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Summary

My laptop's optical drive stopped reading discs a while ago, but I'm never given an error; I want to figure out what exactly is wrong with my optical drive.

Background

This is a Toshiba Satellite laptop with Fedora 27. dmesg identifies the drive as MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ8E2.

Details

I noticed the drive stopped reading some time ago after traveling. It may have taken shock damage then, but I'm not sure since I only read CDs/DVDs occasionally (so I don't have an accurate timeline for when it stopped working).

When a disc is inserted, I hear the optical drive spin and it sounds like some data is read, but my system never acknowledges that a disc is there. Eventually, the drive spins down.

Linux commands to troubleshoot?

I found some older questions, but they were about verifying the integrity of the actual disc media, not the drive itself. Are there any tools to help me debug / figure out the point of failure on an optical drive?

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    First thing which comes to mind is try cleaning the lens. If this is not it the drive might be defective. – Videonauth Nov 15 '17 at 0:32
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    Given how CD drives generally work if the sensor is bad this won't be seen as a read error. It'll just do what you mention. It's the same behavior if no disc was inserted. The sensor checks for a disc nothing reads back and it assumes no disc is present. In this case the sensor is just bad. – jdwolf Nov 15 '17 at 0:34

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