How to Salvage a DVD Drive for Free Parts




Introduction: How to Salvage a DVD Drive for Free Parts

About: So basically i am a crazy person, who loves to think the most odd way ever possible,who makes what he thinks and also let other also make those . Check out my crazy projects if you like do follow me :D

Have you ever wonder what is inside those optical drives that can be used ?

When I was a kid it was really interesting for me to know ways to recycle parts.

Even now it is something i find fun and interesting.

Guys this has been nominated for treasure contest so if you find it useful then do vote for me .
There are two Top reasons to do it.

  • It saves a lot of money and get new parts.
  • It Improves the knowledge of things around you.

Today I am gonna show you how to salvage an old Optical Drive. May it be DVD/CD ,both have most things in common, we will learn about each part and how to take them apart.

Watch the video in case you have less time.

Also i am giving away some cool laser engraved key-chain so do have a look at my channel.

And also Subscribe to my channel to view awesome stuff.

Step 1: How to Open the DVD Drive



Start by unscrewing the four screws that hold the DVD /CD drive.

Be careful as the chassis is too sharp.

It can cut your fingers.

I had been the victim
rather should I say, I had signed with my DNA

Once the Chassis is opened the next job is to unplug all the ribbon cables from the main board .

Step 2: The DC Motor

The DC motor is held by some clips ,slightly remove the clip to get access the board of the dc motor.
Before the removing the motor take care to remove its ribbon cable.
While removing the Motor it might be stuck to a pulley with a rubber cable,remove that to take it apart.
The board has three part that can be reused .

  1. A 5V DC Motor
  2. 1 LED
  3. 1 Push Button

Function of this part

This motor combined with a pulley and gear (rack and pinion ) makes the eject mechanism for the drive. In short the the ejection and retrieving of DVD drive is controlled by it .

Step 3: The Brushless DC

The next thing to salvage is the Brushless motor.
Gone are those time when getting brushless are tough.
Lots of DVD drive are useless these days so getting a lot of brushless motor is too easy.

What is a brushless motor ?
These motor in the pictures in the pictures are of those brushless that mean these motor have the rotor as permanent magnets and the stator

Function of this part

This is the motor that spins the CD or DVD Since high speed is required for reading quickly the brushless motor is chosen for the purpose.

Project you can try with the motors

Step 4: The Stepper Motor and the Slide Draft

After freeing the BLDC we are left with the drive mechanism from which we get to extract a stepper motor and the slide mechanism .

The stepper motor has just two screws to me unscrewed to be made free .
And the shaft by turning a knob at the bottom of the drive.

There is also the laser module which we will extract soon.

Function of this part

The Stepper motor is also called the sled motor . This motor causes the slider to move in a horizontal direction.With this stepper motor and the brushless motor, the optical drive reads the data in a DC or DVD .

Projects you can make

Step 5: The Laser Diode

After removing the shaft left is the laser module in the slider .
The laser is held with a glue .
Try to cut the glue to get access to the diode.
You can try a hot air gun, but I don't have any still so I could not use it.
Do tell me if it is possible.

Function of this part

The laser forms an integral part of the optical system which makes it possible for the DVD drive to read the data.

Projects you can make

Step 6: The Magnets

Neodymium magnets are in the optical lens to use for focus I guess as it had coil also making an EM - field .

What is Neodymium ?

Neodymium is a chemical element with symbol Nd and atomic number 60.

Neodymium is used as a component in the alloys used to make high-strength neodymium magnets—powerful permanent magnets.

Function of this part

It is used to focus the beam of laser along with a coil making an EM Field

Step 7: The Optical Lens

Lastly,we take apart the optical lens from the drive.
The lens is a small biconvex lens.

Be careful while taking apart the lens as it might be damaged if not handled with care.
I crushed the glued part first (plastic),making the glass free and then taking it apart.
use some tissue to kept it scratch less .

Function of this part

The lens is just to focus the beam of the laser.

what next ?

I will show what you can do out of those drive parts .

Next will be coming soon so stay subscribed :)

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    70 Discussions


    Tip 6 months ago

    Very help full Idea

    Thank you for this instructable! Ignore the pedantic grammar nazis! They're just jealous that they didn't do this tear down! I will be showing this instructable to my 9 year old who dismantles everything! We used to so mad with him and sadly may have stunted his curious engineer mind?! I have a couple old drives which I know I'll never use so why not give him the opportunity to explore and learn! Geekrex you've got my vote!

    You write "neodymium magnets ... is used to focus the beam of laser along with a coil making an EM Field". Sorry I dont belive that. Light is usually not influenced by EM field due to the principle of superposition. In some materials an EM field may influence the refraction index and thereby influence light, but I don't think that is the case. These magnets are ofen used for mechanical tasks like position control. I suppose that is a much more likely explanation for having these magnets at your laser.

    3 replies

    By position control you focus the beam, I think that is pretty clear to anyone with half a brain.

    While you are correct that the EM field itself is not influencing the light, the EM field *IS* positioning the carrier for the laser LED in relation to the focusing lens therefore those magnets and the EM field *IS* focusing the laser relative to the lens... Very similar to how a hard drive positions the read heads on the platen... You almost thought it all the way through but missed the last connection to understand the whole.

    it using it for focusing by adjusting laser diode lens up and down.

    this video show how its work

    I love this Instructable so much. I'm kind of crushing on you for making it. ???

    I can't bear the thought of e-recycling unless I've taken a shot at dismantling it. Even if only for jewelry material and the love of knowledge. I wish my hands/wrists were stronger so I could have less frustration in indulging my inner Little Man Tate. I appreciate the comment regarding sacrificing the front plate to speed up the process, though part of the fun is in finding all of the sneaky screws. I call foul on companies that glue or weld plastic parts shut. It may be good for manufacturing but it's cruel for the tinkerer. Why aren't our needs taken into consideration?! ?? It's almost like they don't want us cannibalizing their products.

    Now, onto the serious content of my post. I am appalled that the comments for this lovely contribution to the Love of How have been tainted by bickering about grammar. The disrespect, not only for fellow curious minds, but more significantly for the contributor is embarrassing. This community is better than that. This site is a place to encourage one another, not bash. It's almost as bad as dissing a person's Instructable. This is a community of like-minded people. This is not Facebook. There is nothing to be gained by verbally attacking each other. (Is it still "verbally" attacking when it is in writing, or is there a better word?)

    Even if someone makes a comment that evokes crankiness in you, there are ways to be respectful while still informing the person that their comment is inappropriate. Name-calling is almost guaranteed to raise their hackles. If folks dig in their heels, only focusing on defending themselves, there can be nothing learned by either party.

    It appears the original offending post may have been removed, yet the subsequent rage (or annoyance) is still here. Rather than attacking each other, we have the option to express our perspective on how a comment came across to us. As an example, rather than arguing over the use of the word "Nazi" one could simply explain why, in their opinion, it is inappropriate. The word may very well be commonly used in reference to sticklers for accurate writing skills, but that does not mean it has a place here. It is a very antagonistic word choice. Is it (grammar nazi) used regularly? Of course. Does that make it appropriate for polite conversation? Not generally. It is used specifically to insult the other person. One might light-heartedly accuse themself of behaving as such, but it is not in the spirit of this community to label others in that manner.

    This is all merely my opinion. I am an idealist. Instructables is a site for coming together, not tearing down. (Well, tearing down DVD-drives? Yes. People? No.)

    Please consider the benefits of being kind, even when providing guidance. If someone is speaking out in a manner that is incongruent with the spirit of the community, it might be more beneficial to provide your perspective as just that, your perspective.

    For example:
    From where I stand, using the expression "grammar nazi" is usually taken as antagonistic and is less likely, in my experience, to encourage a person to reconsider their tone when offering corrections. Another approach might be to mention grammatical errors with a more light-hearted, commiserating tact. 'I confess to being distracted by the common error of confusing "alternate" with "alternative" even though I understand it is a very common mistake. It is so common that it is pretty much accepted. To me that feels like the dictionary is giving in rather than pushing for proper word usage. I have an irrational sadness when a mistake wins by sheer willpower. LOL'

    I'm not accusing an individual of being uneducated. I'm merely expressing that I wish the English language was dynamic in growing with time, not regressing with misuse. It is rare that a person makes a completely new grammatical error. It can be committed because of a lack of knowledge, a lack of attention to detail (who has never been swept up, scrambling to get their thoughts onto the screen?) or even in the spirit of the nature of language as a fluid, living thing. Not everyone re-reads their comments prior to posting. It's time consuming, and for some of us it creates a feedback loop in which we continuously add new thoughts when we only meant to proofread what was already there.

    Please, keep Instructables a place of collaboration and inspiration. This is a kind of a safe space in that we are all here for the love of knowledge. We all benefit from an atmosphere of encouragement. No one will want to contribute if they fear they will be attacked or shamed for their efforts.

    We come in peace. Let's stay in that same spirit.

    ??? Keep building and breaking-down. Keep that curiosity well-fed. Encourage the spirit of wonder and the drive for innovation alive in this lovely corner of the Interwebs. ???

    Wonderful tear down. Thank you.

    M-M-M where can I get an old DVD? I am jealous of those magnets!

    2 replies

    You can get it from pc service shops for free

    You can get it from pc service shops for free.

    A make this 7y

    Thanks for this, it'll be very helpful

    Interesting stuff...
    A fellow down the road from me dismantled his laser drive and is now blind in one eye. Please be ultra careful folks... Do not to look at a laser and switch it on! The only issue I can see with using parts from a laser drive to build an engraver is power. Almost everything you try to engrave at any reasonable speed needs more power than you can get from a CD drive laser but the motors alone, make this method and the instructable one to file away for when you need specialised motors.

    Thanks for taking the time to describe your dismantling techniques.

    Great tips and tricks on cannibalizing parts...after my own heart on re-using stuff. One thing most people don't know is the 'eye' of cd/dvd reader are all the same no matter how much you pay for it.

    I wish I could find someone near me like you, that takes electronics apart. I have a bunch of electronics (old computers, printers, scanners, I think I even have an old vcr). I can't give this stuff away. I have a plasma tv I bet you could even find parts to use from. Most people are about buying instead of taking things apart. This way they don't have to store all of it especially for long periods of time.

    3 replies

    Try posting these things on Freecycle, EVERYONE should be a part of their local Freecycle group. I always post on my local Freecycle for broken/outdated electronics wanted. I get 2-3 lcd tvs every year that only need $2-$3 worth of Capacitors replaced. I get tons of desktop pc's ( some are newer and only require a fresh windows install) and about 25% of them get fixed/upgraded then re-Freecycled

    I'm a teacher in Greenville, SC, and I beg people for this stuff. I teach an intro to engineering class to middle schoolers, and in 7th grade one of our main activities is taking stuff apart and seeing how it works. I've resorted to Ebay to buy old-style computer mice with balls and telephones with cords. New tech is all electronic and too small to see! Geekrex, the next kid who takes apart a CD player will use your Instructable, and you have my vote!


    If you are in Middle Tennesse or North Atlanta, I can give them a good home.