How to Clean A DVD-RW Drive

Written by james clark
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How to Clean A DVD-RW Drive
Use a lens cleaner to remove dust and dirt from a DVD-RW drive. (dvd laser image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

DVD-RW drives are installed in computers and DVD recorders for burning multimedia discs. The drive utilises a focused laser, both to record and play back the data encoded on the disc. The laser lens can accumulate dust and dirt over time, interfering with its ability to read the information on the disc. This results in choppy playback and may make it difficult to record clean content on the DVD. A variety of lens cleaning products are available to solve this problem.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Laser lens cleaning disc

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the DVD-RW drive by pressing the "Eject" or "Open" button on the computer or DVD recorder. This will extend the tray.

  2. 2

    Spray short, controlled bursts of compressed air into the drive while holding the can as vertical as possible. Compressed air under pressure is lower than room temperature, which can produce trace amounts of condensation during long blasts of air.

  3. 3

    Place a laser lens cleaning disc in the computer or DVD player media tray and press the "Close" button. Popular brands of lens cleaner include Memorex, Maxell and Allsop.

  4. 4

    Press "Play" on the component to start the cleaning cycle. Some disc cleaners comes with several options that can be accessed using the up and down arrows on a remote control or highlighting and selecting with a computer mouse. The cleaning cycle typically takes less than five minutes.

  5. 5

    Remove the cleaning disc, replace with a recorded DVD and test playback. If you haven't cleaned the drive for some time you may have to repeat the process.

Tips and warnings

  • Only open the DVD-RW drive while inserting or extracting discs. Leaving the tray open for prolonged periods is an invitation to attract dust.
  • Clean the drive after every 40 hours of operation.
  • Do not apply any liquid cleaning products to any part of the drive mechanism or allow liquids inside the computer.

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