A friend of a friend's having problems with his CD ROM Drive

By jay2
Apr 24, 2008
  1. A friend of mine sent me an Email RE a problem with a CDROM he's got in someone elses PC. here that Email

    Hi Jay.

    I'm working on a friends (OLD)PC and he wants me to do a fresh install of XP. Problem is that his CD-ROM will not boot on start-up.
    I have changed BIOS to boot the CDROM first. No good. Changed to a new CDROM drive, wont boot from a the CDROM. I can start Win 2000 and then run XP (legit copy) setup from there but it will only allow me to do a fresh install but will not allow me to remove the previous Win 2000 partition. The only way to install XP is to install it on the same partition as 2000. Win 2000 partition is NTFS

    BTW Just installed a new 40 GB HDD (only way I was able to install any OS onto this HDD was to run the 98 boot disk and install 98SE first.I tried to install XP directly from the D:prompt using the command "setup" but I get" cannot run in DOS mode"

    Please help I am stumped as to what to do
    to fix this problem.
    I have installed Windows O/S on several machines and this is the first one I have had this cdrom problem.

    I have probably confused you by now, so please email me and hopefully we can figure out a solution together.
    Thanks in advance for you help

    I asked him if it worked when he got on to XP and if Device manager said it was working, his reply.

    Hi Jaime,

    First thanks for helping with my problem.
    Yes the CDROM is not able to function when the PC is turned on, the tray will not auto-close and even if I close tray manually I will get one flash from the CDROM activity light and then nothing.But I am able to get it to run after Windows has booted. Once I am up and running XP I can do anything I wish with the CDROM drive.
    Remember this is an old IBM Aptiva 2176 desktop.
    Thanks for any help you can send my way.
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    If there is no response from the optical drive inside or outside the Windows environment, and the drive has been replaced, perhaps either the data cable being used is defective, or, there is something disabled within the BIOS. Tell them to set the BIOS to it's default or optimal settings and replace the data cable if that fails.

    About two months ago one of the systems I was looking at had PATA disabled in the BIOS :p. Caused the exact same issues...
  3. jay2

    jay2 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    theres an update

    Reset BIOS to default which is Floppy,HDD,CDROM. If I try to change the boot order to CDROM first, all entries change to "not installed" I can set HDD to first boot but I cannot set floppy or CD to boot sequence. It is like I have no other drives installed I have to default BIOS again to re-set boot order to the above factory settings of Floppy.HDD then CDROM.
    Did not try another IDE cable. Dont have an extra one and this is not my PC. I am working on it for a friend.
    Really frustrating not being able to boot from CDROM. Cannot do a fresh install of XP or even boot a CD of Linux Ubuntu or Mandriva. Have only been able to install Windows 98se which only uses FAT32 and will only recognize 8GB of my HDD space If I try to install 2000 or XP it will not allow me to delete that partition and install 2000 or XP onto the 8GB partition leaving the rest of the HDD unused. If I could boot from CDROM I should be able to format and partition entire HDD to NTFS. Then I could continue the install and all would be fine.
    Note: I have NEVER had this much problem before and I have installed 98se,2000, XP , Vista,and several Linux distros on quite a few systems in the past.
    Any other workarounds or suggestions?
    Thanks for all your help
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Yeah, go spend $2.99 on a PATA cable or borrow one from the millions of PCs in circulation and see if your friend's is defective :).
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