I have an Optiarc (AD-5170) recorder installed in my XPS 630 which I purchased from Dell in 2008. In recent times, the performance seemed to decline. The first thing I noticed was that the door to the drive could not be opened manually when I pressed the button. I assumed (perhaps correctly) that this was just wear and had nothing to do with the performance of Optiarc recorder. So I took to using Nero to open and close the door to the drive to insert and remove discs. This has worked ok.
Lately I have observed that when I insert a disc, it has been taking longer and longer for Optiarc to recognise the presence of a disc. But when it eventually did recognise it, it worked ok. As time went on, sometimes (increasingly) it flatly refused to recognise the presence of a disc in the drive. It would tell me no disc recognised and tell me to insert a disc (when a disc had already been installed). (It is not an issue with the discs because I always use the same brand which worked successfully many many times consistently before).
Most recently, not only is the most common state being for the Optiarc not to recognise the presence of a disc, but when I can get it to recognise it, I burn successful (Nero tells me so) to the DVD only to find the disc will not play. The problem is not the disc as I have used a number which will not play or not play reliably.
My questions are ... is this a recognisable problem? Is the problem more likely to be with an aging Optiarc (only going on 5 years old)? Should I just replace the Optiarc with a new recorder? If so, what would you recommend for the Dell XPS? Can I install myself or should I get someone to do it for me (i.e. are there any tricks I might not be aware of). Or is it more likely to be with something apart from the Optiarc. I don't see any point in repairing the Optiarc if it is likely to be the problem as it might be cheaper to install a brand new more recent piece of hardware.
As things stand right now, I can no longer use the Optiarc because when I can burn a disc, it won't play or won't play reliably. I I can't burn CDs or DVDs.
I'm not a techo so I am looking for advice on what is the best thing to do. Clearly I want to get back to be able to burn DVDs successfully as soon as I can.
Look forward to hearing advice about the best course of action from here.
A replacement DVD burner is only $25 or so. You've probably spent more than that in aspirin so far trying to get your current drive working.