Optical drive not detected, tried all solutions

By dvddriver · 11 replies
Sep 10, 2011
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  1. My IDE DVD writer stopped appearing in Windows 7, although it is detected in BIOS. It worked fine until this problem started. It does not appear in device manager or explorer. The drawer opens and closes and the LED goes on, but it won't read or write disks.

    I have swapped the optical drive for a known working drive, and still no optical drive was detected by Windows. The swapped out unit works fine on another computer.

    I have installed a new IDE cable, but that didn't solve the problem. The cable is seated fully, no pins are bent, and the plug is properly oriented in the socket. The drive is at the end of the IDE cable and set to "master." There are no other IDE drives on this computer.

    I looked in regedit to delete the upper and lower limits, but there were no such commands.

    I have removed and reseated the RAM.

    Both SATA drives I have installed work fine and there are no other issues with this computer.

    I would try to repair Windows, but I can't because the optical drive won't read my Windows install CD.

    What next?
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Highlight the entries and hit the delete key.
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Can you boot a CD/DVD? (i.e. does it fail reading disks only under Windows)
  4. dvddriver

    dvddriver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I can boot from my Windows install CD. Once booted and in Windows, the optical drive isn't detected in either device manager or Windows Explorer.
  5. dvddriver

    dvddriver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There are no entries called "highlimit" or "lowlimit" to highlight and delete
  6. dvddriver

    dvddriver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've also tried the Microsoft website for a fix. None of their suggestions works.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    It's very strange if you say the CD drive is detected in BIOS but it is not detected in Device Manager??? (you do mean Device Manager, right?)

    You might try booting from a Knoppix CD. If the drive works under Knoppix, its a Windows problem. You may need to reinstall. If the drive doesn't work under Knoppix either, i would guess it'll be hardware issue. See step 2 in [post=766270]How to recover your folders/files when Windows won’t boot[/post]
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    /* post removed by author */
    I just double checked.

    My original post was incorrect. Internal CD/DVD drives connect through IDE. Thus they don't get listed in the System Devices section of a dxdiag report
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    the only thing you said you haven't done is replace the cable.
  10. dvddriver

    dvddriver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I did swap the cable for a known good one.
  11. dvddriver

    dvddriver TS Rookie Topic Starter

  12. dvddriver

    dvddriver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    UPDATE: As a work-around, I've installed an IDE to SATA adapter. This has completely restored access to, and function of my DVD writer.

    I think the throughput may be slower this way, so I would still like to get the IDE connection working again. Now that I have a working DVD drive, I can try a Windows repair.

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