How to fix a stuck DVD drive tray

Posted: March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Typically, DVD or CD drives stop opening reliably after a while, and sometimes if you tap forcefully on the drive after pressing eject, you can coax it open. Well here’s how to get it running smoothly again and stop the violence.

This assumes you already know how to remove the drive from your PC.

What you need;

  • Small screwdriver set
  • Some kinda grease (eg. vaseline)
  • WD-40 to lubricate cog shafts
  • Some sort of thicker lubricant for lubricating the sliding parts – eg. some grease (you can use Vaseline, I used Papaya ointment I already had), or oil based such as sewing machine oil. ¬†Using WD-40 here won’t last as long, you need a lubricant that “sticks around”.


Underneath, there are a number of screws, as shown above. Remove these.


Lift off the base underneath. You can gently lever it off from the back with a small screwdriver if necessary.


From here you can manually eject the tray. Use your screwdriver to push aside the locking mechanism. This will also pop the tray out slightly. The exact same thing happens when you push a pin in the emergency eject pin hole at the front. Once the tray pops open, you can gently pull it open all the way. (This is required to continue to dismantle the drive.)


Again using your screwdriver, push in and away, on the clips that hold the faceplate in. Do both sides and the faceplate should come off but it won’t leave the end of the tray. Just slide it down to the end of the tray.


Now you can remove the upper part of the casing. It should slide off as shown.


Here is the drive without its protective casing, and all it’s parts showing. Oh my!
Notice the faceplate slid down on the tray. It will never come off the end.


Now apply some grease along the sides where the runners for the tray are. The tray makes contact with the plastic frame on both sides, and all the way down to the back.

Use vaseline or similar substance that you may have handy. I used papaya ointment! It’s made of the same stuff. Apply with a long pointy thing. I used a bit of cardboard.


Now, gently apply some drops of WD-40 on the center of each of these wheels. The idea is that it runs down the shaft due to gravity. Pull the tray in and out to work it through. One thing I’ve forgotten to show is yet another wheel to the right that’s not visible because it’s under the tray. However, there is a hole in the tray on that side, and if you pull the tray out by a certain amount, you can see the center of the wheel like the other two. But it has teeth around it because it’s a cog. Using the straw-like nozzle of your WD-40 can, you should be able to just get a few drops in on the center of the wheel through the tray, with the tray out by the right amount. And then again underneath. Again, pull the tray in and out to work the WD-40 in.


This is the top side of the locking mechanism that you pushed aside earlier. Notice it only moves at the point where the tray closes. You close the tray and it automatically slides across and locks. You push it sideways from underneath as shown earlier, and the tray opens. You’ll repeat this process to work the lubricant in. As it moves, look at where the white plastic locking arm rubs up against the beige plastic body, and apply grease along those areas. If you find those spots hard to get to, use WD-40 with its long nozzle instead. Just don’t be too liberal and apply little bits at a time and work it through each time. You don’t want excess running into the components.

Also apply some drops of WD-40 on the center (shaft) of the grey rotating part, and work that through as well.


Don’t forget both little “teeth” of the locking arm, underneath. Apply WD-40 here and let it run down with gravity and work it in.

When you repeat the opening & closing process above, watch from underneath. This is the part that commonly jams up and needs lubricating. Watch from underneath when you push the tray closed. The moment the tray has finished closing, the locking arm should continue to slide sideways for a moment after. If you see this happen, it’s successfully lubricated and won’t jam up again.


Now you can close it up. Start by putting the top part of the casing on, and with a hand on each side, as shown above, pull the faceplate down until it clicks in.

Now simply reverse the dismantling process, and you’re done!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s