Linux - HardwareThis forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?
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I am an OpenSUSE 13.1 user and have a CD/DVD burner. The DVD portion seems to work just fine - I can watch DVDs, burn ISOs, rip copies, but the CD ROM does not work. CDs usually don't show up in the file system (dolphin) when I insert and when they do show up after lots of tries amarok can barely play the music CD. I'm hoping to use it mainly for music - copying CDs, burning music files. It seems like it might be a hardware problem - I've read that two different lasers are used for the DVD and the CD ROM. So I'm considering swapping it out with a known working burner. Your thoughts please. Thanks.
Sounds like hardware, the different laser info is essentially correct.
FWIW, recordable optical media has been the single technology with highest rate of failure in my experience. I expect them to fail quickly and have come to think that it is the technology itself that is flawed (as opposed to poor quality of manufacture).
Failed devices often continue to function partially (such as DVD but not CD, read some media but not others, etc.), so sounds like that is probably one more for the reject stack.
You can try to blow any dust off the little lens and check the worm gear for fuzzballs, sometimes helps.
Optical drives tend to fail more than HDDs imo. With other quirks on old drives and 700MB discs versus 650MB discs. You're better off with at least one other drive option IMO. Hopefully one that you can connect externally if you don't use it much. So it can spend most of it's life saving itself for when you need it. Beyond that you will likely need to clean the laser depending on the environment. Dust, which is worse with pets and smokers, can make them semi-blind. And various blank media that is hardly media at all. I've had some media so lightly coated they were almost transparent.