lpq asks: "I have various optical disc readers from standard DVD players (apart from a computer), and both CD and DVD readers on one or more computers. My home stereo DVD's have been problematic for a while. One of them won't even take a DVD cleaner disk as it doesn't 'recognize' it as a playable disc, even though it plays discs that my other DVD player won't play. Usually, between the two of them, I can play most discs, but occasionally some discs, purchased new, won't play on either of them. Heaven forbid if it is an older or used DVD which have even more problems (some of my DVDs are approaching old age at an age of around 5 years). However, this is more about my computer's optical drives, including the CD readers. Both CD readers on two different computers have 'died' and are not able to read program disks. Am I specifically plagued by bad luck or do others go through CD/DVD drives so quickly?""My built-in DVD reader (Dell laptop) no longer reads DVD's, but can still read CD's. My external SCSI plextor has a hard time with music CD's, but can still read most program CD's. My iomega external won't recognize program CD's but can still seem to do DAE on audio CD's.
My internal DVD/CD drive in my desktop can't read either DVD's or CD's. It was about 3 years old. The iomega external was about 2 years old. The laptop internal DVD was about 3-4 years old.
I took apart the IOMEGA, thinking it the easiest to get apart and took an air blower to the lens, but looking at it under a magnifying glass, I can't see a thing wrong with it. It still won't load any program disks, and kicks them back out as unreadable.
One computer is in my bedroom, the other in my living room with both commercial DVD players being in the living room (one used to be in bedroom, but with reliability issues of the older one in the living room, I moved the one in the bedroom out to living room. I still have to switch cables frequently depending on the DVD, as most play on the Digitron, the Sony seems to have poorer error recovery.
Is there anything I can do for maintenance. Air-canisters seem fairly limited in effectiveness and I've verified, at least in the IOMEGA external USB, it wasn't a scratched lens or at least nothing visible under magnification. This is really starting to drive me a bit crazy. It doesn't seem like I should have to replace these things so often.
My parents bought a new DVD player, and 2 out of 3 movies they tried to rent to play were unplayable. They are in their 70s-80s, so they just didn't want to bother with such unreliable technology.
It concerns me to hear about higher capacity DVD's, since with greater density, errors will affect wider areas on the disk. I'm always careful not to touch surfaces of CD's/DVD's but I don't know if the higher density DVD's will be very stable for movie or data storage if they don't do something to improve error recovery.
What do other people do for optical disk drive maintenance? Do other people have to replace them every 2-5 years because the drive is no longer cleanable?
As for video DVD's, should I just be resigned to play errors on almost 50% of DVD's -- usually they won't play on at least one of my players. What about bit-rot on the DVD's. Should I also be resigned to the fact that a DVD purchase is really only a temporary (5 +/-2 year rental) before it becomes unreadable?
The more egregious DVD problems have been with new, multi-CD series, where maybe one disk out of a 6-disk set (Buffy-season 2), Stargate Season 7, just won't play? It's a pain when they are gotten via mail-order even if they are a reputable dealer, since in both cases I've had 1 out of the set be bad, it was the last disc which I didn't get to for a few - several weeks.
What am I doing wrong?"