What makes an Optical Drive (CD or DVD drive) die?


Sep 21, 2011
What are the real reasons behind this?

I have a old model laptop - eMachines E725 which I bought in september 2009. It has intel dual core processor, 2 GB DDR2 RAM and the optical drive was a DVD-RAM (HL-DT ST DVD RAM GT 20N) 8X super multi DL.

The optical drive went out of order in October 2014. So the life span of the DVD RAM was about 5 years. And as I kept a record, I can tell that I have burned about 195 DVDs, 30 CDs, Ripped 30 Movie DVDs and burned (and erased) a Sony rewritable DVD couple of times (at least 10). Not to mention I have read (copying or watching movies purposes) the already burned DVDs when required about 100 times.

So what could cause my Optical drive to die out?
Or is it that the Drive's lifespan is around 5 years?
How often do optical drives fail?
How long does an optical drive last on an average?

Please share your experience and answer.

Phillip Corcoran

Four main components that are subject to eventual failure (I think I got 'em all):

1) The drive motor which spins the disc

2) The laser which reads (and writes on a CD/DVD burner)

3) The laser carriage mechanism

4) The tray open/close mechanism

The last one can even be damaged by being misused, such as using the emergency-eject hole too often or pushing too hard to initiate tray closure (obviously referring to optical drives on desktop PCs here).