx 13:36 30 Dec 2011

It's possible to change the DVD Drive,but a more economical, and easier solution would be an external drive, for £20 or less..

click here]1

  northumbria61 13:38 30 Dec 2011

Is there anything I can do at home, bearing in mind that of course as it's a laptop, the disc drive is integral so can't be removed... I do know that much about it

There are instructions here for replacing a CD/DVD drive if it comes to that but I would follow the cleaning method first prior to "tackling" this enter link description here

  northumbria61 13:42 30 Dec 2011

Some external ones for you to consider (2 pages) enter link description here

  Little Flower 19:40 30 Dec 2011

Thank you all, I'll have to wait till tomorrow to get a CD cleaning kit, so I'll let you know how I get on. With the compressed air, do I need to get a can or can I use my hairdryer on cold & the lowest setting?

Elder son is very excited with your first link, Northumbria61, but I've dissuaded him from disassembling the laptop till we've tried cleaning first!

  T0SH 20:07 30 Dec 2011

You can download a maintenance manual for your laptop in PDF from here

Copy paste this without the "" into a google search box

"Toshiba Satellite A200 2BO service manual"

In the search results look for this heading and click it to start a download

"Toshiba Personal Computer Satellite A200 Maintenance Manual"

It it quite a long winded tome, but the removal of components section starts from page 125 onwards with the optical drive removal on page 139

You should be able to pick up an exact working replacement second hand from ebay for not a great deal of money if you shop carefully

Cheers HC

  rdave13 20:24 30 Dec 2011

For something to scratch the CD/DVDs inside the optical drive has to be something like a small stone chipping or something similar. It has also to be wedged somewhere and 'rolls' when the CD is spinning. Is the scratching circular or directly across the disc? Can you open the drive then shut down the laptop. Gently shake the laptop in different directions including upside down with the tray open? Use a torch to have a look inside. It should be obvious to see if the scratching is bad. Also check that there is no clear plastic , which you get sometimes, when you buy a stack of DVDs and is used as part of the packaging at the start and end of a stack. This might have stuck to the last DVD and left in the drive.

  Secret-Squirrel 09:37 31 Dec 2011

Little Flower, does your laptop have a slot-loading, or the much more common, tray-loading CD drive? If it's the latter then you should be able to locate what's causing those scratches because you'll be able to see the entire area that has the potential to come into contact with the read surface of the disk:

Open the CD tray and extend it fully. Using a strong light, see if you can see anything on the surface of the tray that shouldn't be there. You can also use your fingers to feel for any sharp objects/edges. However, make sure you don't touch the laser's lens which is the small, circular, clear plastic object near the spindle.

Let us know what you find.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:23 31 Dec 2011

No need to disassemble the laptop - only the DVD drive

Flip the laptop over, setting it on a sturdy surface with the side that the existing drive is on facing you. Depending on how the laptop is designed, you should find 1-to-3 screws holding the drive in place; these screws may be on the bottom of the laptop or on the side next to the drive. Unscrew the screws and set them aside for later use.

  1. Flip the laptop back over. Carefully remove the old drive, pulling gently yet firmly if you encounter resistance/ This will be the drive unplugging from the laptop's drive interface, so a small amount of resistance is not unusual. Once the drive is free of the laptop, set it aside.
  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:25 31 Dec 2011

  1. With the drive removed you should then see 4-5 screws holding the cover on, remove these for access to the tray and lens area.

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