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What is the life time of a CD/DVD drive?

I'm converting my audiobooks on CD to something that I an play on my iPhone. This means that I have to read a lot of CDs, the average audiobook has about 10 CDs.

I noticed that, after reading about 5000 CDs, the drives start to give me read errors until they would not recognize any CD inserted into the drive any more.

What kind of life do I have to expect from a CD drive? Is 5000 CDs a lot or little?

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It should last about 60,000 hours. Your lens has probably become dirty, thus the read errors. Here's a guide on how to clean it: http://pc-level.com/2010/02/how-to-clean...

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Every lens has specific time and duration used in CD or DVD drive as written over. Sometimes it stop reading CD due to dust and dirt. At that time you can you lens cleaner easily available in the market. If it is also not working you can change lens of the drive. Simply open DVD drive upper case. Lens was attach with two screw simply remove it and replace it by new one. You don't have to invest lot of money every time for buying new drive.

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Replace the lens? How about a link to where these can be obtained and how to do it?

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chrup will be eternally grateful.
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