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A CD player that won't stay put may be a sign of hardware failure. Maybe it's time to upgrade.

My CD tray started this "going in" at startup and popping back out and going back in and then staying out. If I have to open it up, no screws on the case, what would you suggest?

In this excerpt from Answercast #45, I look at a CD player that is going in and out. It might need to be replaced.

Faulty CD player

Well, to be honest, what I would suggest is either of two things:

  • One is make sure you've got the correct and updated drivers for that particular CD drive.

You probably do.

This is often a sign of a CD drive that's gone bad; so ultimately, my recommendation is that one of the first things you do is replace it.

  • Go ahead and get yourself a replacement CD drive that will fit in your machine.

Ideally at this point, I would use it as an opportunity to upgrade a little bit and I would get a DVD drive or a DVD/CD writer, so that you can actually handle more formats than perhaps you were in the past.


So that's what I would do. I would (very first thing) replace the actual drive and see if that doesn't make the problem go away. They're not terribly expensive these days.

If it's something that you can't afford, then at a minimum, you might see if you can borrow a drive from someone to see if replacing it would in fact solve the problem. I'm guessing it will. That way, you'll at least know whether or not you need to spend the money.

Article C5709 - August 20, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

August 21, 2012 9:13 AM

I had a friend who said he wrote a little program in Visual Basic that would keep opening and closing the DVD drive of his parents' computer to play a practical joke on them...

August 21, 2012 10:31 AM

Try this:
With the computer shut off, open it up and carefully pull the power and ribbon (or SATA) cable off the cd drive. Leaving the pc open, cycle it on to a stable desktop and then shut it off.
Plug in only the power to the cd drive and fire up the pc again. Hopefully, the tray is behaving itself. If not, replace.
Shut down and plug in the signal cable and fire up the pc. When you reach the desktop, go into device manager and uninstall the cd drive and reboot. This will reinstall the drivers.
If you now still have the tray dance, replace.

August 24, 2012 7:56 PM

You don't mention if you have a desktop or laptop. Both are fairly easy to change out. I'm assuming you have a desktop. You say there is no screws on the case. There should be 1 or 2 on the back side "lip" of the side panel, usually the right side as you face the front. Remove the screw(s) and slide the whole side panel off toward the rear. This will give you access to the insides. There are probably release levers at the front of the case to remove the front panel. You may have to look for arrows stamped in the metal frame that will indicate front panel removal. Once you get that off there are anywhere from 2 - 4 screws holding in the cd drive. It will then slide out from the front.
If you have a laptop, theres just 1 screw on the bottom that holds the drive in place. Then it just slides out, much easier!
Just google (or your search engine of choice) your make & model PC, "how to remove optical drive" and you will find instructions on how to replace it. Usually a utube video.
It's not that major a project, probably take you less than an hour.
Good Luck! Johnny.

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