DVD-RAM drive tray stuck when no disc in drive

I have a LITE-ON DVD-RAM drive that has worked without problems for a long time.
Nowadays the drive tray gets stuck in the closed position when there's no disc in the tray.
When i click "eject" on the drive's menu, the LED on the drive lights up and i can hear the drive trying to open its tray 5 times, but it doesn't open.  After many attempts, it opens.
When there's a disc in the drive, i can eject it without a problem.
Only when I close the tray with no disc in it, the tray gets stuck again in the closed position.

The drive is not under warranty.  What should i do to fix the drive?
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John HurstConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Most likely, given the time of service, the answer here is to replace your drive. It appears to have a hardware wear fault. ... Thiinkpads_User
TallKewlOnezConnect With a Mentor Database AdministratorCommented:
have you tried to use the 'magic' paperclip tool.  When the drive is stuck there is a tiny hole on the front of the drive. Stick one end of a paper clip in the drive to pop it out.   Chances are its just a gear slightly out of kilter enough to stick.  The papercliip will manually push the drive out.  Might fix it.

skywalker39Connect With a Mentor Commented:
If you know how to, try taking apart the drive to see if anything is inside possibly causing the tray to  stick, if something is loose inside.
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LedigimateAuthor Commented:
Thank you TallKewlOnez, I've used the 'magic' paperclip tool many times before and it works great, but not in this case.  I tried it this time, and the tray doesn't open.  It is stuck.

skywalker39, I don't know how the drive fits together, but i'll try taking off its covering to see if i can spot the problem.  Has anyone done this before?  I don't want to damage the drive.
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i would just replace the drive, given the low cost of a modern burning DVD drive (under 40$)
LedigimateAuthor Commented:

The paperclip method works when the computer is off.  It pushes the tray about 3 mm out and I can then manually pull the tray open to insert a disc.
When the computer is on, the paperclip method works only when there's a disc in the drive.
When there's no disc in the drive, the the paperclip method does't work when the computer is on.

I also opened the drive's covering and couldn't see anything obvious that would cause the tray to stick.
What I did notice was that the drive's top covering has what appears to be a small plastic disc with an embedded magnet, attached to it.  Could it be that the magnet's pull somehow got stronger than it used to be, causing it to not be released properly when trying to open the tray?
LedigimateAuthor Commented:
The drive still works otherwise.  I've tried keeping a disc in the drive at all times, but sometimes i forget and close the tray with no disc in it.

Can you recommend a DVD burner?  One that performs exceptionally good?
>>  Can you recommend a DVD burner?  One that performs exceptionally good?   <<  they are all equally good / bad.
Lite-on sells many now
i would just choose the cheapest...
LedigimateAuthor Commented:
Although I haven't found an answer on how I should go about fixing the drive, I'll take your advice.  Untill I get the chance to replace the drive, I'll just turn the computer off everty time the drive tray gets stuck with a disc in it, and use the paperclip tool.
Drives are not "fixed "  they work, or they don't, and get replaced !
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