WTF?? My CD-RW doesn't recognize CD's anymore!!!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by MarkHastings, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I have a fairly brand new Dell Dimension 8200, P4, 2.8GHz, 512 MB RAM.

    I'm running Win XP Home Ed. (SP1). It initially came with a CD-RW and DVD player...about a month ago, I swapped the DVD Player for a DVD-RAM drive and both worked perfectly fine. In fact, I just burned a CD (with the CD-RW drive) last week, but as of yesterday the CD player won't recognize any cd's!!!!

    I've tried updating the drivers, uninstalling them and reinstalling them, I've tried swapping the 2 drives, changing the master and slave switches, but nothing seems to be fixing the problem. The computer sees the CD drive and recognizes it as a CD-RW, but it won't read any cd's.

    Any ideas? Maybe the laser is broken? Is there an easy way to check?
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Does the drive still appear in the device manager, and does it still have a drive letter in Explorer? What happens when you put in a disc, does it spin up? If you don't hear it spin up, the pickup or the spindle motor may have failed.

    Even without drivers it should function as a CD-ROM drive.

    KJP
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Device manager sees it and it also has a letter associated with it.

    The drive was always quiet so it's really hard to hear, but when I put the disc in, the light blinks and I hear some sort of motor spinning, but then it just stops and...nothing!

    Here's another wierd thing:

    When I open up my DVD-RAM drive (without a disc in it) in the explorer window, it asks me to put a disc in the drive, but when I do the same to my CD-RW drive, it just opens a blank window. It does the same thing no matter if there is a CD in the drive or not.


    EDIT: Maybe it's not as wierd as I thought. I now see that you can drag files into that folder and then write the folder to CD, so I guess that's why I'm able to open it without a blacnk CD.
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Just to add some more info that might be relevant:

    I hardly ever burn anything other than CD-R's, but about 5 or 6 months ago I tried to burn a CD-RW with one of my rewritables. Of the 5 I have (which all have information on them), there was one that couldn't be read so I couldn't erase the info on it, but the others worked fine.

    4 days ago I tried burning another CD-RW and threw in the "Bad" one again (I know, I should have gotten rid of it long ago), but I ran into that same problem again where the drive wouldn't read it (kind of like the same problem I'm having now). But once I threw in another CD, everything worked fine.

    Could the "Bad" CD-RW have done something to the drive? Is there a way I can reset the drive? Is it like memory where I can "Zap the P-RAM"? or reboot it persay?
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Have you installed any software lately? Part of the hubbub with TurboTax was that its DRM was that (or is associated with a similar product that) interferes with the operation of CD drives.

    If you have another computer, stick the drive in there and see if it works.

    //Ken
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Since I had the CD drive with me here at work, I tried swapping it with the drive in my work computer.

    I have a DVD/CD-RW drive in my PC at work (which is also a new Dell) and just exchanged the drives. The computer booted fine and recognized the CD-RW drive and loaded the correct drivers, but when I put in a cd and opned it, I got the error:

    "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error."

    Any thoughts? I made sure the little switch (on the back of the drive) was in the same position as my current one (i.e. In the 'Master' position). I checked the device manager and there weren't any conflicts.

    Odd?

    I guess I'll just have to contact Dell and see if I can get it fixed since I'm still in my 1 year warranty period.
     
  8. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    If you can hear it spinning, and it fails on two different machines, my guess would be the laser pickup is stuck/broken.

    Calling Dell would be the correct course of action. Hopefully moving the drive to another machine for troubleshooting didn't void the warranty or anything...
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I contacted Dell support and they sent me some suggestions before sending the drive in to be repaired.

    They suggested much of the obvious, like checking the cables and making sure they weren't dirty, etc. but the one thing that struck me as odd was they suggested using a CD-RW cleaner. I never thought about the lens possibly being dirty. If Dell is suggesting this method than I guess I can't void my warranty so I'll try it.

    Anyone ever use a CD Cleaner before? What should I get? Dell mentioned there is a specific cleaner for CD-RW drives. Hmmm? I'll have to check CompUSA out today.
     
  10. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    The difference might not be with R/W, but rather with high-speed (e.g. 40x) computer drives, as opposed to CD audio players (1x).

    My first CD-ROM (a 1x or 2x) had a problem where the mechanism, not the lens, got dirty from dust, and had to be cleaned, but I have never used one of those cleaner discs on it or the half-dozen drives I've had since.

    //Ken
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I just tried out one of those cd cleaners and it didn't work. When you say you got the drive cleaned, did you have to send it out? or can I chance cleaning it myself? (well, maybe not)

    Maybe I'll just re-contact Dell and see what my next step is in getting it fixed.
     
  12. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    The service center happened to be in town -- this was in Los Angeles, so "town" is very big [​IMG] -- so I took it there. I forget if I dropped it off and picked it up the next day, or if I just waited the twenty minutes or whatever for the guy there to clean it.

    Frankly, I wouldn't bother trying to clean it myself; it's probably not even the problem.

    //Ken
     

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