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Old 08-18-2011, 06:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DVD Burner drive laser is visible through lid!

Hi,

I am a newbie here and this is my first post, but I have an unusual hardware issue and I'd like some feedback please to see if this situation is normal.

I have just bought a Samsung DVD burner drive (I purchased a Samsung Writemaster SH-S223C/BEBE SATA though the label on the drive lists it as a SH222AB/BEBE).

The drive seems to function ok, but when I press the button to close the drawer, with no disc in the drive, you can see the red laser beam actually (briefly) shining through the label on the top cover of the drive (while checking to see if a disc is present)!

Please see the picture below (I apologise for the bluriness of the image, but I had to take this shot without flash so you could see it)-

^Notice the 'red dot' in the centre of the label, about a third of the way up...

Now my questions are: 1. Is this normal or a fault? 2. Is this dangerous to look at? 3. Does anybody else own this drive and does it behave in the same way?

I have never seen this on a drive before. Admittedly, if you insert a disc in the drive you no longer see it (the disc obviously covers the top of the laser diode).

There is a metal cover on this unit, but is part of it a transparent window (which has a label over the top), or is it just a small gap between two parts of the metal, with the light shining through the chink?

I have sent an enquiry to Samsung support but have had no reply.

I realise that once the drive is fitted inside a case that it may not be visible anyway, and the read beam is low powered, but the burning beam is likely to be much stronger so I'm a little concerned... Maybe though, I'm just being over paranoid?

Thanks for your help.

Best regards,

Mark
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: DVD Burner drive laser is visible through lid!

It is normal, but, I wouldn't look directly at it...

BTW, under that sticker is a piece of plastic, that has a magnet that grabs onto the cd and holds it in place while it spins at high speed.
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: DVD Burner drive laser is visible through lid!

Thanks c0rr0sive.

I guess the plastic is either somewhat opaque then, or there's a small gap where the pieces join together with the metal lid?

Never noticed this before on a DVD drive though, maybe alot of them are like this, must admit only first noticed by accident...
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: DVD Burner drive laser is visible through lid!

Lol yeah was gonna say, how did you even notice that? You'd have to have it hanging out the case, then opened and closed the drive and kept looking at it to notice such a dim light.

Never seen that before. It won't harm anything, not even your eyes as the lens has much too close a focal point so the intensity drops very fast. Now I'm gonna be pulling out all my drives to check for this awesome
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: DVD Burner drive laser is visible through lid!

Heh, heh thanks S0ULphIRE, that made me chuckle

The reason I noticed this was I was building a desktop, with the lid off. I was testing everything out before finishing off fitting all the components.

I just tried the drive to make sure it was working and suddenly noticed this! - It does actually look alot brighter than this picture suggests, but I guess the label is spreading the beam a bit as it's not a very sharp point (which I thought it would be).

I'm sure drives of old though used to have a complete metal plate across them blocking all light?

According to what I've read since posting here, a class 1 laser is 'pretty safe' to view under normal conditions. But writer drives use lasers which also can burn more like class 2- much stronger (guess that only happens during a burn though?)

The drive functions perfectly ok, by the way...



UPDATE:

I've finally now manage to get a response back from Samsung by using http://www.samsungodd.com/Eng/ service...

Here is the rather scary reply!:

Quote:
Dear xxxxx xxxxxx

Is Perfectly normal that without disk the laser shining through the label, is not normal that an internal drive is sitting outside as an external drive,

i remember you that it could cause you sever damage in case of an eletric shock. So please place the drive back into the system or make sure that is isolated from any other metal object or yourself,

enjoy your new drive and thank you for chosing Samsung Optical disc drive.
So that clears that one up then! - Assuming that I've understood the broken English correctly.

What seems a bit alarming is the 'shock hazard'! Do not allow it to touch a metal object? What's the enclosure of my case made of then? (though it is 'earthed' I suppose)...

(The drive never was outside the case either, or being used as an external! I just had the lid off the top of it, which is a HTPC Silverstone case).
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: DVD Burner drive laser is visible through lid!

Indeed. DVD Burners have 250mW lasers, cd drives and dvd readers only have like 60mW. They all have a focusing lens, concentrates it to an even tinier point right where the CD drive will be. After it passes that point it starts spreading out and getting weaker. Move a few inches away and you already won't be able to see it.
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