CD drive issues

By bobstolemycooki ยท 6 replies
Jan 5, 2007
  1. I'm a little lacking when it comes to technical terms so please, bare with me :p

    My grandmother has a rather old desktop and it recently upgraded from Windows 98 to XP home. Shortly after, the two CD drives (one read and the other Read/Write) began to have the same problem: for every disk I'd put into either of them, I would get the same error, "disk corrupt...." (there's more but I don't remember the specifics, this was a few months ago). This happened every time, with every single disk I tried. I gave up for the day after a dozen or so disks and went hom.

    A few days ago, I went back to try and install something for her and when I put the CD in the drive, to my surprise, nothing happened! No error, no jingle of recognition, absolutely nothing! I went to My Computer and there was no little icon to indicate D drive or E drive for that matter (the letters assigned to the two drives, I'm sure of it). Anyways, I went to my hardware profile and they wern't listed anywhere. Stupid Windows, I thought, as I checked my BIOS. To my surprise, Windows wasn't to blame, the BIOS didn't recognize them either.

    I checked that everything was plugged in properly on both drives and replaced both drives with spare drives I had lying around- several times and still neither windows nor the BIOS recognized them. I finally changed the data cable leadign to the drives (the gray wide one, I don't know the name) and finally, the BIOS recognized them but, when I booted to Windows, it froze. I rebooted the computer after letting the computer try to sort its self out for about 2 hours and it wouldn't boot to Windows, even when I selected to "restart from your last working config" (I know that's not the exact phrasing but I'm sure someone will figure out what I mean...).

    I returned yesterday to my grandmother's house and tried again to boot the computer. It booted to windows without a problem but, once again, Windows wouldn't recognize either of the drives...

    (and sorry for the overly long post, I'm ratehr talkative :D )
  2. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    My advice would be to try a repair install of windows or just reinstall windows without formatting the partition.
  3. bobstolemycooki

    bobstolemycooki TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Since it'll be a day or two untill I'm there again, I may as well ask this now.
    Will this also fix the problem with the BIOS recognizing the drive?
  4. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    I thought you said that the BIOS would recognize the drive after you changed the data cable?
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Optical drives have a high failure rate, and when they fail, one often gets the results you report.
    If the drives are over one year old and have had some use, replace them.
    Some can also be fixed by replacing the belt from the bottom of the drives, but that is nearly as expensive as buying a new drive from Wal-Mart. You will be happy with LG, Plextor, Yamaha, Teac, or Samsung. Stay away from Sony, HP, HLDS, LaCie, Hitachi, and noname brands.
    Replacement is easy... Just do the new one like the old one. A CDRW drive will be $29 or less. DVD will be $49 or less.
  6. bobstolemycooki

    bobstolemycooki TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have several drives lying around that I know work, as I tested all of them myself (most of them recently) and one is about 3 months old. I got the same end result each time.
    Sorry, I must have been unclear. After windows froze and I rebooted, the BIOS didn't recognize it either (again). I was litereally right back where I started.

    I should probably mention that the computer was thrown together out of spare parts several years ago. I don't know if that's relevant but I used it as my main desktop for a few years and I never had any problems with it.
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    For lack of a better suggestion and in the category of "It can't hurt to check," go to the Device Manager and check the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Check the channels to see if any of them have switched from DMA to the slower PIO. If so, you can try to switch it back right then and there. If after restarting it doesn't stay switched, you can try uninstalling the channel, rebooting and let Windows reinstall the device and driver. See if that helps.
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