DVD/CD disc drive doesn't work anymore

By Dajo
Jun 18, 2010
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  1. It used to be so easy -- I'd just put a cd in the tray and automatically get the response of a dialog box (menu?) on the screen asking me what function I choose...play CD, watch a DVD movie, etc. Upon clicking "play cd" the music started to play -- never a problem.

    Now it appears that the PC is not recognizing the disk drive, even though the drive's info reads "this device is working properly" and the hardware wizard could not find a more up-to-date driver when it searched. I had the PC ,amufacturer's tech in the phone for help this past Saturday. He took remote control access to my computer and firstly, removed filters he said were in the Registry. CD still wouldn't play...still not detected. Next he uninstalled and reinstalled the driver. Still nothing.

    Well, he determined that since it wasn't a problem with the sotware, ,the disk drive itself must be broken, so I need a hardware replacement. (Yike, here I go with even *more* expense. lol

    My question is how do I go about buying a disk drive from a store and have it installed? (the manufacturer no longer carries parts for my machine, says it's too many years old (five).

    What detailed information should I give the store in order to get the correct, conpatible device for my PC? It'll probably be online shopping or telephone.
    Oh, I forgot to mention I am unable to take my machine somewhere to get this done. The phone tech suggested having the Geek Squad from Best Buy come to my home to install for a fee. This electronic parts repair/replacement bit is
    all new to me, making ,me very aggravated.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    DVD/CD drives are usually good for 3-5 years. Some last less than while others will function longer. If you got 5+ years out of it you did well.

    These drives are not all that expensive. Do you know someone with tech knowledge that could put one in for you. If they do it is not at all difficult to do and they would be able to size up your system.

    Can you give us the make and model of your system?
  3. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thank you, Route44. Yes, my system is an HP Pavilion model a1220n, desktop pc. Built and purchased in 2005. The disk drive is HP LightScribe DVD + - Writer/CD-Writer. OS is Windows XP Homr Edition.

    Anything else?
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

  5. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Wow, that's an amazing link you provided me...thanks!

    Yes, standard is supported.
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    I meant to have you ask if the drive is IDE or SATA. I am leaning towards SATA but I want to make sure. Ask HP again if you can. Sorry, but don't want to have you purchase the wrong drive.

    Lastly, do you have a friend with some tech knowledge?
  7. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    It's IDE.

    Oh, no need for 'sorry'...I totally appreciate your being so thorough and precise. Very helpful in making sure I do the right thing.

    No friends or relatives with technical ,knowledge. Last resort would probably be the professional technician I've had here on housecall to fix some computer problems in the past.
  8. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Couldn't find 'edit' button, so I did another post

    I believe I spoke too soon on the drive info.. I know the HARD drive is 200 GB SATA, but I;m gonna have to double-check about the OPTICAL drive. Back soon.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,390   +828

    PCs from this era had both SATA and IDE drives. In my Emachines T-5026, (Intel 915 based) the HDDs are SATA, but the opticals are on the IDE buss. Your machine may be similar.
  10. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Captaincranky. I appreciate your input. I do see IDE info ;listed in the Device Manager. right beneath my DVD/CD drive name (if that means anything).

    Route44, I had intended to be back here sooner than this, but after fealing with various household distractions, the HP agent I got for answers this time was a pain. He kept me on the line forever, prolonging the call by trying to sell me any number of out-of-warranty service plan packages. He had all my product information, serial number included, my situation was explained clearly -- .there was no way in heck it should have taken him all day to tell me either "IDE" or "SATA". I had to let dude go. He may still be holding the phone receiver, saying, "M'am, I'm still waiting for the information to come up, but in the meantime...."

    The company doesn't have it noted in the support or specs of their website either.

    So, one and all, at this point, I'm not sure how to proceed.
  11. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    With capataincranky's valuable input and your information from the device manager I would say IDE is correct but we can do one more test to make absoluttely sure. Take off your side panel of your case and find your DVD drive. There should be a cable leading from this drive to your motherboard (and power molex leading to your power supply).

    Question: Is the cable like a ribbon?

    * By the way, are you able to remove the other side panel?
     
  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,385   +205

    If the question is whether the drive is IDE or SATA, one way you can tell the difference is by the cable connections on the back of the drive. The IDE drive usually will have a wide, flat, grey ribbon cable about two inches wide whereas the SATA cable will much narrower, like 3/8" wide and a bit thicker. These are the data cables to which I am referring. Often there are two devices attached to the same IDE cable, like an optical drive and a hard drive, whereas the SATA cable will only have one device connected to each one. The power cables are different too but not as easy to tell apart to a novice.

    Another way to determine the difference is to remove the cables from the back of the drive and look at the drive. You might have to remove the drive to get a good look depending on how it is mounted in the case and if anything is obstructing your view. Since you will have to remove the drive anyway to replace it, this is good practice for this event because if for some reason you can't figure out how to remove it, you might as well take it to a shop and have it done. Anyway, look at the back of the drive and see if it matches this IDE drive: HP IDE drive or this SATA drive: HP SATA drive. There is a clear difference between the two.

    Please note that, although I used HP brand drives as an example, any brand drive will work and you don't have to buy an HP replacement drive.
  13. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Definite match to this one.

    Rock on, mailpup...thanks so much. Your contribution was so in-depth and very educational for me. Route44, you're a treasure to think of doing one more test by checking for the ribbon cable.
  14. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    Okay, now take a look at this link to NewEgg.com: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=ide dvd burner

    It contains various offerings of IDE DVD/CD drives. The OEM designation means that it is a bare drive, i.e. no cables, no screws. However, you really don't need them because you can use your existing cables and screws. Also note that a number of them have Light Scribe capability that your original drive had.


    * By the way, NewEgg is highly reputable.
  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,385   +205

    Not that Route44 needs my agreement but I concur with him. Let me add one thing about IDE (PATA) drives. At the back they have a jumper which bridges two pins. The jumper is a small plastic and metal bridge. If you need to change a setting, remove and install the jumper with tweezers, a needle nose pliers, your fingernails or similar tool. The drives have three settings: Master, Slave and Cable Select. There will be a diagram stamped or printed on the drive to tell you which pins represent the three settings. Whatever setting the old drive is set to, set the replacement drive to the same setting.
  16. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I'm still taking time to read up on all the drives offered at Newegg (and their reviews). Thanks for pointing the way there, Route44.

    Mailpup, I will keep that in mind about the jumper and settings. Thanks

    Will return with update.
  17. Dajo

    Dajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I ordered this one from Newegg.com today:

    LITE-ON 22X DVD Writer Black IDE Model Ihap322-98
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