Unresponsive CD/DVD Drive, how can I fix it?
October 31, 2010 6:10 PM   Subscribe

My CD/DVD drive on my HP laptop isn't working. It won't open when I push the open button, doesn't respond when I try to open it through a program, but can be forced open. However, when I insert a disc of any kind, it doesn't read it. Is there a way to solve this problem, or will I have to go through the annoying process of taking it to Best Buy and having them send it out for two weeks? Oh, and also I am running Vista, if that means anything.
posted by hafehd to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does the light on the front of the drive turn on when you push the button? If not, the whole drive module may be dead/disconnected internally. If it's under warranty, back up all your data on the hard drive and get it sent off. If it's not under warranty, you might take a look-see for yourself, or take it to a shop to work on it. If there are any independent computer repair shops in town, go to those, as it will probably be cheaper.
posted by deezil at 6:26 PM on October 31, 2010

You can easily buy a new drive and install it- my HP laptop only required the removal of one screw. Total downtime: 15 minutes.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:53 PM on October 31, 2010

I'm having the same problem. First it stopped reading DVDs, now it intermittently reads CDs. I have also heard the DVD and CD reading portion of the drive are two seperate beasts, and one could fail while the other works. Mine sometimes takes two or three tries to eject, but alway does. Sorry that's not an answer, but I commiserate, and we hope we can both get an answer.
posted by timsteil at 6:55 PM on October 31, 2010

HP/Compaq laptops are factory-fitted with absolutely rubbish optical drives. You'd be well served to buy a better replacement and fit it yourself.
posted by flabdablet at 7:06 PM on October 31, 2010

Is the drive able to boot off of your Vista installation CD? If so it might not be the drive. In Windows there can be a registry issue with upper and lower filters when CD burning or copyright protection software did not install or uninstall cleanly. This would render the drive unusable for the most part, and is often confused with a hardware malfunction. You can try Microsoft's quick fix here.

If that doesn't work, try re-seating the device. (power down, remove the drive, power up, power down, put the drive back in, power up). As others suggested, HP generally cuts corners with their components. If out of warranty I'd go for a more reliable brand for the drive.
posted by samsara at 10:47 AM on November 1, 2010

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