Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-2-14 @ 09:50


Sony MP-F17W-59D
Panasonic JU-256A428PC
Samsung SFD-321B

I cleaned a little rust from the Panasonic unit. Nothing too scary. It was visible in the pictures above.


gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/3iz9o173w/

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Robert B
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-2-14 @ 16:23

A resounding SUCCESS!!!

Yesterday I was telling you that I was on the road to success.Well I've been there and even went to the next level :D

What would you say if I were to tell you that I had a success rate of 120% aka 6 out of 5?

Weird dont you think?

I took out of storage the Pentium III build and tested all the six ODD''s I had. GOOD NEWS, ALL ARE IN WORKING CONDITION!

The sixth unit is the COMPAQ-LG CRD-8420B(CP1) which I told you earlier that it doesnt work. Well it doesnt work in the 5x86 build but in the PIII it works as new!

Pentium III - Slot 1 Build

Vital statistics:

1. CPU: Intel Pentium III 550MHz - SL3FJ - Costa Rica 512KB cache / 100MHz bus / 2.0V
2. Motherboard: LuckyStar 6VABX2 VER. 2.0 - Slot 1 - Chipset - VIA VT82C693 & VT82C596A / 1xAGP 2x / 5 PCI (4 bus master 1 slave) / 2 ISA / ATA 33
3. RAM: 384 MB - PC133 @ PC100 speed : 2X128MB PQI / 1x128MB IBM
4. VGA: Inno3D Geforce 2 Ti - 64MB - VGA/TV out
5. AUDIO: Diamond Aureal Vortex 2 Monster Sound MX300 - PCI
8. CD-ROM: ASUS QuieTrack 52X CD-S520/A
9. LAN: generic 10/100 Mbps
10. Mobile HDD rack 3.5/5.25
11. PSU: generic JNC Computer Corp. 235W
12. Cooling: Intel stock slot 1 cooler / Inno3D - DeepCool v50 / Enermax T.B Silence 80 mm
13. CASE: Generic ATX Case branded COMRACE ~ 1999


For testing I used the Good Ol' CD SPEED 99 program.

Single pass test.The best result wasnt on my list of high priorities.

I used a Windows XP Home Edition silver setup CD. It wasnt in mint condition but all the units had the same chances to prove themselves.


As a note: I prefer low speed units because they are more silent and the chances of an optical disc break are lower. Only once, one of my ODD's, an ASUS CD-S520/A 52x unit, shattered a CD and it wasnt pretty.

Lets see the results.



LG CRD-8240B


Goldstar CRD-8240B (CP1) COMPAQ

On startup and when the unit stops, the sound of the loose ball bearings is unnerving :D You think the unit slices and dices your CD. Otherwise the unit is silent and well behaved.



The unit is silent and makes all the right noises :)

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/2fphji614/

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This unit has loose ball bearings like the COMPAQ - Goldstar - CRD-8240B (CP1) unit, but in this case they are placed in a space above the motor spindle and not in the top centering mechanism. This is a faster unit and man I was nervous. The CD reading procedure goes like this: you load the CD, loose ball bearings noise, the motor builds up the rpms, more loose ball bearing, low to medium rattling, more speed, hissing noises and when you think that your CD will be minced meat, all the noises disappear and the motor has a balanced sound and the unit starts to read. It's witchcraft I TELL YOU! :D


Pioneer DVD-120S


So this was the story of the 6 out of 5.

BONUS: the results of the ASUS QuieTrack 52X CD-S520/A as it was already in the system.


The FDD's arent on my list of high priorities and will be tested when I decide to do so.

Next episode? I dont know what I'll think up next!
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Robert B
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-2-15 @ 13:25

FDD Challenge

Now it is the turn for the FDD units to show their stuff.

WARNING: You should not dismantle the read / write heads of the FDD units. Doing so will mess up the calibration and getting it back is quite a challenge.Sometimes it is impossible without specialized hardware and skills. I did so and by chance I recovered the Panasonic unit. It wasnt pretty :D Sometimes you can make the unit work but it might read and write only disks made on it.

Sony MP-F17W-59D - Here I managed to make the motor move the read /write heads by tightening a loose screw but the calibration went bye bye. I tried to use the wear marks made by the upper head on the metal, as a guide, but as the head only had one plastic bit and not two as other units, which made the wear marks, it is impossible to calibrate this unit by hand. I consider this unit bye bye as it was from the beginning. Looking back I shouldn't've bothered.


Panasonic JU-256A428PC - I think the unit was ok but I didnt test before I cleaned it. I also removed the read / write heads and I was pissed that I did it. I had a clean BUT NOT WORKING UNIT. What to do?


1. I used two floppy disks that I knew were good. One factory made with LG CD-ROM drivers and one I made on a good unit
2. I used the wear marks made by the upper read / write head onto the metal on which it rests when the unit is not in operation. I also checked the alignment with the marks when the unit had a floppy disk in it.
3. I made read tests with the disks from point 1. Those floppy disks worked on this unit, the samsung one from bellow and another good one I had.


gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/25dfcea4c/

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Samsung SFD-321B - works very well.


I tried to recover another Sony FDD unit that was on the 5x86 but with no luck. This unit was bad from the start so I couldnt use the wear marks as a guide. When I used it on the 5x86 I was confronted with Format Disk messages, it read disks when it felt like and it even didnt read disks made with it. The signal that it was bad came when I tested an important driver disk on another unit and it worked after I thought it was bad because this unit didnt read it.

USB floppy disk units are also prone to this kind of problems....so it's better to get a new unit or one in better shape. Dont despair when one unit doesnt read floppy disks, try another unit.

when it breaks REPLACE IT. It's easier :)

So this was it! I need a BREAK :DAll the parts are resting and so will I :D
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-2-17 @ 16:47



During more testing the DVD-ROM Pioneer DVD-120s unit still didnt work as it should. Sometimes it would not take disks and once it scratched one.

I replaced the original belt with a thicker one but after several load /unload cycles it wouldnt load disks at all.

The original belt has a square profile and 1.0 mm thick. The belt I used is also square but 1.2 mm thick.

Eventually I reused the original belt because the place where it is located doesnt allow the use of thicker belt. If the belt is thicker it can interfere with the closing of the metal latch from the front after you insert a disk.

For sure, the scratching of the CD was caused by the slipping of the rubber belt onto the pulleys. The dirt from the gears and the old dusty grease were other factors that contributed to this problem.

You know what came NEXT? :D


a) I removed the rubber belt.
b) I removed 5 springs and a few metal components. I took great care to keep track of the location and orientation of the pieces I removed. I took notes and made pictures.
c) I pushed several plastic safety clips and removed the top disk load / unload mechanism. EASY AS PIE!
d) I removed, cleaned and greased with silicone grease almost all the gears. Two I didnt remove (but I greased them), as it was too risky. I would've had to remove the whole laser head assembly.
e) I greased with silicone grease the sliding grooves of the top load / unload mechanism. I lighlty greased the metal rails on which the laser head moves.
f) General cleanup
g) Greasing of other contact surfaces using common sense :D
h) Tests with and without CD's


Works like a dream! :D

I made a tutorial in pictures because it's easier this way :D

Almost 6kg of optical units are resting ready to be put to work.

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/38jk960g6/

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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-3-16 @ 13:22

Another PIONEER optical unit: PIONEER DVD-105SZ, MAN, I really like these Pioneer units!

Last sunday I went to the flea market, without a real goal, just to browse the merchandise :D. It wasnt a sunny day and it was kind of cold, so there werent near as many sellers as usual. I took a few steps inside the market and I immediately saw a slot load DVD-ROM unit. The model was Pioneer DVD-105SZ. Ever since I found the Pioneer DVD-120S I wanted to find another slot load Pioneer unit to have as a backup. I also wanted a unit with some decals on the front bezel. My wishes were heard by someone above and so I found this little gem :D

I haggled a little and paid just 2.2 EUR for it. NO BRAINER!

The unit was complete, with some wear marks and a little dirty. It was missing the four screws that hold the metal cover. My gut feeling was saying that it is in good working condition so I didnt mind these "little" details. As usual the seller told me that it is working and if I have problems I can come the following week for a refund. Yeah right.....

I tested the unit home and it was working like it was new. The load / unload cycle was flawless and it read the CD's quickly.

This was my only purchase that day, as all the other old hardware available was in a condition which can be included in the following interval: ['DA F..K is DIS - Yep it MIGHT be still kicking]. :D

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/ncu8m76e/

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Teardown wasnt very complicated

What a barn find..... :D dust devils inside :D.....

I washed the metal casing and the front bezel until they were squeaky clean.

The load / unload mechanism of the Pioneer DVD-105SZ is more streamlined than the one of the Pioneer DVD-120S:

1. no rubber belt - a screw and sprocket setup - very GOOD!!!!
2. simplified load / unload mecanism
3. micro switches for load / unload - it operates faster and easier
4. no complex metal or plastic parts.
5. fewer springs

I like more this type of construction. I think when Pioneer manufactured this unit, it employed some of its know how from car stereos industry.

More later.

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/3aebph250/

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Next step was the cleaning of the inside of the unit.

The cleaning was straight forward and because the unit was in good working condition, I didnt want to damage something, so I didnt disassemble the unit until the last nut and bolt.

I managed to detach the PCB but I couldnt remove it completly because two wires from the load/unload motor were soldered on the motherboard. Even so I managed to clean it pretty well.

The inside of the unit was trickier to clean but nothing too difficult. A long soft brush and some cotton sticks were exactly what the doctor ordered :D

I also gently cleaned the laser lens and it was really dirty. Even so it read the CD's without problems.

I also lightly greased with silicone grease the sprockets, metal rails and a few guiding plastic rails.

Then I assembled the unit and tested it again. It works like it is new :)

Over and out. For now.... :D

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/n18amgqg/

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