cd/dvd drive refusing to read cds

By stardamage ยท 5 replies
Aug 26, 2005
  1. Hi,
    I have a Gateway 450ROG laptop, and my CD/DVD drive abruptly stopped reading audio and data CDs. Somehow it still manages to read DVDs fine, but nothing else. It doesn't acknowledge anything in the drive at all unless it's a DVD - there are no error messages or anything, it's just as though nothing was in the drive.

    Can anyone help? I'm about to go back to college and a CD/DVD drive that works would be really useful... :confused:
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,185   +469

    My feeling is the drive should be replaced.
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666


    You can try cleaning the laser with alcohol on a cotton swab. Or go get one of those CD cleaning disks with the little brushes on it.

    Beyond that, it's likely a physical problem that isn't worth trying to fix.

    Though I suppose there is a tiny chance it can still be a software issue. Can you read a regular CD outside of Windows? As in, perhaps boot off a CD? Or read a CD from a DOS prompt? Try that.

    Good luck
  4. g.freeman

    g.freeman TS Rookie Posts: 38

    this happens all the time with my pc's (not laptops but same problem) u just need to replace them since it reads dvds and cds im guessing theres 2 different parts to it (just a hunch) and the dvd section is fine but the cd is not theres no fix if cleaning it doesnt work, but im not sure how much a laptop dvd/cd drive costs. for my pcs its cheap its a simple fix just replace it.
  5. stardamage

    stardamage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies!

    I was thinking that it was a hardware problem, yeah, because when I temporarily replaced the drive it worked...and also I'd never heard of a software problem causing it to play only DVDs. I did have some hope that I'd be able to fix it without having to replace the drive, though...

    Thanks again!
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    The biggest "software problem" that comes to mind are two things.

    Any kind of CD-Burning apps. An old version of Nero, InCD, EZ CD Creator and so forth. Which leads to "upperfilter" and "lowerfilter" settings in the registry causing trouble.
    But like you said, I'm not sure if upper and lowerfilter settings can affect all but DVDs, though I know they can prevent access altogether.

    Before you buy a new drive, it won't hurt to swipe a q-tip of alcohol on that laser. But somehow I think you'll end up with a new drive.
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