i prefer to clean laser pickup gently with qtip inside the mechanizm. you can get descent cleaning liquids from parsexpress.com
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you'll have to open your top cover and than you'll have to open the housing to reach CD-tray where you will see laser lens on the bottom. there's no way to check it technically, but if explicit cleaning would not stop skipping, you will have to take appart mechanizm or simply replace it. the mechanizm itself should not cost a fortune and in most cases is in $3x.xx range.