CD Drive Not Working

I have a friend who has been using a PC give to him 2 years ago
from his daughter, Running on XP SP2 with 40GB HDD, 128 RAM
and broadband connected. Because of his limited experience he
asked me to look it over and give it a system cleanup to improve
a sluggish performance, which I have done. He had never done a
defrag or rmoved any old, unwanted files, so his hard drive space
was chocablock with all kinds of rubbish which has now been
sorted and a lot of space made.
However, when I tried to install some updated software from his
CD ROM drive I found that the system would not recognise any discs
inserted, either data or audio. The disc symbol appears on screen
alongside the mouse cursor on disc insertion but everything hangs.
He has never used the drive, which is shown in My Computer. The
Device Manager shows it without any warning symbols and to be
working properly. The CD tray can be opened from My Computer,
which proves there is connection an communication.
I have uninstalled and reinstalled the CD Rom in Device Manager but
this has not solved the problem. Could the Windows Generic driver
software be corrupted? or have you any other suggestion that may
solve the issue. He would be happy to pay for a new unit which I
would install as a DVD RW upgrade, but I would prefer before that
to ensure that this is not a system fault, otherwise we will be back
in square one.
I have installed the new software through a USB port successfully,
including good cleaning and defrag utilities .

Is the CD-ROM drive connected through IDE on same cable as the HDD?

If so, perhaps it is set to master, which conflicts with the HDD. You would simply change the jumper at the back of the CD-ROM drive to “cable select” or “slave” position.

Please don’t be offended… a suggestion: I found your post to be quite difficult to read and it would be a lot easier for people to read if you had some new lines. :slight_smile:

Wrong forum, moved to hardware forum.

Since he uninstalled the DVD from device manager it means that it does get detected.
What he probably tries to say that it simply wont read/recogize any discs meaning that (most likely) the laser is dead. To put it simple, get a new optical unit (IDE/PATA).
You could try resurrect it from the dead but it’s only a matter of time until it’ll stop working again. You’re probably better off reinstalling Windows from scratch than trying to “fix it” however it will still be deadly slow with 128Mb RAM:

Thanks, guys.
In the case of Master/ Slave configuration, nobody has been inside this computure case since manufacture and one assumes that the
CD drive was working when purchased and since.
I should have mentioned that if I replaced the CD drive with a new DVD drive I would also upgrade the RAM to probably 1GB and also the HDD to 200 GB.
Bear in mind that this PC belongs to an elderly person and I am just trying to get the CD drive working as a favour, not for reward.
By the way dizzy, I can’t follow your reasoning that 128MB of RAM is
insufficient to run a basic CD ROM drive. If it was enough RAM 10 years ago it should still be enough today.

That was just in general…
You probably have some damaged system files, try a Linux LiveCD (or BartPE/VistaPE) and see if it works.

O.K. I have a AVIRA RECOVERY boot disc and will try that and see if it reads. Have also downloaded from MS, AUTOPLAY FIX to try.
Haven’t tried much yet because I was unaware before my visit that his CD Drive was not working and went empty handed.