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Lite-On DVD writer tray will only eject when a disc is in tray

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1 October 2009 10:45:26

I have a Lite-On DVD writer that will not open if no CD is in the drive. I have to use the manual eject pinhole. Once a disc is inside the writer, it will eject fine--open and close as many times as I need it to. It will even read and burn discs once a disc is inserted. SHM-165H6S is the model number of this particular drive.

If I hit the eject button, it will "try" to open but acts as if it's caught on something--a light thump. Then it will reverse trying to open and attempt to scan for any disc.

I know that many businesses will lock drives like this to keep employees from inserting media. I've looked around the tray and the bezel for some kind of a security/locking switch but to no avail.

Can anyone help me with this? This happens whether in Windows or POSTing. I've flashed the firmware to many different versions to see if anyone of them helped.

And it didn't used to do this. Thanks for your help!

a b G Storage
1 October 2009 14:19:43

does it eject if you use windows to eject with no disc in ?

right click the dvd drive in computer and left click eject

on a side note mine does something similar but if i hit the button 3x it works fine.

once-stuck 2-go back in 3 actually ejects.
1 October 2009 20:22:13

The context menu eject doesn't work either. I've even tried 3rd-party software to send the eject command to the drive. :) 
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8 October 2009 13:39:13

Anyone with any experience on disc drives that might do this? I just upgraded my motherboard, CPU & RAM, and switched to Windows 7 but kept this drive. It's doing the same thing still. :-\

It ejects too readily with the disc in to be a hardware malfunction.
14 October 2009 11:22:53

Any help? I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
25 January 2010 12:11:02

kevinbh93 said:
Any help? I'd appreciate it. Thanks!



Did you ever fix the problem?


25 January 2010 14:36:32

I haven't. It's still doing it. I've tried my best to figure out if anything physical is doing it. I'm just no engineer. :)  Is yours having the same problem?
15 March 2010 08:39:34

I am having the same issue... strange how it only ejects if there is a disc in the drive but if there isnt, i have to use the manual eject hole.
15 March 2010 08:52:41

Yeah, it really doesn't make sense. You'd think it it were broken it wouldn't eject either way. There's something that having a CD in triggers/engages that that should be triggered/engaged without one in it. I was hoping someone with a background in optical drive engineering would happen by. haha I guess we'll have to keep waiting.

Is yours a Lite-On, too? What model?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
5 April 2010 13:08:54

Hi Kevin, exactly the same problem here as you described. I reflashed the firmware and did all I could to no avail. My drive is also SHM-165H6S.

It feels/sounds like mechanical problem that happens only when the disc isn't present in the tray. But it does seem to be firmware related.

I tapped multiple times on the eject button and finally the tray would come out by itself, now it seems to work again, although I don't trust it.

On Newegg another Liteon - model iHAS124-04 - develops the same problem according to one review.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
5 April 2010 13:40:25

This is a very common problem -- the issue is usually when the makers use a magnetic puck (that clamps the disc from above as the drawer closes). If motor belt driving the drawer is slippery or the bar which moves across to lower the disc drive and laser assembly as the drawer opens is sticky the result is a jam up.

You have to open the drive case and clean the belt and associated pulleys with a gentle alcohol to get the belt gripping again. I would also very sparingly lubricate the gear teeth of the drawer and the cog on the motor which drives it to eject.

If you can access the laser/motor raise/lower bar mechanism sparingly lubricate that.

Some or none of this may work -- my solution on an older DVD writer is to remove the drive front bezel and fasten a handle to the front of the drawer -- jiggling the drawer may cause it to open eventually.

Alternatively, when you remove a disc from the drawer, always replace it with another disc. That stops the magnetic puck gripping the CD motor spindle.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
5 April 2010 23:47:34

Quote:
This is a very common problem -- the issue is usually when the makers use a magnetic puck (that clamps the disc from above as the drawer closes). If motor belt driving the drawer is slippery or the bar which moves across to lower the disc drive and laser assembly as the drawer opens is sticky the result is a jam up.
Fihart, THANK YOU very much for your response. What you said, finally makes perfect sense!

I will apply a donut-shaped sticker cut out of 2-inch wide packing tape to the bottom side of the magnetic puck. The tape's thickness would create an extra distance from the magnet to weaken its pulling force a bit. Hopefully this would permanently fix the problem.

Again, THANKS VERY MUCH for sharing your expertise.

Best solution

Anonymous
a b G Storage
6 April 2010 01:43:56
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I opened the drive and found out that the puck has a shape that allows sticking to its bottom a small round padding inside of the recessed area - the sticker should have no more than about 10 mm diameter and have a small 3 mm hole in the center. I made the sticker from two layers of duct tape. Make sure to use good quality of tape, so the glue would not spread from underneath and cause more trouble. The drive is perfect now.

Additional info:
To disassemble the drive, 1. Eject tray with a straightened paper clip, 2. Remove four screws in the bottom, 3. Remove plastic front bezel - the top one or two latches are the most stubborn but they need to come off, 4 Gently pry out the innards away from the metal case to get access to the puck.

The magnetic puck is a small round rare-earth super magnet encased in white plastic, or it is a black plastic ring with metal inside - see Edit below.

Edit on April 7, 2010:
Newer Liteon burners, like iHAS124, have metal puck encased in black plastic and rare-earth super magnet placed directly on the spindle motor. This seems like Liteon's attempt at solving the tray eject problem. The 4-point repair plan is the same: a sticky ring with a small hole in the center attached to the bottom side of the puck. I did this on brand new drives just to avoid future problems.

Addition of the sticker's thickness creates an extra distance from the magnet to weaken its pulling force.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
6 April 2010 01:47:18

Well, I think I'll try that myself.
12 April 2010 09:24:48

Yeah, I think I'll try it, too! Thanks to all of you who contributed suggestions and especially the steps!
12 April 2010 14:14:21

Best answer selected by kevinbh93.
12 April 2010 14:15:01

For what it's worth, I didn't have to make the complete donut. I just cut 3x3mm or so squares from some duct tape that was two pieces stuck together. I put it at the four corners of an imaginary square (or the four ends of a plus sign) along the raised ring of the puck. I just installed The Witcher from disc and it worked just fine. I need to burn something though and get it verified to make sure there's no instability.

Thanks so much for helping me out with this!! It took a long while of having to use a paper clip to eject it. Luckily I have a slot-loading DVD drive that I use most of the time. And now I also know more about the inside of a drive. :) 

Thanks again, guys!
22 November 2010 03:52:46

Interfering with the disc securing mechanism by distancing it form the spindle isn't a good idea. I have found that the problem comes from lack of drive force being transferred to the step down pulley. This is either caused due to wear on the drive pulley polishing it to smooth or the drive belt stretching. I use an emery disk or board and pull the belt off the pulleys. I light buffing with the emery board or wheel restores the the tractive force and the drawers open and closes just fine. All you need do is open the drawer pop the front and lift the belt out carefully with a hooked item operate the drawer a few times with the emery making contact with the pulleys and then replace the belt on the pulleys. You don't even need to remove the drive from the case.
6 December 2010 22:11:37

hey i m having same problem with HP 1260 DVD writer...i can u give a video about how to repair
6 March 2011 02:29:21

Hi,
I had a similar problem, though my Lite-On LH-20A1S was getting more and more difficult to get the tray to open whether there was a disc in it or not. I had to push the button very hard and hold it for several seconds, releasing it, pushing it and doing this three or more times to get the tray to open. Lately, closing the tray has become difficult, needing to push and hold the button very firmly. Even a paper clip would not open the tray, nor did using computer to "eject" to open the tray. I was about to look for a new optical drive to replace mine, but found a thread at another forum that also contained the how-to given here by anonymous. The problem is, putting the tape padding or sticker on the inside of the puck (the area that makes direct contact with the spindle) only made it unable to play a disc, making a terrible whirring sound like a cat growling, though I was able to easily open and close the tray for a few times, but then it went back to struggling to open, plus the added growling sound. I figured the magnet had something to do with the problem as you can tell it is quite strong when you test it with a piece of metal, like a screw driver.

Back to square one, I took unit out of case, opened it up and removed the Duct tape padding/sticker.

Here is what I did, making up my own descriptive names for the parts in question:

Remove optical drive from machine. No need to open unit up. Remove cover plate, that can be made of plastic, or on older units, of metal. With top side up, using sharp pocket knife, carefully pry around the cover plate (and label) to loosen the glue that holds it down, working knife in angled circular direction of plate. No need to go all way round, just enough to easily remove the contents: the white plastic puck.

Turn small metal twist cover in clockwise motion to unscrew it from plastic puck, being careful not to break off any of the three plastic tabs, as I had done the first time I unscrewed one (actually, I used a screwdriver to push one of the plastic tabs upright, thinking that was how it was held down, which broke it off). If you pay attention, you can easily see from the small twist cover that you unscrew it. Once lid is removed, you will see the 10mm metal magnet that is held magnetically to the twist cover. It has a hole in the centre. You can check magnetic strength with your screwdiver or pocket knife and find out just how strong Lite-On's magnet is. This magnet is what pulls the spindle up to secure the disc in place against the plastic puck, and if the magnet is too strong, it can stretch and prematurely wear the rubber belt as it refused to release the spindle. It can also cause the spindle to not fully pull away from puck when button is pressed to open tray or close tray, resulting in the spindle dragging along the inserted disc and scratching it. At least, this is what I believe happens. I'm not an engineer.

Next, double over a piece of Duct tape to make it two layers thick (sticky sides against each other) and measure and cut a 10mm or so circle. Remove the magnet from the small metal twist plate and use magnet as a pattern. Remember to replace and center the magnet back on the twist cover. You can adjust padding/sticker with scissors to make sure it will fit in the inner circle section of puck. Then with nail, poke a hole through the middle, making it large enough to fit over the centre post of puck. (I tried making a three layer circle padding, but it was too thick and wouldn't allow the magnet and twist cover to close down, so two layers is sufficient.) Use magnet and twist cover to depress the tape flat, then with counter clockwise motion, push thumb and secure the twist cover making sure the three tabs lock in their grooves. No need for glue in this project.

Place puck back on top of unit, and close the cover plate, pushing it down to secure it. If you need glue, then do so, but I didn't as the old glue was still sufficient to hold the plate in place.

Replace unit back in machine and test it.

Mine has been working as it should for two days now, whether I am in Linux or Windows XP. The button works as well as using "eject" from computer.

One person said replacing the belt worked, which they got at an electronics supply company. It makes sense that with the strong magnet used on these units, that the belt would wear prematurely. But this fixed it for me as I have no belts on hand, but do have Duct tape. I plan to replace the belt as soon as possible, though I still think choking down the magnet was a necessity. I have an Asus optical DVD/CD RW in the same case and it is the same age and has had no problem opening and closing the tray.

I was thinking another option would be to replace the magnet with something less magnetic. We have plenty of pliable magnets on our refrigerator, and wonder if making one to fit would work without the need of any diffuser padding.

(An update to say that I fixed a second one in such manner, a 2006 unit with IDE connector and it is working fine, too. Both units also play discs and I can burn from units.)

(And a final update. Out of curiosity, I took my Asus optical drive out of an older machine and noticed it too had a cover plate under the label. I opened up the cover plate, and removed the puck, which was much easier to pull away from the spindle. The design on it was different, though it, too uses a magnet, though the magnet is on the spindle as can be seen in the final photo. Definitely less magnetic force used on it.











31 July 2011 04:52:38

Simplately said:
Hi,
I had a similar problem, though my Lite-On LH-20A1S was getting more and more difficult to get the tray to open whether there was a disc in it or not. I had to push the button very hard and hold it for several seconds, releasing it, pushing it and doing this three or more times to get the tray to open. Lately, closing the tray has become difficult, needing to push and hold the button very firmly. Even a paper clip would not open the tray, nor did using computer to "eject" to open the tray. I was about to look for a new optical drive to replace mine, but found a thread at another forum that also contained the how-to given here by anonymous. The problem is, putting the tape padding or sticker on the inside of the puck (the area that makes direct contact with the spindle) only made it unable to play a disc, making a terrible whirring sound like a cat growling, though I was able to easily open and close the tray for a few times, but then it went back to struggling to open, plus the added growling sound. I figured the magnet had something to do with the problem as you can tell it is quite strong when you test it with a piece of metal, like a screw driver.

Back to square one, I took unit out of case, opened it up and removed the Duct tape padding/sticker.

Here is what I did, making up my own descriptive names for the parts in question:

Remove optical drive from machine. No need to open unit up. Remove cover plate, that can be made of plastic, or on older units, of metal. With top side up, using sharp pocket knife, carefully pry around the cover plate (and label) to loosen the glue that holds it down, working knife in angled circular direction of plate. No need to go all way round, just enough to easily remove the contents: the white plastic puck.

Turn small metal twist cover in clockwise motion to unscrew it from plastic puck, being careful not to break off any of the three plastic tabs, as I had done the first time I unscrewed one (actually, I used a screwdriver to push one of the plastic tabs upright, thinking that was how it was held down, which broke it off). If you pay attention, you can easily see from the small twist cover that you unscrew it. Once lid is removed, you will see the 10mm metal magnet that is held magnetically to the twist cover. It has a hole in the centre. You can check magnetic strength with your screwdiver or pocket knife and find out just how strong Lite-On's magnet is. This magnet is what pulls the spindle up to secure the disc in place against the plastic puck, and if the magnet is too strong, it can stretch and prematurely wear the rubber belt as it refused to release the spindle. It can also cause the spindle to not fully pull away from puck when button is pressed to open tray or close tray, resulting in the spindle dragging along the inserted disc and scratching it. At least, this is what I believe happens. I'm not an engineer.

Next, double over a piece of Duct tape to make it two layers thick (sticky sides against each other) and measure and cut a 10mm or so circle. Remove the magnet from the small metal twist plate and use magnet as a pattern. Remember to replace and center the magnet back on the twist cover. You can adjust padding/sticker with scissors to make sure it will fit in the inner circle section of puck. Then with nail, poke a hole through the middle, making it large enough to fit over the centre post of puck. (I tried making a three layer circle padding, but it was too thick and wouldn't allow the magnet and twist cover to close down, so two layers is sufficient.) Use magnet and twist cover to depress the tape flat, then with counter clockwise motion, push thumb and secure the twist cover making sure the three tabs lock in their grooves. No need for glue in this project.

Place puck back on top of unit, and close the cover plate, pushing it down to secure it. If you need glue, then do so, but I didn't as the old glue was still sufficient to hold the plate in place.

Replace unit back in machine and test it.

Mine has been working as it should for two days now, whether I am in Linux or Windows XP. The button works as well as using "eject" from computer.

One person said replacing the belt worked, which they got at an electronics supply company. It makes sense that with the strong magnet used on these units, that the belt would wear prematurely. But this fixed it for me as I have no belts on hand, but do have Duct tape. I plan to replace the belt as soon as possible, though I still think choking down the magnet was a necessity. I have an Asus optical DVD/CD RW in the same case and it is the same age and has had no problem opening and closing the tray.

I was thinking another option would be to replace the magnet with something less magnetic. We have plenty of pliable magnets on our refrigerator, and wonder if making one to fit would work without the need of any diffuser padding.

(An update to say that I fixed a second one in such manner, a 2006 unit with IDE connector and it is working fine, too. Both units also play discs and I can burn from units.)

(And a final update. Out of curiosity, I took my Asus optical drive out of an older machine and noticed it too had a cover plate under the label. I opened up the cover plate, and removed the puck, which was much easier to pull away from the spindle. The design on it was different, though it, too uses a magnet, though the magnet is on the spindle as can be seen in the final photo. Definitely less magnetic force used on it.

]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_90/63_164/IMG_0972-vi575.jpg
]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_90/60_239/IMG_0959b-vi.jpg
]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_90/60_239/IMG_0960b-vi.jpg
]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_90/60_239/IMG_0961b-vi.jpg
]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_90/60_239/IMG_0962b-vi.jpg
]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_90/63_164/IMG_0978-vi.jpg
]http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/4_131/76_127/IMG_0982-vi515.jpg


I just thought I'd drop back in to say thanks and confirm that this also works for the HP dvd1270.

Though there is no magnet in the puck, only in the spindle like on the older drive you found. You still twist off a piece that looks just like the one in the photo, there's just nothing under it(probably an attempt to fix it again). Shove a cut out piece of tape with a hole in it under it & twist the metal piece back on(can be quite difficult with the tape underneath it. I used 2 pieces of electrical tape stuck together myself.) and put everything back together. worked like a charm. ;) 
a c 157 G Storage
19 August 2011 01:26:53

This topic has been closed by Area51reopened