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Prior to formatting my comp today, my cd-writer (a philips 400 series), it was less than reliable.

UPon successfully reviving my computer, the cd-writer was recognised in windows me, the bios and dos. howeber, i cannot access any cd's put in this drive. as a test, i removed the cd writer from device manager, did all the usual stuff etc etc and it still wont read cds (and therefore write to either).

my cousin seems to think it is FUBAR, well, partially at least and that the laser may be mis-aligned for some reason and is not detecting cd's in the drive. his reaso for this is the the drive is recognised (as mentioned), in DOS, the bios and windows. it is just not reading/writing cds.

doyou think he is right? should i open it up and re-align the laser or is it time to buy a new one (it is out of warranty)
 

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I dont think there is any way to 'open it up and realign the laser', at least I have never heard of this being done. You pretty much have to destroy a cdrom to get at it. You could try one of those cdrom cleaner disks to clean the drive, and there are some places on the net that will show you how to clean parts with a q-tip. Will it read a cd in DOS? You might try to find a firmware upgrade for it, but I think you are right, you will need to get a new one.
 
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