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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Lone Star

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Machine type: AW16G
(Hi, this is my first post. I was directed here by someone on the Yahoo AW4416 list.)

My apologies if this has been covered before. I searched and found similar topics but couldn't see anything on this specific issue.

The CDRW drive on my AW16G has started causing problems after several years of heavy use. I bought a replacement, which arrived today.

It's the correct drive, but it doesn't have the black front section with the eject button, so if I fit it I can't open the tray.

Does anyone know how to remove the front section from the old CDRW and fit it to the new one? I'm wary of forcing it because of it being fragile.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Welcome. I've not had to deal with replacing the cd burner. There are some pretty knowledgeable folks who will come along soon. Perhaps they can lend a hand.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Has Been To Cheeseland
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Welcome sweep. I'm pretty sure this has never been discussed here in this modest little online community (as your search already indicated). We have a few computer/IT folks here who might have some perspective, but I suspect that you are just going to have to hold your breath and dive in. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Lone Star

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Machine type: AW16G
Well, the situation now is that the drive I bought from CyberBear Computers in the States via ebay works, but it has no front panel and I have to push with a pen in the place where the eject button should be.

I emailed CyberBear and got a quick - though not very literate - reply saying they don't supply the front panel as it varies between models of computer. I'm a bit surprised because the one on the AW16G looks like a generic panel to me, with no maker's name, and in any case all you need is a panel with an eject button, and the size of the panel isn't going to vary as it has to fit the drive. So apart from colour nothing is going to vary.

So I need to take the panel off the old drive and transfer it, which might not be so bad if I could move the screws that hold the drive together - they're absolutely unmoveable. Unless I have a breakthrough with that I'll take the old drive to a computer shop, ask them to open it and also ask them about front panels to see if what CyberBear told me is generally true.

The daft thing is, I would have immediately bought two or three more of these drives from CyberBear if this one had had a front panel. I have a second AW16G and it would make sense to have more spares for this weak link in the system. As it is, I may still buy from them, but if someone else has front panels fitted I'll choose them instead. Indeed, if the computer shop has the drives with front panels, I'll buy from them.

This panel problem is ridiculous, especially considering that replacing the drive is so simple and quick. It turns a minute's work into a saga.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:37 pm 
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HamelnStock Survivor and Midi Guru
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Hi Sweep,

Sorry it took some time but i had to be sure so i took the panel of my Aw16G and refited it. I hope you have clockmakers screwdriver set and either a magnifying glass or microscopic eyesight. You'll need it. The front panel of the CD-RW drive is held in place by three tiny screws. Take a look at these pictures. First picture is the bottom of the cd tray. Your screw is the closest to the edge.

Image

Next are two screw on the far edges at the upper side of the tray. I'll mark em for you.

Image

Use a magnetized screw driver and best put a tray under the G. The screws are so tiny that if you drop 'm you'll never find em again. SO it's not difficult. All you need is a steady hand, good eyesight and the smallest philips screw driver i have ever seen.

Let me know how it goes. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:36 pm
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Machine type: AW16G
That's excellent - many thanks for all the trouble you've taken.

I think the main problem is the size of the screwdriver. I managed to remove the very small screws on the mounting rail that fits to the side of the disk drive, but these are either smaller still or else more tightly fitted. I think I'll ask in the computer shop (as I'd like to see what they say about drives being supplied without the front panel) and I'll buy a small screwdriver suitable for jobs like these from them, as it seems like something I'll need again.

I'll post to say how I get on.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:23 am 
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Mr. Blues
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Excellent, Dirk =D>

But you have to dust your desktop :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Machine type: AW16G
I think I can almost clarify what's involved now. This information should be useful to anyone else needing to do this.

The computer shop couldn't sell me a screwdriver, but said the front panel is simply clipped in place and can be unclipped when you open the drawer using a pin in the emergency open hole. So I opened the draw and the front panel is clipped - but with small screws in the clips, so I still need a screwdriver. It seems it is normal to sell drives without the front panel.

I've ordered a jewellers' screwdriver set off ebay and it looks like the job should be straightforward when that arrives. I'll post to say when I've done the job.

So basically the replacement drives are available and the job is easy when you have the small screwdriver. Just take the mounting rail off the side of the old drive and fit it to the new one, open the old drive's drawer to access the clips/screws, remove the front panel and fit it to the new drive. Slot the new drive into place and replace the screws in the bottom and the plastic guard at the front.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Mr. Blues
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Good luck, Sweep.

Be sure not to use cheap screw drivers and donĀ“t destroy the screws with cheap not fitting screw drivers.
This little screws are hard to loosen sometimes. Best to have a helping hand holding the cd-drive so you can use both hands for the screw driver, one hand to turn it and one hand to press it down into the screw.

Andreas

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:47 pm 
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HamelnStock Survivor and Midi Guru
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Good advice about the screwdrivers Andreas. They should be magnetic or you should be able to magnetize em too. I did put the G on it's side so the cd tray stayed open by itself. That's also how i could take pictures with the 'look ! no hands !' attitude. :cam3:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:36 pm
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Machine type: AW16G
The final part of the drive replacement procedure, with some vital information on ensuring the writer works properly without write errors and media errors:

BTW the replacement drive is a UJDA360. I don't think I mentioned that earlier, but it's written on the drive itself. They fit Dell laptops and may be labelled as such by sellers.

One - fitting the front panel with the eject button

As a general guide for the whole thing, reckon on one minute the change the drive, and days/months/years/a lifetime to refit the front panel.

You may be lucky, but in my case one of the two screws fixing the front panel was immovable. The other one popped out with about two turns and made a mad leap for freedom. They're very small, but if you work in a completely bare room, and have a torch and an electron microscope you should be ale to find it again. Just having a magnetic screwdriver may save you, but don't bank on it.

Basically all the screws on the drive (except the one that popped out so easily) seem to be machine-tightened and won't budge. 1) The forces required to remove them aren't proportional to the care required with this equipment, and 2) fitting them is equally a nightmare because of the difficulty lining them up and the probability that the threads have been damaged at the factory due to point 1).

I have strong fingers, a steady hand, and patience. Here's what happened: The plastic tab on the front panel through which one of the screws goes became weakened with the pressure being exerted to remove the screw. I decided in the end to break off the tab, and it pulled off without a snap, evidently weakened by pressure, probably at the factory as well as with me trying to remove the screw. The screw still wouldn't budge even with the plastic around it having been removed.

Incidentally all the screws on the drive are screwed in immovably, not just the ones on the front panel.

I fitted the front panel to the new drive. It clips into place, thankfully, so it stays while you try to fix the screws - or in my case, the one screw along the side, as the top screw on the plastic tab couldn't be fitted because the plastic tab had gone. I fixed the screw to the screwdriver with blu-tack and spent a good twenty minutes trying to screw it in. Even when I located it onto the thread it wouldn't locate straight enough to screw in.

In the end I just re-fitted the drive with the front panel clipped into place, with no screws securing it. It works fine, and if it falls off I'll just clip it back. I could permanently secure it with a dab of superglue, but if I ever need to replace this new drive I'll need that front panel again. On the other hand the drive is functional without the front panel if you have something to push the eject with.


two - configuration

The drive worked perefectly when I originally tested it before I'd tried fitting the front panel, but at that point I only tested it by playing a CD. When I came to do a backup I got write errors and `no media' errors.

Fortunately I'd already solved this problem when I bought my second AW16G a while ago. It's important to configure the drive using the 16G's internal settings.

Press the CD button and go down to SETTING. I think the crucial one is the Underrun Protect, which should be enabled. My settings are: Media erase: SIMPLY. Audio write: speed x4; WRITE; Underrun protect: ENABLE. Data write: speed x8; COMPARE; Motor on: ACCESS. So long as Underrun Protect is enabled, the new drive should work perfectly.

So in the end, one fully functional AW16G again. The drive replacement should be a lot quicker and simpler next time, and I hope these instructions are helpful to anyone else needing to do this. Apart from the screws (and you may be lucky with yours) it should be a straightforward job with these instructions.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Well done! =D>

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GSMUSIC: Hey RZ, Im not no upper class american, the gear I own is what I have special to me. My car sucks, my house sucks, my nieghborhood sucks. Does yours RZ? Does it?

rz-land


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Has Been To Cheeseland
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Strong work, Sweep. Thanks for documenting and sharing that. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:54 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Good job and thanks!

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