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CD/DVD drive not reading discs

By pitcher12k
Feb 26, 2014
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  1. I have had this laptop for several years but recently the cd/dvd drive has stopped reading discs. In the past couple of months it has gone from sometimes reading a disc to not reading any disc I try putting in. I have tried using different discs and lately it has not been reading any of the ones I try. I have tried uninstalling the driver and restarting my computer but that hasn't helped. I tried to update the driver from the device manager but it just tells me that I have the current version. From what I can remember, I started noticing the problem soon after I installed VLC media player, but I'm not sure how to determine if that is causing the issue or not. I have also tried to delete the 'Upper Filters' from the registry but I can't find the files named "Upper Filter" or "Lower Filter." Earlier this week a co-worker suggested I try one a 'cleaning cd' that has little brushes on it to clean the lens in the drive, but I am a little hesitant about that but I am willing to try it. Just last night I tried wiping the lens with a cotton swab/Q-tip with a little bit of rubbing alcohol on it to see if that would help but I am still having trouble today.

    My computer is a Dell Insprion 1545 running Windows 7 64-bit. In the device manager under DVD/CD-ROM Drives it has "HL-DT-ST DVD+-RW GT10N"

    If there is any other information that would help I will do my best to find it but I am not very computer-literate :/ Thanks for taking the time to read through all this!
     
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,398   +169

    First see if you can boot your computer from CD. If you can't, then your drive is shot
     
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  3. Philip Booth

    Philip Booth TS Member Posts: 18

    Firstly, you must sure that the laptop can identify CD/DVD drive, If yes then contact an expert, that means the CD/DVD device have some problem else check the IDE cable.
     
  4. pitcher12k

    pitcher12k TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    LookinAround, I don't think I have a bootable disc available, but I tried making one (using ultimatebootdisc.com) without success :/ The drive isn't completely shot (at least I don't think it is) because it can still identify files on a DVD every now and then. What I mean is that with a certain disc, sometimes when I put it in the drive it can read the disc and show me the video files, but other times it doesn't recognize that there is a disc in the drive.

    Phillip Booth, I think it is identifying the drive correctly. It is listed in the device manager and when I click on "Computer" I can see it under "Removable Storage." Is there any way to be confident that it is an issue with the cable and not just a software problem?

    Thank you both for your replies, and I apologize for not getting back to you sooner :/
     
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,654   +323

    You don't have a dell recovery dvd or a Windows install disk that you can boot from? What about a friend or family member's computer that you could burn a simple bootable cd from (like memtest).

    Intermittent success with it working does point to failing hardware IMO. Unfortunately, buying a replacement internal drive seems to be just as expensive as buying an external drive with the same capabilities. If you absolutely won't consider an external option, then ebay seems to be your best bet from my limited searching on this matter.

    If you don't need to burn DVDs, you can pick one up for about $16. http://www.ebay.com/sch/I.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=dell replacement dvd burner&_sop=15
     
  6. JbdQl33

    JbdQl33 TS Rookie

    Perhaps a bit late. There are a lot of HP and Dell machines with the same problem. The DVD drive stops reading DVD's including autostart DVD's. Mine I replaced by an external one. With after a while getting the same problem. That problem is a Windows problem, as Windows does not detects the drive (a 3 times bump sound is the 3 times trial by Explorer to open the drive. As soon as I hang the external in/on another PC, the drive has no problem.

    Perhaps you can try that, too, hanging your DVD-drive in/on another machine?
     
  7. pitcher12k

    pitcher12k TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    SNGX, it is certainly possible that I have one somewhere, but I haven't found it and my wife isn't sure where it would be either. I tried searching for memtest and found a .com and a .org site. Both of them look ok to me, but the .com seems to have a more recent update. I am not really interested in buying an external drive because I still have other computers available to me, both at home and at work, that can read DVDs without any issues. I can definitely understand if it is just that my computer is getting old and losing some functionality :/

    JbdQI33, somehow I am not too surprised to hear that :p I am not sure what 'hanging' the drive on another computer means though :/ How do you do that? And if I was able to do that, would it be able to show whether or not the drive is at fault?

    As an update, I recently installed Quicktime to use for work (I need to view videos frame by frame) and since then it has been reading the DVD with the files on it just fine. I haven't tried any other DVDs yet, and I'm also not sure if this is relevant or not :p

    Thank you all for your help! I really appreciate it :)
     


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