[ltp] T61 Optical drive

Richard Neill linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Thu, 19 Apr 2012 02:42:09 +0100

On 19/04/12 00:38, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> My T61 is now 4.5 years old, but still serves my needs perfectly, so I
> don't want to replace it yet. However, I have been having problems with
> the DC/DVD/DL drive (39T2829). The original had a lot of pretty heavy
> use and recently it started producing coasters. Thinking that the
> read/write heads were starting to fail I bought a new drive (brand
> new). The new drive works perfectly, that is, it works perfectly once I
> can get it to mount the media. I suspect a connector problem, but I
> can't tell whether it's the connector on the drive or inside the
> Ultrabay.
> I have the maintenance manual, but it doesn't say much about the
> Ultrabay or its connectors. In the past I swapped drives with a friend
> who has a T60, and the drives were compatible, albeit different FRU
> numbers.
> I'm out of ideas, short of tearing the computer apart. Has anyone here
> had problems with the optical drive in a T61 or T60? Any solutions? Any
> other suggestions?

I suspect that if you are able to read the drive properties, for example:
   sudo hdparm -I /dev/cdrom
then the electronic connection is fine.

Next, I'd try reading a commercial CD-ROM (one of the mass-produced 
stamped ones rather than a burned one) - these are higher contrast. This 
checks your drive basic functionality.

Then try reading one of the burned discs you have (already knowing that 
that disk reads OK in another computer). This verifies the read laser 

Finally, check the procedure for burning CDs (not DVDs) using different 
branded media and not necessarily at full speed.

I also recommend a lens-clean: either using a lens-cleaning disc or 
using a small amount of (wet) lens-cleaner for a camera with a Q-tip.
This does make a difference. You won't hurt the lens, provided you are 
very gentle.

Lastly, it might be worth suggesting some alternatives to using optical 
CDs: Have you come across Unetbootin (for installations)? Also, the 
combination of scp  or rsync over ssh  may be helpful.



P.S. If you get read errors, does dmesg say anything of interest?