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Rdr-hx900 successdully repaired!!!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My RDR-HX900, like many others, burned its final DVD-R about a month ago. For months before the final death gasp, even the automatic DVD format that is performed when a disc is inserted would regularly fail. By trial and error I found that if I unplugged the power cord from the unit overnight (not just powered off from the front panel) then plugged it in the morning and quickly inserted a new DVD disc, it would format properly and successfully burn a whole movie to the disc, just once. After that it would not burn again unless I unplugged it overnight. Only overnight' would work for me; not 2, 4 or 8 hours, more like 10-12 hours. Recently that trick has failed to recover the recorder no matter how long it is left unplugged.

According to many forums, people have tried replacing the DVD drive with various Sony replacement drives with no success. Either the new drives do not work at all or they are incompatible with the firmware on the main board. I was able to restore full functionality of my RDR-HX900 by replacing a single part on the DVD drive by salvaging a replacement part from a cheap ($15 ebaY) Sony DVD drive that is otherwise incompatible as a whole replacement part.

I also tried replacing the original DVD drive with a used but working Sony DRU-510A; no help. The recorder booted up but did not recognize the drive; only the tray would open and close. Assuming that the firmware on the drive was not compatible with the rest of the recorder and that the most likely failure of the DVD drive was going to be the aging laser diode, I carefully removed the whole sled assembly from the replacement DRU-510A drive and installed it into the original DVD drive, reassembled the original drive and recorder and tested. Works perfectly - just like brand new. Great care must be taken to carefully remove many small parts, keep track of them for reassembly, correctly remove and reseat the flat flex cables and not remove or disturb any of the lubricated on the sled rails. It's a delicate repair but it works.

Out of a whole DVD replacement drive, you are just trying to salvage the sled assembly.
Looking at the attached picture, the sled assembly is comprised of the laser diode carrier (silver metal rectangle - blue dot in the middle) and the driver/logic board (green circuit board with flat orange cables attached) altogether sliding on the parallel solid tubular rails above and below the circuit board. The rest of the items in the picture (metal frame, motors, rails, black wheel, other cables, and gears) are not needed. Also, the rest of the replacement drive not shown (DVD frame cover, logic/interface board, load motors, front panel, plastic DVD carrier tray, etc) can be discarded.

Original Sony DVD Drive;
Sony DW-U15A-S2
S/N: 7374940
Version BF
14OCT2004

Replacement drive found on ebay;
Sony DRU-510A
S/N: 7147021
Version BA
19JUNE2003
LL
LL
post #2 of 14
Congrats!
post #3 of 14
Had the same problem with my Sony RDR GX300. It has the DW-U15A drive, which was acting up. I found this post: http://www.fixya.com/support/t600836..._model_dw_u15a which worked great, and I didn't have to replace the drive or tray.
post #4 of 14
I sent this post to the Sony Laredo repair shop. I got this today from them:

The professionals at the Laredo Customer Satisfaction Center have evaluated your RDRHX900 and are unable to perform the necessary repairs. Our records indicate that it has been over (7) seven years from the original market date of this model and the parts necessary for the repair are no longer manufactured or have been discontinued. Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience. Only option will be to send unit back unrepaired at no cost or to disposal the unit. In order to proceed, please reply this email with your answer at your earliest convenience.


Regards.

Laredo Customer Satisfaction Center
Victor A. Amador
SR. Technical Support Specialist
Phone 1-(866) 357-6230
Fax (956) 728-2132
victoralfonso.amador@am.sony.com


The unit finally stopped reading any disc much less those for recording so I sent it in to them. Hopefully they can come up with something.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xyota View Post

Hopefully they can come up with something.
Like what? Sounds like they already have given you their only two options -- they'll either return it or junk it but repair seems out of the equation.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Like what? Sounds like they already have given you their only two options -- they'll either return it or junk it but repair seems out of the equation.


well, like the suggestion above for one and the link to another possible solution for two. I sent them the links but they don't seem to be able to think out of their predetermined box, sounding like a car dealer service rep that will only replace complete parts rather than fixing what's bad w/in said part if possible. I guess I was hoping they were actual techs there that could try these suggestions, silly me.


"Your DVD recorder is in the need of a DVD with parts number: A1376848Z- DRIVE DVD DW-U15A-S2 (S-R).

We only buy parts from authorize providers not outsiders.

Thank you for the information you provide to us."


This guy, Victor, called me today as was a blithering idiot, rattling off what was obviously a printed script. I ask him specific questions and all I kept getting was 'pat' answers out of his book. The unit is coming back to me and I'll either try the fix myself or find somebody locally who has a working brain.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xyota View Post

The unit is coming back to me and I'll either try the fix myself or find somebody locally who has a working brain.
At least they told you what you need. Good luck finding the parts. Many people scour Ebay and Craigslist looking for cheap used units they can scavenge parts from.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

At least they told you what you need. Good luck finding the parts. Many people scour Ebay and Craigslist looking for cheap used units they can scavenge parts from.
the 510 drives seem to be plentiful enough for the moment so may try getting one to cannibalize tongue.gif A coworker's kid is an EE student and loves to tinker with stuff like this so I may drop it all in his lap and see what happens.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xyota View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Like what? Sounds like they already have given you their only two options -- they'll either return it or junk it but repair seems out of the equation.


well, like the suggestion above for one and the link to another possible solution for two. I sent them the links but they don't seem to be able to think out of their predetermined box, sounding like a car dealer service rep that will only replace complete parts rather than fixing what's bad w/in said part if possible. I guess I was hoping they were actual techs there that could try these suggestions, silly me.


"Your DVD recorder is in the need of a DVD with parts number: A1376848Z- DRIVE DVD DW-U15A-S2 (S-R).

We only buy parts from authorize providers not outsiders.

Thank you for the information you provide to us."


This guy, Victor, called me today as was a blithering idiot, rattling off what was obviously a printed script. I ask him specific questions and all I kept getting was 'pat' answers out of his book. The unit is coming back to me and I'll either try the fix myself or find somebody locally who has a working brain.



Do you have any idea on what you would have to pay for someone to futz around with a non-standard repair assuming they could even come up with working non available parts from a salvage unit? Easily in the$300 to $500 range. No one pays that much to repair an old piece of electronic junk, so they decline to waste their time on your equipment in a polite way.

Someone repairing their own equipment with no labor costs involved is the only way to go for repairs of old trash. The "blathering idot" probably was reading off a script in order to prevent a customer relations and financial fiasco caused by someone who is just like you.wink.gif
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

Do you have any idea on what you would have to pay for someone to futz around with a non-standard repair assuming they could even come up with working non available parts from a salvage unit? Easily in the$300 to $500 range. No one pays that much to repair an old piece of electronic junk, so they decline to waste their time on your equipment in a polite way.
Someone repairing their own equipment with no labor costs involved is the only way to go for repairs of old trash. The "blathering idot" probably was reading off a script in order to prevent a customer relations and financial fiasco caused by someone who is just like you.wink.gif

Opinion noted
The fact that "repairs" for most anything these days has devolved to' unit replacement' doesn't mean I have to like it. Perhaps I'm still living too much in the past...so be it.

...and he was blithering, not blathering. Had he had actually been a well trained electronics tech he would have been able to explain things on his own rather than reading off a 6th grade script.
I've dealt with plenty of intelligent, well trained techs over the years from automotive to electronics who have verbal skills as well as manual. There are still skilled people out there who can actually "fix" things; they are just hard to find and evidently don't work in 'repair' facilities like Sony's. If the sled replacement idea works I seriously doubt (based on the work description) it will take much more than an hour or so to do, hardly in the $300-500 range. If it doesn't work, o well.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
So was he an idiot or an 'idot', as offered by J_Palmer_Cass? wink.gif
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by egandb View Post

Had the same problem with my Sony RDR GX300. It has the DW-U15A drive, which was acting up. I found this post: http://www.fixya.com/support/t600836..._model_dw_u15a which worked great, and I didn't have to replace the drive or tray.

and I got the same results. biggrin.gif Unit works as good as new with 3 turns of that stupid screw. I tried an allen wrench at first but that didn't work so sharpened a small flat screwdriver and that did the trick (the blue locktite held it fast and the allen just stripped the screw.) The biggest pain was remembering where all those tiny screws went tongue.gif I suggest taking lots of pics while disassembling the 900 so you can have something to refer to.

I did find a donor drive like the original post so can use that if things go bad again.

thanks for the link!
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xyota View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by egandb View Post

Had the same problem with my Sony RDR GX300. It has the DW-U15A drive, which was acting up. I found this post: http://www.fixya.com/support/t600836..._model_dw_u15a which worked great, and I didn't have to replace the drive or tray.

and I got the same results. biggrin.gif Unit works as good as new with 3 turns of that stupid screw. I tried an allen wrench at first but that didn't work so sharpened a small flat screwdriver and that did the trick (the blue locktite held it fast and the allen just stripped the screw.) The biggest pain was remembering where all those tiny screws went tongue.gif I suggest taking lots of pics while disassembling the 900 so you can have something to refer to.

I did find a donor drive like the original post so can use that if things go bad again.

thanks for the link!


That is excellent news.

No cost DIY wins again with a little bit of help from others.
post #14 of 14
Sony just sent me a survey to fill out. Wee! that was fun biggrin.gif can't wait for a response, LOL
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