With increasingly frequency good discs are labled'unknown', wont play.

I've owned it since new 5 years ago. Has ran excellently with never a problem. But over the past four months it has, with increasing frequency, started labelling perfectly good disc that have been in the thing all this time and played daily. (In fact the thing hasn't been shut down for more than about a week over 5 years.) Since it cost a grand when new, and seeing as they don't make them anymore, I'm even more compelled to fix it than trash it.

I figure it has do do with the extremely dusty environment my trailer is situated, ith tractors and quads operationg all the time. (I live on an orchard.) I was thinking that it's time to open it up and blow the thing clean, vacuuming anything in they way of micro dust-bunnies, et al. I'm thinking that there's an optical pathway that must be kept clear of junk to correctly identify the disc being stored, loaded or played.

I'm hoping that it's just a dust/dirt/fuzz situation, and that prodigous vacuuming and compressed air should remedy it (fingers crossed).

I was thinking that while I have the thing open, to heat-sink any large chips or RAM since it's essentially a Pentium computer in hardware & firmware. Maybe even add an exhaust fan and filter mesh, or HEPA material to keep it clean and cool in the future. Especially with a hot Okanagan summer ahead.

Any ideas out there?

Thanx in advance. . . . .

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Dust is certainly an issue, but it might not be the only culprit here. Laser pickups do wear out, and after 5 years of arduous duty failure due to wear is not at all unlikely.

The optical path in the laser pickup is only about half an inch long and not accessible, but very fine dust and e.g. cigarette smoke can and do get in. You'll never get it out. The only part of the optical path that is accessible is the lens, you can try and carefully clean it with a q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. However, you might need to replace the pickup, or have it replaced. On some CD/DVD readers the replacement of the pickup is relatively straightforward, others need adjustments that require a test disk and an oscilloscope. Optical pickups are also very vulnerable to static electricity, and it's easy to accidentally zap a new pickup if you don't know exactly what you're doing.

By all means clean out any dust and fluff that may have gathered inside the player, because dust never does much good. But I think you can leave the hardware alone, any chips that do need heatsinking will already be so equipped.

I wouldn't use compressed air to clean dust out of equipment, as it's likely to blow the dust into nooks and crannies where you can't get at it. I use a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner. A shot of air from a can, occasionally, can help to reach spots where the brush can't reach.

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Michael McMahon will be eternally grateful.
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