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APS Tech external CD-Drive Troubleshooting

CD Drive won't turn on

The drive appears to be receiving no power. No LEDs flashing, or the tray is not openning.

Check power switch

Make sure the power switch is in the on (I) position. A common mistake is leaving the Power switch in the off (O) position. This will cut power to the device even if it is connected properly. If this is the case, no further action should be necessary. If this does not solve the problem, continue reading.

Check power connections

Make sure all connections are completely plugged in. Insufficient power to the drive may be caused by a loose connection. Firmly reinsert all connections to ensure full power flow. If one connection does not appear to be working, check the second connection. If this does not solve the problem, read on.

Replace power switch

Be prepared to void your warranty if it still exists. If the above haven't worked, it is possible the power switch has gone bad and needs replacement.

Replace connections

Older connections are often prone to wear and tear. It is possible the digital connections have gone bad. If so, these connections will need to be replaced. Be prepared to void you warranty as you follow our guide.

Tray does not open

When the open or eject button is pressed, the tray does not open.

Check the power status of the drive

Check to make sure the drive is showing signs of power, such as blinking LEDs or fan noise. If it is not showing signs of power consult the above Power Troubleshooting. If it is showing signs of power, and the tray does not open, read on.

Hold open/eject button

Some older devices appear to have a delay between the pressing of the eject button and the actual opening of the tray. Hold the Open/Eject button of the drive to be sure the switch is activated. Continue reading if the problem persists.

Check bezel alignment

It is possible for the bezel to have shifted, blocking the tray from opening. If the bezel is in the path of the tray face, apply pressure to the bezel to make sure it is fully inserted into the drive's face. This can normally be done without opening the drive. If this is not the source, or does not solve the problem, continue.

Bad internal CD Drive

Internal causes may prevent the CD tray from opening. This could be a bad motor, bad wiring, or any number of things. Within the case of this external CD drive is an internal drive component. This is similar to most internal drives of most computers. If something has gone bad within this component, it is best to simply replace the internal drive with another.

Drive is not recognized by the computer

The drive appears to be receiving power but is not interacting with the computer.

Check connections

Check to make sure all connections are fully secure. Remove and reinsert all connections firmly to ensure proper fit. If the connections are secure, continue on.

Check the digital inputs

Check to make sure that the inputs on both the computer and the external drive aren't damaged. If both inputs look functional, continue on.

Check connections of wires inside the drive

Check to make sure that all wires inside of the drive connect properly to the inside of the digital input. If all of these are correct then the problem may be with the computer.

Fan noise

The fan is constantly humming or is disturbingly loud.

Debris in fan

It is possible for dust or some other form of debris could have gotten into the fan rotor and is causing the noise. To access the fan, the drive must be slightly disassembled. Once the fan is removed, compressed air can be used to clear most debris from the fan, and can be replaced. If this doesn't solve the problem, continue to the below steps.

Temperature gauge misplaced

The temperature gauge wires allow the fan to adjust speeds to varying temperatures. If the gauge wires have been misplaced, it may give an improper reading. With the case open, check to see that the white wires leading from the fan are placed properly on the internal drive. If the wire is properly placed, or this change doesn't solve the problem, read on.

Bad fan

Either the fan or the circuit board attached to it may be failing. This can cause the fan to malfunction and either work too hard or not work at all. This may cause excessive noise from the fan, and will need to be replaced.


The device becomes very warm or is slowing to a stop.

Check vent proximity

Check the back of the device to make sure nothing is blocking the flow of air to the fan vent. Also check to make sure that there are no other devices creating excess heat nearby. The vent is located on the back, next to the power switch.

Bad fan

The fan may be failing, the circuit board, or the temperature gauge on the fan may be failing. This can cause the fan to malfunction and either work to hard or not work at all. If the fan is not working, then it will need to be replaced.

CD is not being read

Tray opens but ejects CDs as blank or there is no output from the CD.

CD is dirty or scratched

Take CD out and wipe with a clean nonabrasive cloth. Sometimes dust, hair, or oil from handling can build up and cause the device to not be able to read the CD. Inspect the CD for any visible scratches. This will cause issues because data is missing. If this still does not work, try another CD before assuming this is not the issue. It can be difficult to completely clean dirt and inspect for scratches.

Internal problems

There could be many internal issues including faulty laser and CD not spinning. There is an internal drive component inside the external CD casing, just like a CD drive in a computer. In these cases it is most efficient to replace the whole internal drive component.

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