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What's the point?
Well, a fair question, IF indeed, the optical drive failed, it's not worth 'repairing', although the article didn't go this far, what it was heading to was, one CAN reuse the controller board, that 'converts' IDE signals to USB, (or SATA, Firewire...) And, sometimes, one will find a simple small flaw that can be fixed, a loose wire, bad solder joint, etc, that WILL repair it. Doing a postmortem on these things is a good idea, you can learn what to watch out for in the future, as I mentioned about the ribbon cables in another post. Otherwise, you are correct, what's the point? If the optical drive actually HAS failed, there's usually nothing you can do about it other than replacement. The days of wielding a soldering iron and fixing, rather than replacing, are long gone. And, one must consider their time, how valuable it it?