DVD-R and CD drives no longer work.
July 24, 2005 10:31 AM   Subscribe

My DVD-ReWritable drive and my regular ol' CD-Rom drive are all of a sudden not working anymore. They worked fine last night, but now the computer doesn't even see them to list them.

I'm running an IBM NetVista with Win XP Pro with all the patches and updates and the stock CD drive. The DVD-R drive is something I bought from Tiger Direct last year.
When I go to Windows Explorer, I see the floppy drive and the hard drive, but not the CD drive and DVD-R drive.
I've tried rebooting the computer a couple of times. On the restart, the drives' lights come on as they usually do. I put a CD in each drive, the lights come on, I hear signs of life, but then nothing.
posted by NoMich to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
The same thing happened to my CD-R once, and after much time on the phone with tech support reinstalling drivers and doing everything manageable to the device drivers, it turned out that the drive had somehow become unplugged (don't ask me how). When I opened up the computer and unplugged and replugged the ribbon cable, it worked just fine.

Of course you have *two* drives not working, and it seems improbable that they both unplugged themselves at the the same time. But if nothing else works, it might be worth your trouble to unplug and replug the cables inside the computer.
posted by duck at 10:45 AM on July 24, 2005

could be that they're on the same ide cable. turn the computer off, open up the box, touch the bare metal case, and then check the ide ribbon cable is plugged into the motherboard correctly.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:17 AM on July 24, 2005

Response by poster: I just got done opening the box and everything is pugged-in securely. The same thing is happening though. They're getting power as the lights are coming on during the start-up process. The lights also flash when a CD (or DVD) is inserted into the drives, but the nothing happens after that.
posted by NoMich at 11:23 AM on July 24, 2005

the lights just means they're getting power - they'll flash away quite happily without being connected to the computer - and since power is through a different cable that comes direct from the power supply that doesn't tell you much, unfortunately.

have you tried resetting the computer bios (watch the screen on startup and follow instructions - probably pressing DEL)? i've had the bios get confused and lose a disk before. go into the menus and see if they appear, se if there's any kind of "autodetect" option, generally poke round, and possibly do "restore defaults".

if that doesn't help, try with just one connected to the ide ribbon cable and see if you can get either working individually. if not, next thing i'd do is try one of the drives in another computer just to make sure they've not agreed on a suicide pact or something. and if they work fine there i'd start to be suspicious of the motherboard.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:33 AM on July 24, 2005

When you reboot the computer, do the drives show up in the BIOS hardware display? If so, then it's probably a Windows issue and not a hardware issue (unplugged power or IDE cables, dead IDE controller on the motherboard, etc.)

Does anything unusual show up under the DVD/CD-ROM or IDE controllers sections within Device Manager (Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager)? Any alerts or other indications that something has gone awry?

Do you still see the drives in Device Manager, alert icons or otherwise? If so, have your driver discs/installation files on hand, right-click on each device, and uninstall. Then right-click on the computer (top-most item in Device Manager) and scan for hardware changes. You may be prompted for driver installation; follow the steps accordingly.

If the drives reappear but still don't work, try the uninstall procedure above, but reboot instead of scanning for hardware changes. If they still don't work, try manually reinstalling the drivers (from Device Manager, right-click on the drive > Properties > Driver > Uninstall and then reboot to reinstall from your disc/exe.)
posted by Danelope at 11:35 AM on July 24, 2005

(One final note: the last resort in the process I was following above is to uninstall the drivers, power down, pull the IDE cables, start up Windows, power down again, plug one drive back in, start up Windows again, and reinstall the drivers when prompted. I haven't had to rely on this procedure since Win98, however.)
posted by Danelope at 11:38 AM on July 24, 2005

Response by poster: They show up in the BIOS area. I chose reset to default and continued on with the booting process. The two drives show up in the Device Manager window, but the drivers are disabled. See here.
I got this computer as a present and I didn't get any CDs. Really, it was just the computer itself. When I bought the DVD-ReWritable drive from Tiger Direct, it just came in a plain, brown box and no CDs. I went to the Liteon Website and there were no drivers to download. Am I screwed?
posted by NoMich at 2:19 PM on July 24, 2005

no, not at all. just google the model number (LTN486S, for example, and "driver"). the only problem is finding somewhere that looks halfway reputable. you might download from a couple of places and check the files are identical before using them.

this is good news - it's "just" a software problem.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:24 PM on July 24, 2005

hmmm. the (generic) manual for the cdrom, from their web site, says that no driver is necessary. now that they appear with a "!" have you tried clicking through the relevant windows wizards (ie try "add/remove hardware" and try removing and then adding them).
posted by andrew cooke at 3:10 PM on July 24, 2005

Response by poster: have you tried clicking through the relevant windows wizards (ie try "add/remove hardware" and try removing and then adding them).

Yep, I just tried that. Nothing.
First, a bit more info: I remembered that after playing Battlefield 2 last night (the last time I used the DVD drive), I decided it was time for some music. I fired up Winamp, got a notice that an update was available (version 5.94?) and I remembered that when I did that at work, nothing bad happened. So I downloaded and installed the Winamp update and listened to music.
It was not until this afternoon that I tried to use the DVD drive again and that's when I noticed that everything went kablooey.
Back to the present: I uninstalled Winamp, but my problem persisted. I uninstalled the two offending devices, restarted the computer, went to Add Hardware and followed the steps in the wizard. Nothing.
Although, I can still see the devices in the Device Manager and they look the same as you see in my picture above. I right click on the one of them and choose Update Drivers, and this is what I get:

A driver (service) for this device has been disabled. An alternate driver may be providing this functionality. (Code 32)

Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device.

posted by NoMich at 4:11 PM on July 24, 2005

Response by poster: OK, so I went back to the Device Manager and uninstalled both drives again. Restarted the computer and I got the Found New Hardware notifications for both devices, but they still don't show up in my Windows Explorer. However, they are to be found in the Device Manager again and with their yellow circle/exclamation point motif.
posted by NoMich at 4:26 PM on July 24, 2005

I've had a very similar problem - although the causes were different (?- I was doing something "dodgy" working around software/DVD protection).

A cold boot solved the problem. If you have alcohol or clonecd/clonedvd installed, those might be problems, but I doubt it.

Try unplugging both drives (yank the IDE cable) so that they don't show up in bios. Start the computer, let WinXP boot completely. Cold shutdown. Re-attach the cables, boot WinXP.

If it doesn't work - try "control panel --> add new hardware," if it doesn't detect automatically, try telling it what you're trying to install (CD/DVD drives).

If you plug in an USB key/camera/whatever, does it show get recognized and assigned a drive letter? Is it HD drive number+1 or is it HD+CD+DVD drive number+1?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:28 PM on July 24, 2005

Best answer: have you looked at this ms support info? - seems like it might be relevant (from googling the error message you gave).

another google hit suggests reinstalling aspi drivers. i don't know what they are, but there's more info here.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:32 AM on July 25, 2005

Response by poster: Before this thread slips off into the ether, I just want to thank you kind people with your help. I haven't been able to solve the problem yet, but I'll keep at it after work tonight.
Thanks again.
posted by NoMich at 11:00 AM on July 25, 2005

I'll second the article that andrew cooke linked to. This definitely sounds like an Upperfilters/Lowerfilters thing to me. Here at work, every time I've had a machine where the CD drive didn't show up in My Computer, that's been the solution.
posted by llamateur at 2:48 PM on July 25, 2005

Response by poster: That was it. Thanks to andrew cooke and everybody else who put forth effort to help me.
No, I'm a little leery on reinstalling WinAmp (even though I paid for the Pro version). Any reliable alternatives? I especially liked WinAmp Pro for it's super easy ripping and burning abilities.
posted by NoMich at 2:56 PM on July 25, 2005

Response by poster: Oh yeah, it was the Microsoft support link that got me going again. Strangely, I didn't have an Upper Limits, just a Lower Limits to delete. Oh well, it worked.
posted by NoMich at 2:57 PM on July 25, 2005

yay! :o)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:00 PM on July 25, 2005

« Older How much does it cost to send a letter to an FPO...   |   How to right align a line break in HTML? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.