How do I determine if my cd drive is dead

By rinpoche85
Feb 7, 2009
  1. I'm so not remotely the computer geek. So I have a relativelysimple question. How do I determine if my cd driver is dead? And, what can be done to remedy it? I believe it's dead because the led light (and even writing that is going into uncharted territory, and is conjecture on my part) only comes on for a second if I put a cd in. When the cd is in I can't hear anything and I get a mssg. that says (and it is a loose paraphrase "cuz" my memory is horrible) that says that there is no cd in there or something like that.
  2. rev_olie

    rev_olie TS Maniac Posts: 560

    If you open the side then check that the wide IDE cable going into the drive is still in tightly. This cable

    Then generally if that is plugged in then is possibly dead. Due to the cost then its probably easier to get a new one.

    Post back if you need more tips or installation tips.
  3. rinpoche85

    rinpoche85 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanx for the info and the pix
    I truly appreciate it

  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    you can also replace a suspect bad cable and see if that helps. But once the laser goes bad, (sometimes they do) - replace the drive. They're very cheap nowadays and not worth repairing. In fact, i don't know of a shop that does.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Sometimes you can go to the manufacturers website found on the sticker on the top of the optical drive, then using that model download the Firmware for it. If it won't install, that can be an indicator the drive is bad.
    But the advice that say nothing is worth the effort are correct.
    Since the demise of the floppy drive and the phone modem, the optical drives are the highest failure items installed in a PC or Mac computer. The market forced them to be too cheap, at $18 to $24 to $39 each... so they can never make them well enough to last at that price. Most are machine made to a great extent, and the others from little asian hands on an assembly line.
    You can delay the failure by purchase of a top end unit by Plextor or Yamaha.
    But buying a new optical drive is simply a cost of doing business or using your computer.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    All of the above are valid suggestions, but they are also far more complicated than what should be done first to check if the drive is dead.

    Simply find a bootable cd (most Windows disks are, memtest is, the disk that may have came with a hard drive, recovery cds, ect) and insert that, and reboot the computer. You will want to verify that the Boot Order in your bios is set to have the CD drive ahead of the hard drive.

    If it boots, the drive isn't dead. If it doesn't, the drive is. This completely rules out any software issues and looks at it purely at a hardware level, which is exactly what you need to do.
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