CD Drive doesn't work unless a CD is inserted during login

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Danny R, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    I've got a really weird problem.

    My CD drive doesn't seem to work unless a CD is inserted when you login to XP. It doesn't matter what CD you insert, just so long as one is present. After login you can switch cd's normally and they work fine.

    On the other hand, if you don't have one, then you can't read any CD's at all after that point, as just an empty folder comes up when you click on the CD drive. The OS seems to be able to control the drive, as it receives eject commands, etc from the OS.

    When no CD is present in login, the windows My Computer screen calls the drive a CD Drive. If a CD is present during login, or the tray is ejected during login, it recognizes it correctly as a CD-RW Drive. In non-functional mode however it can tell if the CD inserted is a CD-Rom or CDR. However written CDRs it thinks are blank and brings up the usual window asking what you want to do with the burnable CD.

    I've switched CD drives with the same symptoms. I've reinstalled XP (repair, not new install which I can't do due to losing data), and have added the Service Packs which weren't present before. No effect. Any other ideas on what might be causing this?

    Any suggestions on what to try next to fix this problem?
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'd check the cable very carefully. It could have worked itself partially loose from the motherboard, and/or has a nick in the it?

    Glenn
     
  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Damn. Double post. Whoops.
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I highly doubt that the cable would be of any value. If there's a broken or damaged cable, he would not have very specific symptoms such as this. The drive would either be there in Windows or it wouldn't regardless of whether there is a CD in the drive or not, or the drive would just act up regardless.

    I would put more on potential incompatibilities with XP and the drive that you're using. Have to tried booting off a floppy disk with CD-ROM drivers on it? If not, I would try http://www.bootdisk.com/ and get a bootable disk with CD-ROM drivers. This way you can rule out whether or not the problem might be XP.

    The only thing that the problem is most likely to be, assuming that it's not Windows XP (and we all know how much I love Windows XP -- not), is the drive itself. When Windows boots, it makes queries to the system to determine whether or not devices are there or new devices have been added. The same goes for CD-ROM drives. It is possible that the CD-ROM drive is failing and is not properly reporting disc changes to the operating system after being queried by the system. That's a long shot, mind you, but I've seen stranger things happen with CD-ROM drives.

    The first thing you should do is to rule out XP. Get a 98 boot disk with CD-ROM drivers, try booting with and without a CD in the drive, change CDs, confirm the contents, and so forth. If the CD-ROM drive works fine under DOS, then you have an XP compatibility problem. If the problem persists under DOS, I would recommend trying a different CD-ROM drive if you happen to have one.
     
  5. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    I'm pretty certain it is either an operating system issue with XP or perhaps a hardware issue with the controller on the motherboard. I can boot all day long from the CD and run it fine (and again, the drive works PERFECTLY if a CD is present during login). I've already done a boot from CD and done an XP repair install.

    Likewise its not a specific incompatability with the drive, as the same symptoms appear with a different brand drive I know works. Both are major brand drives. I've swapped cables to no effect when I swapped drives.

    I'm guessing that a full reinstall of XP to a fresh directory might fix the problem if its not a hardware issue with the motherboard controller, but I was hoping others might have other suggestions to try prior to this.

    Obviously whatever code is causing the problem is executed AFTER the login phase of windows XP, because if I have the problem, and log out, then insert a CD, and log back in the drive works. Does this help, or are most drivers run during this time anyway?
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Most hardware drivers are loaded before the login screen; however, depending on the speed of your system XP might still be "catching up" with the initialization of drivers if you log in immediately after a reboot. Just to test this theory, you can reboot your system, then wait for the hard drive to completely stop before you log in. That will just about guarantee that all system drivers are loaded.

    Even installing it into a new directory will not guarantee anything and you might end up with a multi-boot scenario, which is not always easy to rectify. Plus, it would not be unlike Microsoft to grab configuration data from your existing installation to populate the new version, thus possibly tainting the idea of a "fresh" install. What I would recommend instead is that you install XP onto a blank, formatted hard drive that you might have laying around just for the sake of getting the O/S installed on a truly clean system.
     

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