Saturday, November 21, 2015

Well That Was Fun: DVD no longer stuck…

Micro-update on last weekend’s Well that was unexpected: DVD stuck in slot-load drive post.

I got tired of trying to creatively extract the DVD out of the slot-load drive this week.

A front had blown through and the wind/rain was borderline torrential so it seemed like as good a morning as any to tear apart my Dell Studio 1558 laptop to pull the disk out.

With my handy Studio 1558 Service Manual loaded up on an iPad next to me I set to work on the teardown.

It took me about an hour of careful screw-tracking and ribbon-cable unlatching, but I did finally get the DVD module removed from the system.


One out, I removed a little chassis mounting bracket on the side of the DVD module, then four screws removed from the lid and it was popped open and the DVD (just the one -- no double-stack was found) was out.


I didn’t see any obvious issues but this module is now suspect so it won’t be fed again.  I put it back in the system for now.

Reassembly was fairly tame and went faster, though I took my time with the connectors and snapping all the plastic clipped sections together properly.

Mom is a crafter/beader so she had given me a sweet little felt-covered shallow sorting tray with lots of compartments. I used it to keep track of my screws during disassembly. Each step the screws went into their own divider. You can just make it out in the top of the first photo under the flipped over palm rest component.

I have a nice mini-driver set from many many years old (probably older than Alvis). It works great but I think it will be time to invest in a upgraded mini-driver kit -- iFixit Pro Tech Screwdriver Set ( & probably also this iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit ( as well. I’ve done more laptop teardowns than I would like over the years and my current tools get the job done, but this time I found myself using one of Lavie’s soft plastic citrus peelers as a spudger and connector pry/seat tool. It worked but the plastic was a bit soft for the task.

I picked up this LG External DVD Rewriter SP80NB60 around town. it was slim and light and cheap and uses a tray-load system. I won’t be testing to see if the internal DVD module is still OK but I don’t know if I am going to replace it either with another internal unit. Time will tell.


--Claus Valca.

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