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Faulty CDRW drive

         I think my E: (CDRW) drive is faulty. When I put a disk in there was a grinding sound as it attempts to start. I have never heard this before. Could it be anything less than a failed drive? When I click properties it says they drive is working. Machine is an old Dell 863Mhz w/ 256K ram.
The drive is LG CD-RW CED-8080B
        My question is: I want to replace this inexpensively as possible. What options do I have? Do I have to know what physical size?
2 Solutions
Hi bid83,

Does it make the sound with any cd or just the one in question?
Are you able to eject the drive?  If so, see if you can see any obvious damage.  It might pay to remove the drive from the pc and turn it upside down and see if you hear any parts that have come loose.

I would suggest not to worry too much about it as CD-RW drives are dirt cheap now.  I tend to like the Liteon drives (around $35 AUD) or you may want to consider a Pioneer DVD burner (DVR-110D around $80-$100).
As for size any external bay sized device (5 1/4" bay) should fit.

Hi Bid83,

Forgot to include some link to the products I was refering to:

Pioneer dvd burner http://www.pioneer.com.au/computer/dvdwriters/dvr110d/index.html
Liteon: http://www.liteon.com/prod/getProduct.do?xml_id=4_2&menu_id=4_2_7&cid=1_7_2&pid=2

It would be in your best interest to replace it.
check out the Samsung drives at MicroCenter.com
they range from $25 - $40 (CD-R/W to DVD-R/W dual layer)

you probably have a dimension T or L series Dell, right?
any standard optical drive will fit.  


let me know if you have any further questions on how to remove/install a drive in your Dell.

good luck
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Likely the clamping and/or drive mechanism is worn, resulting in a disk that fails to spin up.  Sadly this is how they tend to go - perfectly good drive with a burned out "clutch".

New CD-RW's are pretty inexpensive to buy as an easy fix.

It is however, possible to fix them - if you're feeling environmentaly friendly.  For a grinding sound when the disk begins to spin I'd open the drive and remove the front bezel (they come off by oushing upwards on them).  Then close the drive,  take it out, remove the four screws at the bottom.  You'll be looking at a PCB and to remove it, its either a case of locating some more screws, or more likely to push some plastic tabs in.  You should be able to carefully lever it up enough to look at the drive mechanics.  The two common problems are: worn drive mechanism (the plastic cogs are worn out), the drive won't quite close properly and won't clamp the disk, and worn disk clamp assembly.  You can usually get the disk to clamp better by getting the claps fractionally closer together - how you do this is up to you and how the drive can be modified.  Posh ones have a screw, erm... yours won't.
bid83Author Commented:
        Have been working and had little time on the computer.
        Everyone of the comments lent good information. Before I asked I didn't have a clue.
It worked yesterday but who knows today. Will get busy with a solution.
      Suppose I could award it three ways.  Let me know this is right.
bid83Author Commented:

          I split the points. Kingsize gave some good advice. However, I wasn't able to quite understand what he was describing.
                                         Thanks, Bid
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