Troubleshooting DVD Drive Problems

Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) is a form of digital storage. DVD is used to store music, video, games and multimedia applications. DVD is similar to a CD in appearance and structure. It offers high capacity and better quality as compared to the CD. The storage capacity of DVD is 7 times that of CD.

Working of DVD

Tracking system of DVD player consists of tracking motor and spindle motor. Tracking system is responsible for proper alignment of data tracks on the DVD and the laser beam. The tracking motor moves the laser assembly to and from the centre of the DVD. The spindle motor spins the DVD at a rate that allows for constant reading of data by the laser beam. DVD drive reads the data from DVDs with the help of a laser assembly, which focuses the laser beam on the DVD. The laser beam reads the data on the DVD that is stored in the form of microscopic pits. The laser beam focuses on the reflecting layer of the DVD. In case of the single layer DVD’s, laser passes through the layer and to the reflecting layer underneath it. If the DVD is dual layered, it has to focus on the inner reflective layer by passing through the two layers and then to the reflective layer.

The laser is reflected off the reflective layer onto a photosensitive receptor. The DVD track has data encoded in it in the form of pits, and the areas on the track that do not contain data are flat and smooth. The laser is reflected in a different manner from the smooth area as compared to the pits. The photosensitive receptor studies the reflected signal for changes in the reflection. The device that interprets the reflection changes and reads them as bits of data. The DVD drive has to convert the data read from the DVD into 1 or 0 bits. These bits of data are then sent to Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), if the data is intended for a device that uses analog data. If the device is digital, the data can be directly passed to the device.

Troubleshooting the DVD drive:

  1. There is no power in an internal DVD drive:
  • Internal DVD drives receive power from the computer supply. If the other parts of the computer are problem-free, it means that the power supply is not at fault.
  • Replace the connector of the DVD drive to the power supply. If the DVD drive does not start working even after the connector is replaced, the drive is faulty.
  1. The tray of the internal DVD drive will not open:
  • Restart the computer. Then try to open the tray.
  • If the tray does not open after restarting, check the BIOS settings to see if the computer recognizes the drive.
  • Try the manual eject button on the DVD drive.
  • Shutdown and unplug the computer. Use a small device like a paper clip to inset in the pin hole on the front of the DVD drive. Try to open the tray a little with the help of the paper clip, and the n open with your fingers.
  1. DVD drive runs lowly:
  • Check the cache size in the Performance tab of the System Properties. Select the quad speed setting.
  • Move the drive to the secondary controller if possible.
  • Check the drive specification and use auto detect in BIOS for the best results.
  • Install the appropriate drivers for the motherboard’s chipset and OS in use.


  1. Proper installation and configuration of the DVD drive is very important for the proper working of the DVD drive.
  2. DVD drives and burners have speed listings that indicate the speed of the drive as compared to the DVD standards.
  3. A combo drive can play DVD’s and record on CD’s.
  4. Troubleshooting the DVD drive can eliminate most of the problems of the DVD drive.
  5. DVD drives can experience problems due to power supply failures, computer problems, etc.

Content reference:

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