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Lancew561, Engineer
Category: Consumer Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 177
Experience:  Over 40 years Electronic Engineer to Component Level Transmitter Reciever Expert
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Why is the Bose 321 DVD system freezing?

Resolved Question:

Why is the Bose 321 DVD system periodically, more often lately, freezing during certain DVD or CD play? Often I cannot read disc at all and displays either 'cannot read disc' or 'format not compatible'.

It is constantly cleaned appropriately, laser lens is cleaned after at least every 10 or less of use and all CDs and DVDs are the same region and are all new or like new.

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Lancew561 replied 8 years ago.

Hello RS,

Good news follow my proved professional laser cleaning method below also a link to a repair company that has been doing out of warranty Bose for over 20 years and at a flat rate yours I believe even if needing a new laser would be $99 plus freight (much better than factory rate) but do try quality cleaning method first.

Sometimes if CD disk is still spinning sometimes one of the cleaning disks with little brushes on the bottom will work but if laser does not focus it will never spin the disk. Hence no cleaning disk will clean.

Since this does not work try a professional cleaning like below:

Remove screws from cover lid with unit unplugged. Get isopropyl alcohol 80-90% pure from say Walgreen's. Original regular blue Windex works great also. With Q tip clean laser 1/4 inch diameter glass lens in circular motion and dry with other end. This cleans dust off laser and works much better than any cleaning disk. If cleaning laser lens does not fix the laser needs replacement. This works on any CD, DVD player and/or recorder.

Please Note some Bose units have special anti-tamper screws on bottom that great news Home Depo & Lowes hardware have in stock. If so bring unit in to the tool section & they will usually help get it apart.

If above does not work check out this great semi-hidden company....

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Lance, I just got back from vacation and i saw your prompt answer, which I appreciate. Sorry, I haven't gotten back to you sooner. I will try your quality cleaning method you advised. however, it may be a day or two before i know the results due to not having 80%-90% Isopropyl alcohol on hand. I only have 70% IA (rubbing alcohol) which is probably I assume not pure enough for proper cleaning. nor do i have windex on hand, either.

Furthermore, i believe but not certain that the screws may be anti-tamper ones like you suggested and if so there is a lowes and home depot near my home to further my progress. So again thanks for all your advice and your patience. i ask please be a bit more while i pursue the cleaning avenue you outlined and if it works i will gladly accept the answer and give excellent feedback and possibly a bonus to boot. if it does not i will use your link you provided and go the laser replacement route. standby a bit longer and i will definitely be in contact. thanks again.

Expert:  Lancew561 replied 8 years ago.

Hello Rick,

Yes that is great this will time out in about 12 hours. I have ordered a complete laser assembly from Bose for a unit and replaced myself with total cost about $90 including freight so not to bad even if cleaning does not help.

Check out this link that shows laser mechanisms so you can see what they look like:

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