A friend of mine has a Dell Dimension C521 with a Philips DVDR/RW Model DVD8881 and one of the problems with it is the tray will not slide out. After removing and taking the cover off of the drive, I reconnected it to power and tried it and the tray would open and shut just fine. When I placed the cover back on it and retracted the tray, I noticed that the cover really moved down. I discovered that the magnet would not release the spindle and that was causing the motor stretch the drive belt. I removed the cover, removed the tray (there is a release lever on the back right side of the tray), removed the belt and lightly filed the drive sprocket with a oblong needle file to give it some more traction. I also did some research and found that this is a problem with some other drives. I found this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252183-32-lite-writer-tray-eject-disc-tray. These people were trying to fix this problem by reducing the force of the magnet by spacing it away from the spindle. I removed the magnet by peeling the name sticker up enough to get to the top cover and pried the top cover off. After removing and examining the magnet I determined that adding a spacer would not work as the top plate is tin and it already holds the magnet up, installing a spacer might cause the little tabs to not hold or possibly brake when reinstalling. I decided to reduce the force of the magnet by reducing the magnet itself. I first measured the thickness of the magnet with calipers, .0825 of an inch or 2.09mm. Then I set the magnet back on its tin top plate and used some 150 grit sandpaper to sand it down to .072" (1.83mm). I used a circular motion and also a figure 8. I used a quarter of a sheet and it only took about 10 minutes of sanding. I checked it flatness and was only out by .0005 on one side. A quick polish with pressure on that side made it even with the rest. Using the tin top piece really helped in holding it. I used some paper towels to remove all traces of the magnetic bits and reassembled the drive. Reducing the size of the magnet allows the drive to function normally.
Another fix that some people were using was to always have disc in the drive. This drive would open and close with a disc in the drive but failed with no disc installed.
I post this in hopes that it will help others with similar problems.
This is good, but as new CD/DVD burner drives can be purchased for $20 or less there is no need for the hassle to try and modify anything - just buy a new drive and problem solved.
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