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I have a freshly completed install of Ubuntu 11.04, and the CD tray opens and closes all by itself. I cannot detect any pattern to when, or why.

I've rebooted, and disconnected all networking (both wi-fi and ethernet) and the spirits inside still open and close the CD Tray.

Hardware seems fine (wasn't happening with an earlier install of WinXP).

How can I determine what is process causing this, and how can I stop it?

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I find it only happens when colleagues are around :] – mousio Oct 17 '11 at 20:23
Does it do it if you disconnect the data cable from the optical drive? Or does it do it while outside of the OS (say sitting in the mainboard's BIOS setup, or if you boot from a LiveCD)? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 17 '11 at 20:24

Have you tried using the lsof (list open files) command? This may help identify the process accessing the drive, specifically:

# lsof /dev/cdrom (or whatever your device is called)

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I know you mentioned it may not be hardware but seems like if it was happening when you had windows xp installed as well then it makes me believe it could be. I repair lots of laptop optical drives and they are very easy to install sometimes they are not even screwed in. CD Drives are also really cheap. I recommend buying a used one off of ebay and giving it a shot.

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I've had a couple of machines where it was caused by pressure on the drive button from a external flap on the case - in once instance even someone walking by on the wooden floor would sometimes cause the drive to open.

The fix is usually to slacken the mounting screws on the drive and move it back a very small amount.

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