CDROM Tray Opens

Category: Hardware

My CDROM drive door keeps opening and closing by itself without prompting. Do I need to change a setting or is my computer possessed?

cdrom drive

CDROM Opens and Closes Automatically?

We can probably start by ruling out possession, at least the kind that might require an exorcist. I've heard reports of this happening due to a hardware problem, specifically with the drive tray being out of alignment, or due to the lens inside the drive being damaged or dirty. It's also possible to control the drive door with software, so perhaps rogue software is to blame.

You can diagnose the problem a couple of different ways. If you happen to have a spare CDROM drive, or you can borrow one from another computer, swap out the drive and see if the problem continues. (It might sound like a daunting task, but replacing a CDROM drive isn't hard at all. Typically they are held in place by a couple of screws, and connected with two cables.) If the problem goes away after swapping drives, you can safely assume it was a defective drive. Since CDROM drives can be purchased for less than $20, it's probably a waste of time and money to attempt a repair. You can try a CDROM lens cleaner if you're intent on trying to revive the drive.

If you continue to see the mysterious behavior after swapping drives, don't call the ghost busters yet. I've read reports that a faulty USB device could cause the drive door to open unexpectedly. One Macintosh user found that piles of paper near the keyboard sometimes accidentally hit the eject key. Yet another Mac user suggested resetting the PMU as a possible fix. I don't use a Mac, and I have no idea what a PMU is, so your mileage may vary.

Blame The Software

If you don't want to fiddle with the guts of your computer, look for a software cause first. Is it possible that someone installed some "joke" software without your knowledge? Such programs do exist, and can cause the cdrom tray to open and close by itself at random times. Another possibility is a virus, spyware or some other bit of malware that's designed to play tricks on you. I've seen reports by users who had exactly this problem, and solved it with a thorough spyware cleanup.

Read Secure Your Computer to see my recommendations for the best anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and the facts on both hardware & software firewalls. This is the security solution I've used myself for several years and it works great for me. Best of all, everything you need is free!

Have you encountered this problem? Tell us how you solve it, by posting your comments below.

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Most recent comments on "CDROM Tray Opens"

(See all 24 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

21 Sep 2006

The CD drive on my computer will only stay closed if I close it by hand when the computer is off. This is the only way I can get it to read disks. I shut the computer off, put in the disk, close it and then turn the computer on. I suspect an alignment problem, and will probably try replacing it.

Posted by:

18 Nov 2006

I have a similiar problem, and it is very annoying! I'm a winXP sp2 Home Edition user, and I think it might cause by one of my faulty USB port, since I had both of this problems happens in a same day.Any idea how to fix it?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I would remove or disable the USB port, then see if the problem persists.

Posted by:

Vasim Qureshi
05 Dec 2006

I have dual booting option in my PC i.e. Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows XP. Primary booting is set to Windows 98. When I work in Windows 98, CDROM tray keeps opening and closing automatically in every minute. Eventhough when I am copying something from CDROM, suddenly CDROM tray ejects and copy operation is aborted.

When I work in Windows XP, CDROM behaves very desently. I am able to read CD without any problem. CDROM Tray ejects only when it is ordered to do so. Hence for using CDROM, I am bound to work in Windows XP rather than Windows 98. I believe it is probabaly happening due to some tricky virus or spyware ? Any idea/suggestion about it ?

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have Win98 (which is very old and no longer supported by Microsoft) and WinXP, why would you boot into Win98? Especially if Win98 is causing these problems?

Posted by:

12 Mar 2007

Hi, I had a similar problem thrice, where my cdrom tray would open and close continuosly. out of 3 times ,I had to format my system in two scenarios.which led to problem resolution.This is completely a spyware .when this issue arose for the third time,I ran antivirus which scanned my system and 6 virus were found out,after deleting these virus files the issue was resolved.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, that's one possible cause, although I suspect not very common.

Posted by:

16 Mar 2007

I had that problem too, but I ran spyware/anti-virus and the problem still remained. I actually got so annoyed I pulled the internal power supply to the drive out and inadvertantly think I might have blown my power supply as my computer wont turn on at all now. Any thoughts on that? I'm gonna replace the cdrom as it's cheap and I was replacing the case and power supply so this just speeds the proccess up. However, I would still like to know why this happend.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you plug or unplug ANYTHING while the computer is on, you risk doing major damage to the device, the motherboard and the power supply.

Posted by:

29 May 2007

I've had the same problem too with my computer and it's DRIVING ME UP THE WALL!!! My CD drive will open up by itself and now it'll take me as many as 20 times closing it by hand before it stays closed. (I know one day I'll break it) Then sometimes it'll just open again by itself with any prompting by me. I've tried anti-virus and spyware and I still have the problem and it's getting WORSE! HELP!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'd replace the drive.

Posted by:

03 Jul 2007

2 brand new drives are doing this to me, opening and closing intermittently at random. Putting in the "older" drive does not result in this behaviour.

Posted by:

09 Sep 2007

I'm having a similar problem with both my CD ROM and my DVD RW drives... one or the other will open at boot up. But even more annoyingly, one or the other will frequently (but not always) open when I use CTRL C to copy something in WORD. Or if the tray is already open, CTRL C will close it. I have an HP Media Center PC running XP. I regularly run anti-virus and anti-spyware. I've tried uninstalling and re-installing the drivers.

Posted by:

21 Sep 2007

My DVD\CD-RW drive has a similar problemm too. It does not open if i press the eject button once. I have to press the eject button multiple times to get it open. It even opens automatically without prompting during bootup or when the system is idle. It even ejects duringg copying of data or playing DVD or CDs.

Posted by:

25 Oct 2007

I like the cd rom trick;i rate it 10 out 10

Posted by:

07 Dec 2007

I've had this problem for years - spent £100 on a DVD drive that was hardly ever used then it starts doing this. I sellotaped it up for a while thinkinghtat that might brake the motor inside it but now its unsellotaped then it still happily pops out when ever I put the computer ona and goes in and out for a few minutes. Must be hardware since it does it on boot up and the computer has had new hard drives and a reinstall of the OS (Win 98) and its still happening. Only now do I try and fix it!

Posted by:

18 Dec 2007

my CD R/W also giving thesame problem.
it open on boot na dstays open until i close it.
once i close it afetr placing a CD,It automatically opens, but not closing automatically.
What is the cause no boby knows, is it..?

Posted by:

25 Jan 2008

have the problem to on my laptop hp but guess what its kinda rare cause sometimes it dosent do any noise and when it does it sounds if it where reading some imaginary cd haha but i got use to it so i put a little yellow sticker inside so when when it opens i read "wanna burn a cd?" lol!

Posted by:

17 Apr 2008

YES..i too have the same problem, But even though i read and did all these things, my problem is not yet resolved.....Is there any one who have got the solution for the same ?

Posted by:

18 Jun 2008

I had the same problem - till i looked in to the task manager and killed pdvd.exe in the process list.

Posted by:

24 Sep 2008

I do not see anyone comment here that nero 8 does it when in use, the really annoying thing is it does not keep open, I could put up with that but it continually opens and closes my second DVD writer but not the primary/first DVD writer that Nero 8 actually uses to burn discs. Thankfully it stops when I shut down the program. Is their a setting in nero 8 to stop this happening or is it just to keep you awake.

Posted by:

Rob Sherrill
29 Apr 2009

Mine just starting doing this, so I've tried many of the recommendations offered here and elsewhere. The one that finally worked was simply shooting canned air into the spaces around the tray button, indicating that the switch sensor was dirty. This has also cleared up the tray not opening problem that preceded this one. Also, while a tray is repeatedly recycling, no discs can be read or written to.

Posted by:

02 Jul 2010

The only thing that worked for me was to uninstall the virtual drivers that I had (Magic ISO -Power ISO) .I do not have this problem on the other computer , but one computer will not let me have a virtual drive (unless I will put up with the crazy CD/DVD ROM drive )

Posted by:

24 Jul 2011

I used CDROM lens cleaner and now it is ok.

Posted by:

21 Oct 2011

The tray has been taken out of sync with the drive gears and so I just pushed it in faster than it normally would go back in, this reset the sync and all is well again. Spooky having it going in and out and in and out...

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