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  1. I have a PIONEER_DVD-RW_DVRKD08RS_1.02 on my Acer laptop. I've heard that lasers on optical drives weaken with time. I would probably spend about 4 hours utilising the dvd drive on average weekly. How long before I have to replace my drive?
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  2. 4 hours a week is nothing. You might get a decade or two with that little use. I've had CD players last 8-10 years of very heavy use. My DVD player and DVD buner are both 4 years old and still work fine. I've got a DVD player from 1999 that still works fine.
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  3. But for how long will it function at optimum condition?
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  4. Banned
    Join Date : Oct 2004
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    Originally Posted by avextraxjp
    But for how long will it function at optimum condition?
    Nobody knows. I bought a new LiteOn DVD burner in January and I've already had to send it back to the place where I bought it to get a replacement.
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    Join Date : Jan 2007
    Location : Republic of Texas
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    I used a Pioneer A04 heavily for years without a hitch. I only replaced it after I replaced the entire PC and got a faster burner. I do DVD duplication in my office, have half a dozen burners, and I have never ever had a laser go out. Maybe I'm lucky, but I think it has to do with the fact that I use Pioneer burners. Oh, by the way (off topic), I see your name is avextraxjp. Do you have an actual affiliation with Avex? I might want to talk to someone about US distribution of some works from Do As Infinity.
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  6. Depends on read-only vs writers and whether the laser is one all the time. Many are.

    Certainly, laser diodes made within the past decade have a much higher MTBF than older ones (e.g., >50,000 hours). Of the many optical drives I have had over the years, the only one that had the laser fail was my very first CD player that I bought in 1985.

    Estimates of MTBF do exist based upon very sound thermodynamics:
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  7. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
    Join Date : Apr 2004
    Location : Miskatonic U
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    Other factors that can also prematurely kill an optical drive are dusty environments and smoking around the PC.
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  8. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date : Sep 2002
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    Extended high temperatures can also lead to premature laser diode failure. The devices produce a fair amount of heat and that isn't easily dissipated under a laser lens on the typical DVD burner. Extended use or poor air circulation can shorten the lifespan considerably. But most times, the diode 'should' outlive the DVD burner.

    But built into the burner is a firmware program that does a 'Power Calibration' burn at the start of every disc burn. This sets the diode power to the media and uses a 'burn strategy' specific to the brand of the media. If the PC fails, then the burn fails. This also adjusts the power as the laser looses effectiveness until it begins to fail.

    Just from what I've observed, 3 to 5 years seems about the average life expectancy of a DVD burner. Generally by then they will be obsolete anyway. Being that good quality burners are about $30US at present, replacement seems the best option if you are having burning problems related to diode or mechanism problems. Letting the burner rest a few minutes between multiple burns can also help. Burning at lower speeds could shorten the diode life as the heat builds up, but that's just my opinion.
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  9. They need cleaning too.
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  10. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
    Join Date : Jul 2003
    Location : St Louis, MO USA
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    ...and laptop hardware, especially CD/DVD drives, tend to have shorter lifespans than PC hardware. Aside from that, there isn't an average lifespan...and even if there was, it would still just be an average. Some last longer and some don''s the luck of the draw.
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  11. Member orsetto's Avatar
    Join Date : Oct 2007
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    MTBF figures mean absolutely nothing in terms of actual day-to-day use of various products. Yes, the laser diode may have a lifespan of 50,000 hours under laboratory conditions. But built into an actual cheap-ass 2008 burner assembly? Forget it. These things are designed to fail within a couple years so you'll replace them, mfrs also know people buy new computers every time Microsoft revises Windows, so on average they don't "need" to last forever.

    I have a personal "thing" for older high-end CD players, I buy and sell them on eBay several times a year. I'm often amazed that vintage luxo Kyocera, Nakamichi, Denon players mfr'd 1986-1990 with supposedly fragile Sony lasers come to me with thousands of hours on them and still work perfectly, I beat on them for hundreds of hours more, and pass them on to yet another owner, who passes them on again etc. Yet the typical DVD/HDD recorder from 2004 or 2005 becomes a useless doorstop within as little as 150 DVD burns. That's pathetic, considering the exact same burner used in a PC tower and banged on daily can go for six years without a hitch.

    It all depends on how the mfr implements the laser in an actual product and how long they want that overall product to last. Given how cheap burners have gotten, it isn't a big deal anymore UNLESS that burner has modified firmware or is installed in another product from which it can't be removed: in that case you're utterly screwed. Ask anyone with a Pioneer 520 DVR or an Apple iMac 2004.
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