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cd dvd combo drive plays dvds but will not read audio or data cds

By nowino
Jul 10, 2005
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  1. I recently replaced the hard drive in my 3 year old HP notebook. The original HD was an IBM Travelstar 20 gig and the new HD is an IBM Travelstar 40 gig. I am not sure if this is related to my problem but note it here just in case. After reloading my OS with factory provided restore discs as well as downloading other freeware such as hijack this and ad-aware se, my Sony CD-RW DVD combo drive will not read data or audio cds. It reads them as being blank cds and after the auto-run starts the box asking me what I would like to do with the inserted blank cd pops up. DVDs however play perfectly in the system. Obviously the drive was working when I reloaded my OS with the factory restore discs. I ran hijack this once after installing to establish an ignore list of installations on the restore that are not a regular part of my Windows XP Home but I have not deleted anything. I have upgraded the driver, un-installed and re-installed the drive, downloaded Windows updates (SP-1 and 2 and other patches) amongst other suggested solutions and have restored the computer back to when I first re-installed the OS all to no avail. The only thing I have not done is a complete reload of the OS. I have seen some solutions that speak about BIOS updates and configurations and HD partitions but they are in response to problems similar to mine but not exactly the same thing. I am reluctant to try those without more info. I am at this point thoroughly exasperated. I want to reload some picture and audio files as well as reload Office XP on my machine but can't. Please help. Any suggestions?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    Well, here's what you can do to narrow it down to a software issue. You said the drive obviously was working when you reloaded your OS from the factory restore disks, which I have no dispute on. So how about rebooting with one of those disks in there again (the first one thats bootable), if it boots off of that again great, but be sure to cancel everything so it doesn't wipe your existing system.

    Provided it boots from that your drive is still good, and it is something in Windows, something I can't think of right now though :)
  3. nowino

    nowino TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did attempt a reload with the factory discs and the drive read them fine. The new HP help and support files on their website makes mention of the problem but their solution is to try different type discs meaning blanks. Nothing about what to do with discs that have already been burned and worked previously in the same drive and laptop. Just something about contacting support but this notebook is long out of warranty. I know this is a software conflict someplace but no one seems to be able to pin it down so I guess that I am resigned to the fact that I'll have to try a reload of the OS from the factory restore discs and try the data populated discs I am presently trying to load before and after each subsequent reload of the web-based software that I presently have installed to find the culprit. I have read something about settings in the high and low filters of my BIOS needing to be re-set and then something about a firmware download because my DVD is not region locked but once again the drive reads and plays DVDs fine but treats burned data and pictures CDs as blanks. ie...it doesn't read the data on them.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    Well in a way man thats as bad as a faulty drive. I think unfortunately reloading the OS is about the only thing I can think of.

    You don't happen to know anyone else with a laptop with a combo drive do you? Preferably one with similar specs. If so you could try and convince him to swap drives. Thats probably a longshot unless you are a student.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    That is a hardware issue. Those combo-drives have 2 lenses, one for DVD and one for CD.
    My brother-in-law had the identical problem with a Toshiba drive, I brought it to the shop where I bought his (used Gateway) PC for him, they fixed it within 5 minutes. Said it happened all the time with those Toshibas.
    Open the drive and check that the really thin film-like flat-cable for the heads is connected properly.
    Apparently they can 'work' themselves out. All you need to do is 'reseat' them.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    How do you figure its that? Unless the restore disk is a dvd rather than a cd.
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