DVD tray will open all the way, but only close half way

This is on a JVC DVR/DVD recorder unit. If I press eject nothing happens unless I have already partially opened the tray using a paperclip in the tiny hole. After that, when I press the manual eject button on the front of the dvd drive (not the open/close button front of the DVR) it will open the rest of the way and then try to close but it only goes back in half way. If I close it the rest of the way, then it will not open again until I start over with the paperclip. I can't see anything broken or stuck in there. In addition, the player does not recognize the disc inside (but removing it does not resolve the problem.) I have tried unplugging it overnight, but it doesn't help with this problem. Any help diagnosing/repairing this would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Unless you've any experience of disassembling a CD or DVD drive, this is a job for the repair guy. It may be something as simple as a belt being worn but it's nearly impossible to diagnose remotely.

    In my experience problems with the drawer are the achilles heel of all such players. My solution where parts need replacing and it's not worth the trouble of trying to find them, is to remove the drawer's drive cog and make the thing open and close manually, having glued a small handle on the drawer front.

    It's not a remedy you'd probably appreciate, though.
  2. Thanks for your response. The problem with adding a manual handle is that the unit doesn't recognize the disc is there at all when it can't close on its own. So it wouldn't do any good to be able to open and close but not play or record. I wonder if there would be any local repair places rather than going through the manufacturer's racket. The unit is long out of warranty, but not so old it should be breaking down. It's had very light use.
  3. Most of these decks work as follows. When you press the close button a motor turns a cog whose teeth mesh with teeth on the drawer guide rail. When the drawer goes home the motor raises the laser transport and disc drive spindle towards the disc, lifting the disc above the drawer surface so it can rotate.

    In my experience with Marantz and NAD CD players, a broken or removed cog does not stop the laser transport rising and the disc playing-- whereas a jammed drawer will.
  4. Thanks for those thoughts, fihart. I do think this unit is VERY picky about everything working just so in order to operate at all. I wish I could just clear the jam somehow. Once I have the door open part way manually, the unit can open it the rest of the way but not retract it more than halfway. I wonder if that symptom could help diagnose it. It seems like if it were completely broken, then it couldn't extend the tray either. So your opinion of a jam sounds right, but I can't see anything unusual when I shine a flashlight in there.
  5. Oh, and I should mention that I have to manually open the door about half way before the unit can open it the rest of the way. Before that, it doesn't budge. Maybe something just needs oiling?
  6. Presumably you've taken the lid off -- not just peering through the letter box !!

    See if there's anything lodged in the mechanism.

    Normally you can remove the drawer -- there's a flexible finger of plastic which stops it going beyond full extension in normal use so locate that and depress it to release the drawer.

    Putting it back can be more tricky* -- as the mechanism which lifts the laser transport has to be in the right position. That mechanism can be a source of trouble if it wears or the lubricant dries out -- or if lubricant migrates onto any belt drive associated with it.

    *one reason I ended up tearing out the cog which engages with the drawer rail teeth -- discovering that without it the drawer could be moved in and out manually without interfering with the player's normal operating otherwise.
  7. Thanks, fihart. I guess I probably won't remove the door if I might not be able to get it back on because on this unit, the system will not even finish starting up most of the time if the door is jammed. It took me weeks of trying to get it to this point where I can watch my movies on the hard drive but not dub them. Before that, it kept looping the startup message. In the past, pressing the manual eject button would cure that, but no more. I do wish I had more technical skills because it probably can be fixed. I'm not about to ship it back to JVC, though, and have them send one back with a different problem, or mine with all of the movies erased. I heard they charge a LOT, too. Anyway, thanks for your suggestions.
  8. I gave up and bought a new DVR, but now I would like to transfer what was on the old one to the new one (by hooking it up to the input). However, the darn thing won't finish starting up. I think it's because of the timing being off on the DVD door--these units are SO picky and will flash loading for so many different reasons. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get it to finish loading one more time so I can transfer the movies on it, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
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