Technology Explained

How to Fix Common CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray Drive Errors

Joe Keeley Updated 19-02-2020

It can happen that your CD, DVD, or Blu-ray drive or player will go on the fritz. Perhaps it won’t read the disc, stop skipping, or the drive won’t eject.


We’re going to show you how to fix your CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player that won’t read and help you determine whether the problem is with the drive or the disc.

How to Clean Dust Inside a Drive

A CD, DVD or Blu-ray drive is enclosed, but dust still has an opportunity to invade through small openings and also while the drive is open. This depends heavily on how dusty the environment is, but it can really wreak havoc on a drive.

The type of error you’ll experience with a dusty drive can vary, but often a disc will either take a long time to read or it will experience random slowdowns.

A drive’s laser reads the disc. If enough dust gets into the drive, specifically around that laser, it can block or refract light and cause errors.

If you want to clean the drive you could take it apart and use lint-free buds and an alcohol-based solution to dab the lens clean. This is tricky, though, and might void the warranty, so here are some other solutions that don’t involve taking the drive apart.


As we are on the subject of cleaning your gadgets, you might also be interested in how to clean the dust from your PS4 How to Clean the Dust From Your Noisy PS4 Is your PS4 slow? Are its fans spinning louder? It may be full of dust. Here's how to clean your PS4's fan, heat sink, and hard drive bay. Read More .

Use an Air Bulb or Compressed Air

You can buy an air bulb or compressed air inexpensively. The former is the better choice if available since the latter uses excessive force and could spray liquid into your drive.

Air Bulb Air Bulb Buy Now On Amazon

Open the drive, turn your computer off, and use the bulb or compressed can to carefully blow air in the drive.


Use a Cleaning Disc

There is debate over how effective cleaning discs are. These are discs that have small brushes on them which will clean the lens when rotated. They do risk just pushing the dust around or scratching the lens. But good quality cleaning discs can prove effective too, so give it a shot.

Cleaning Disc Cleaning Disc Buy Now On Amazon $8.99

How to Fix a Drive That Won’t Eject

It can be very annoying when the drive won’t eject your disc—especially when your car CD player won’t eject. If pushing the eject button does nothing or you can hear that the drive is jammed, there are a couple of ways to fix the problem.

Use File Explorer

Close all open programs, especially any disc playback software.

  1. Press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  2. Click This PC from the left-hand navigation.
  3. Right click your disc drive and click Eject.

Use a Paperclip

Many disc drives, including car CD players or the drives on games consoles, have a small pinhole that acts as an emergency eject.

First, turn your system off. Then unfold a paperclip and gently push it into the hole. You may need to repeat this a few times for the mechanism to catch. The drive bay should eject enough for you to grab it with your fingernails.

Slowly pull the drive out, but don’t force it and risk physically damaging the drive.

How to Repair a Disc With Scratches

It might not be the drive that has the problem. Discs become scratched fairly easily and this can cause a lot of reading problems on the drive. The quickest way to check is:

  1. Visually inspect the disc to see if there are any scratches.
  2. Check the drive with another disc, alternatively try the disc in another drive.

Once you have confirmed the disc is scratched you can try a few things to fix the problem.

Scratched disc
Image Credit: belchonock/Depositphotos

One method is to use a wet or dry cloth to clean the disc. Use circular motions to clean it, or wipe from out-to-inside or inside-to-out. Never wipe in the direction around the tracks, as this can cause track skippage and actually make the problem worse.

Another method is to use some sort of abrasive compound, such as toothpaste (not gel) to grind out scratches.

These tips should help fix a CD player that won’t read. For more information on these methods, and some other ways to repair a disc, check out our guide on how to repair damaged CDs or DVDs How to Repair Damaged CDs or DVDs and Recover Data If your CD or DVD is scratched, you may be able to fix it! Here are some tips on how to repair a scratched CD or DVD. Read More .

How to Update Your Drive’s Firmware

The problem might be caused by a bug in the firmware of the drive. The firmware tells the drive how to work, when to spin, which laser to use, how fast to rotate discs, what the eject button does, and so on.

You could try updating the firmware to see if this fixes the problem. This should help fix a CD player that won’t spin.

Check the manufacturer’s website to see if there are any updates available. The process will vary depending on the manufacturer, and they should provide specific instructions, but it might involve burning a CD with the firmware and rebooting the computer with the disc.

How to Resolve a Drive Hardware Problem

If all else fails, you might have a hardware problem. This is especially likely if you’ve recently opened up or moved your system. It could be that a cable has been unseated, the motherboard connection has failed, or the drive itself is bad.

Don’t open up your computer if you’re not confident. You need to be careful not to tamper with any other components, so don’t be afraid to call on professional help if you are not sure.

Repair a disc drive
Image Credit: m.ilias1987/Depositphotos

The first step is to try a new cable and connection port on the motherboard. If it doesn’t work, try another drive that you know works—this will determine whether the problem is the drive itself or the motherboard.

If the drive is broken then you could send it for warranty repair, depending on its age, but it’s likely to be more time and cost effective to buy a new drive. Depending on how old your drive is, the new one could have faster read and write times anyway.

Replace Your Laptop’s Disc Drive for Storage

Hopefully, the advice here has helped you fix your CD, DVD or Blu-ray drive or disc. The solutions can be used for most troubleshooting efforts, whether it’s for your computer, games console, car, or something else.

If you have a laptop with a disc drive that you no longer use, why not find out how to upgrade your laptop drive for storage space instead How to Upgrade Your Laptop DVD Drive for a HDD or SSD DVD drives are becoming more and more useless. We show you how to upgrade your laptop DVD drive with a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD. Read More .

Related topics: Blu-ray, CD-DVD Tool, CD-Rom, Computer Maintenance, DVD Drive, Hardware Tips, Troubleshooting.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Clark
    October 2, 2019 at 3:48 am

    I found that sometimes my Lite-On DC6E2SH Blu-Ray reader would not read some DVDs and Blu-Rays. I could only get it to read those discs by putting my computer, and the Blu-Ray drive, on its side.

  2. Dorie Macdonald
    April 4, 2018 at 1:12 am

    My issue is my bluray player. When I try to play a video or Netflix or my tuner it will jump from source to source. And this goes on and on. Any quick fixes? I down loaded the latest updates and no change..any

  3. Terri Thayer
    October 16, 2017 at 1:19 am

    I have an LG BluRay player it's not real big & Reg DVD's play okay rent or try to use a BluRay Disk Won't Play Irked Me after rented a movie wanted to watch & only had BluRay's to rent & went to play it & Nope wasted 2 rental day's for Nothing wouldn't play & be easier to buy the movie then wait till it comes so can watch it & it's been on TV but like 4am when not awake & don't have any way to record it so missed it again Ughhh & not sure if my comp plays BluRay's then again can't get it to play any DVD's my Kids were my Tec guy's but they moved away so I have no help,might either get rid of Bluray DVD's I have or buy another brand of player this stinks & used to work but Not Now..... Grrrrr....

  4. reuben
    April 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    it still it doesnt work and i got a new tv and disc

  5. Danno
    January 6, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Hi I'am having trouble with my blu Ray DVD player. I have had the DVD player for awhile now sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't depends on the DVD sometimes, like some movies work and other don't. Will I brought a new DVD today and was hoping to watch it and it seems to be saying check disc and ejecting the DVD. Also it's LG DVD/blu-Ray player.

  6. Jo
    April 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Put a DVD in on the wrong side in my truck, any suggestions. On getting it out, without going to a shop

  7. Nyisha
    February 3, 2015 at 7:33 am

    The last 3 tracks of the 15th disk of my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows CD keeps skipping or has no sound. I bought it brand new and the disk have no scratches on them, I've transferred disks 1-most of 15 to itunes without any problems with sound. I even transferred my 16th disk without any problems. I played the last section on my bluray player and I have no problems with playing these tracks. I just used memorex Lens Cleaner and those last 3 tracks still don't play correctly. I don't know what to do? Need advice desperately.

  8. alpine car dvd player gps
    October 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    The disc is a round plastic disk with a shiny reflective coating on the top and several layers of plastic.

  9. Dave Drager
    September 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    This is not typically a problem with the drive - but with the software. From what I know of it, the probably is caused either by mismatched framerates on the movie, or possibly an error in the source or encoder. Check to make sure the framerate on the video matches up to the actual source.

    You might want to try ripbot264 at the link below. I've always had good luck with it. [Broken Link Removed]

  10. Dave Drager
    September 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    This is not typically a problem with the drive - but with the software. From what I know of it, the probably is caused either by mismatched framerates on the movie, or possibly an error in the source or encoder. Check to make sure the framerate on the video matches up to the actual source.

    You might want to try ripbot264 at the link below. I've always had good luck with it.

  11. Poenakoning
    September 28, 2010 at 11:22 am

    If the disk just keeps on spinning and never load up, could be an auto start program that the OS is blocking.

    Just hold the SHIFT key while loading up, and disk will stop soon - no auto load of programs or bootloaders

  12. Poenakoning
    September 28, 2010 at 9:22 am

    If the disk just keeps on spinning and never load up, could be an auto start program that the OS is blocking.

    Just hold the SHIFT key while loading up, and disk will stop soon - no auto load of programs or bootloaders

    • Dave Drager
      September 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks for the tip!

  13. absurdist
    September 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I have a computer as a media center box. I've also kept a DVD player for those discs that simply will not play in the computer drive, even using many of the tips above. Is there an inherent difference in the two drives or the laser/pickup used?

    • Dave Drager
      September 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      Are they blu-rays or DVD discs? DVDs should play in both, but I have found an odd disk that one play in one player or another - but works fine in another one. There may be a different in the types of discs that they accept, such as + or -, but typically modern drives ready either readily.

  14. Skutitz
    September 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Rubbing a thin layer of smooth peanut butter on a disc and wiping it off with a dry towel seems to work great. I've fixed 95% of my failing discs with peanut butter. And it tastes good too.

    • Dave Drager
      September 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      Never heard of using peanut butter, but the grit should be enough to polish out small imperfections in the disk. Good to hear!

    • Jen
      March 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      You PB thing did not work.