CD & DVD Drives Have Stopped Working

Lately both my CD (LG) and my DVD (Sony) drive stopped working.

Here are the symptoms:

[li]both CD & DVD spin up at boot time
[/li][li]both are seen in my BIOS
[/li][li]neither will allow me to boot from windows cd
[/li][li]CD (LG) says “media not windows compatible or hardware problem” no matter what CD i put in
[/li][li]DVD (Sony) just opens a blank explorer window with no contents no matter what CD/DVD is in the drive
[/li][li]both drive icons switch to a CD / DVD icon when I put a disk in …so it knows there is a disk in there
[/li][li]both drives are operating properly in the device manager

Here is what I’ve tried to fix so far:

[li]Verified that jumpers are set properly on both drives. they are
[/li][li]Replaced IDE cable…same result
[/li][li]Moved one of the drives onto my Hard Drive IDE string as a slave…same result. But all hard drives work on the chain…so I know that the IDE is fine.
[/li][li]Replaced both drives with two new Sony DVD burners…$150!!! SAME RESULT
[/li][li]Removed device from device manager and reboot to allow windows to reinstall both…same result.

Can anyone think of anything else that i haven’t already tried? I think the problem has to be windows related since i’ve pretty much ruled out any hardware problems by switching the drives and cables and IDE locations.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


I think, you narrowed down this problem as not being a drive issue. I suspect, this might be a mainboard issue (maybe going bad - have a look at the capacitors) or a problem with the power supply. Can you borrow a power supply unit from a friend?

You can also try resetting the CMOS settings (please refer to your mainboard manual) and see if that helps.


Thanks mciahel…

i don’t think its a mobo issue…since i’ve tried both IDE strings (optical and HDD)
with the same result.

my power suply is good to because the drives are spinning fine, and it runs all the other devices without any problem. I tried switching the power connectors from working harddrives to the CD/DVD with no change.

i’ll check the cmos tonight when i get home…
i may even format and reinstall windows (gulp)

we’ll see…


as you wrote in your initial post, you aren’t even able to boot from these drives. Or did I miss something?
If you have access to a broadband connection and a working CD writer, then get some of those Live Linux systems like Knoppix, Kanotix (the CD-Image is sufficient for both) or Damn Small Linux and see, if you can boot one of these systems from CD. Knoppix and Kanotix also come with K3B, a Nero style burning application, so you could also test the writing capablities of your drives.


Success At Last!!!

It took 7 hours to fix it…but I got 'er done.

Here’s what I did incase anyone else has similar problems.

  1. In Manage -> Disk Management I renamed both drives to new drive letters that I’ve never used before S: and T: for me.
  2. Then in device manager I uninstalled both and rebooted to allow windows to reinstall drivers.
  3. After this it finally let me boot from the DVD drive but it wouldn’t read the disk once windows had boot up.
  4. I tried to reinstall windows…but got the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH when it was trying to get ready to install windows.
  5. Apparently the part of my hard drive that controls drives had become corrupt. So i did a chkdsk /f and reinstalled windows.
  6. Now both drives work no problem.

Thanks for your help everyone.