no disk in drive

By gardunk
Sep 6, 2007
  1. My Dell Dimension 3000 will no longer read any disks it says no disk in drive .Does this mean I have to get a new drive and can I go with something other than Dell...the reviews are not it an option to upgrade to a cd-rom/dvd-rom drive and is this something I need help with or can I do it myself...I am definitely challenged on this...please help...Dunk
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    It depends where you are. In the UK getting Dell spares is like blood out of a stone - I gather things are much better in the US of A.
    Having said that, any standard 5.25" optical drive will work. Check before you buy whether it is a IDE or SATA drive - you don't say how old the machine is so I guess it is out of warranty and therefore IDE. Fitting is usually 4 screws and 2 or 3 cable connections. Just make sure the power is off before you take the case to pieces.
    Any retail boxed drive will have the proper software bundled with it.
    Lastly, you could just make sure it is not dirt on the optics by running a CD cleaner over it.
    Best of luck!
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    You can replace it yourself with little to no difficulty. Buy yourself a replacement drive with an IDE interface. Best to buy from someplace online such as because you'll pay about half the price you would at Wal-Mart or Staples.

    Then its just a matter of unplugging the old drive (IDE cable and power cable) and then looking to see if its jumper is set to master (likely) or slave. Then make sure the new drive is set the same as the old drive was, put it in, and connect up the power and IDE cable. Do this while the computer is off of course.

    You may also want to check that the IDE cable on your current drive is pushed all the way into the drive first, before you buy a new drive. Its unlikely that it worked loose, but not impossible.

    Edit: *shakes fist at AlbertLionheart, 1 minute..
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    It may be that there is a bad chip on the back of the hard drive.
    Or it may mean a cable has come loose, or a BIOS conflict.
    Usually it is a failed drive.
    If you feel comfortable putting your hands inside the case... removing the two screws and sliding off the protective cover, you can remove and reseat all the plugs.
    The Dimension 3000 is a computer that uses EIDE flat cables, and the hard drives are not expensive at some sources such as,, and among many others. You can replace the drive fairly easily if you have a #1 or #2 phillips screwdriver
    At ZipZoomFly, I recommend Seagate drives because of their five year warranty. A replacement 80 GB is $50, 160 GB is $62, and 250 GB with a 1`6 mb Buffer is my choice at $72... all with free shipping.
    You do not have to buy from Dell, but you do need the disc recovery set. The Windows XP disk is usually Maroon, Grey, or yellowish green for that model. When you cold boot to that disc, it will format the drive, then install windows.
    Recovery the data from your other drive is possible in about 67 percent of the cases... you need to install it jumpered as slave, and the new drive jumpered as master, and see if the computer will see it. Otherwise, you need to have a technician's involvement. That might be more expensive than the drive is worth.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    He's not talking about a hard drive, he's talking about an CD/DVD drive.
  6. gardunk

    gardunk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    have ordered a cd rom drive with IDE interface but confused on replacement not get terms jumper and the master slave thing and where can I get a disk recovery set
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    On the back end of every optical drive there are four or five sets of dual posts, over which you place a clip made of plastic and copper. This clip creates a connection which functions as a switch. Each set of pins finds a designation embossed or stamped into the case near by for MS, SL, and CS This gives you the ability to chose between a "Cable Select" install where the position on the EIDE cable determines the order and operation of the drive; Master, or Slave. Most drives are shipped with Cable Select jumpers installed, but if you have two optical drives and want one to be considered first or Master, you place the jumper on those two pins marked MS. But then the second or secondary drive must be jumpered SL for slave. Otherwise, neither would work because the motherboard could not be able to detect which is which.

    The disk recovery set is usually three or four discs that are shipped with a new PC. Their distribution is ruled by Microsoft. There is one disk for OS or Recovery Set or Restore set... which is a limited operating system. When it boots up, it must find in the BIOS (usually an EEPROM Chip on the motherboard) that this computer is allowed to have this operating system. If it does not find the EEPROM Code or "Tattoo", it cannot install the operating system. This limits the disc to that system or part number of computer. There other discs are usually "Drivers", Applications, software that was shipped with the original computer, and someones one other disk with burner software and/or sound system software for the more fancy units.
    Most manufacturers no longer ship these other discs, but place the drivers, applications, and folders online so that you can download them.
    Microsoft will not allow the operating system to be downloaded.
    So, they allow the manufacturer to ship one more OS or Recovery or Restore disct to the registered owner UNTIL THE MANUFACTURER RUNS OUT OF THEM. NO MORE THAN ONE FOLLOW UP DISC CAN BE SHIPPED.
    If you own the computer, go to Dell or the manufacturer, and register the computer in your name even though you do not know the original owner. Then wait seven days for that registration to be authorized. Now you can order a new restore disc... IF NOBODY ELSE HAS ORDERED ONE FOR THAT SERVICE TAG OR SERIAL NUMBER.

    It comes in as few as three days. They will charge you something.

    Each manufacturer charges a different rate. We have paid as little as $14 and as high as $49, depending on the manufacturer. HP charges $27, but the disc set arrives in two days by Federal Express.

    Once it arrives, and you have installed a new hard drive or removed the partition in your old drive, you can cold boot to that disc after a full shut down. Your hard drive will be re-partitioned, and Windows reinstalled.

    However, you cannot save old data that you had on your drive. You must find another way to do that. You can only restore the drive and computer to the way it was when brand new.
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