Laptop Repairs, how difficult?

  Faser 21:03 02 Jun 04

The Panasonic DVD CD-RW Combo drive in my Time laptop has failed.

Has anyone been successful doing this repair and how difficult was it? I have only worked on PC's.

Or has any paid to have a similar repair and what would be a fair price?

  Fruit Bat 21:26 02 Jun 04

How has it failed?

Won't write CDs Won't write DVD won't read?

Does the unit slot out of the laptop?

  Gaz 25 21:55 02 Jun 04

I do serveral uprades, for one... If its not a removable caddy drive, then they are generally soldered or screwed to the carcass (chasiss).

You need to seek a professional I think, Laptop repairs can be tricky... + be carful opening them up, yuo can break the cables.

  spanneress 22:29 02 Jun 04

Agree with *can* be tricky..but I have utterly butterly fingers and I manage's more of a confidence thing I guess...I would urge that you try and find out why it won't work first tho', as mistakes are rather expensive with laptop repairs!

If all esle fails I can lend you my lump hammer and chisel.....("o)

  Faser 07:57 03 Jun 04

The drive is a MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8121 (Panasonic).This is the type that has a slot not a drawer.

I think the laptop has cooked the drive as it as very close to the battery. It will work for a short while when the laptop is cold and first booted up. It then clonks and wheezes and has trouble tracking any type of disc, eventually giving up.

I do have a a sledge-hammer is this a suitable instrument spanneress?

  spanneress 09:37 03 Jun 04

Oooh..I save the sledge hammer for the tower PC's!

So the CD works intermittently then? This indicates that it is not broken more that your laptop is over heating..can you try taking the battery out and running it from mains power for a bit and see what happens?

There is a special 'pad' which gets placed underneath the laptop base which houses 2 cooling fans..around 30 notes I think which might be worth a try..personally I would try and find out why it is long does it last on battery power?

  Charence 11:51 03 Jun 04

The actual disassembling of laptop is not difficult, I found that the most difficult part is locating replacement parts, if you manage this, you should be ok.

I think that you should dismantle a part of it to check what the problem could be. Remove all the screws from the base, see if you can remove the keyboard as this will give you access to see the main components and let you see what may be wrong. If "spanneress" is correct, check if any fans are not working and remove excess dust from within the laptop. Also apply some thermal compound help cool down the system.

If you remove anything, be careful of cables and make sure you remove the battery as well. Normally, you will need to remove screen, and the top of laptop to get access into the inside.

Which laptop have you got?


  Faser 12:08 06 Jun 04

The laptop is a Time Traveller Pro XP1800+ model 7321.

I tried removing the battery as suggested, it only lasts for 30mins anyway. Also I placed a fan beside the opening and tried again. It made little or no difference.

One odd thing I noticed the cooling fans appeared to to switch on and off while loading/unloading disc in drive. Are they thermostatically controlled? If not it would seem to indicate either a power supply or CD/RW drive fault.

I will have a go at opening it up unless anyone knows of a reputable (cheap) repairer?

  Faser 20:02 08 Jun 04

Problem solved, the stepper motor in the old drive was seizing. I have successfully replaced the drive with a later version ( with a 10c higher heat tolerance) and the battery as well.

I think this model must be made for ease of servicing as it wasn't difficult. It was harder to locate the parts.

Thanks for suggestions guys, I'll keep the lump hammer and chisel option open !

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