Dell Inspiron 2200 - CD Read problem

Hi guys (nice forum). I have a problem with reading disks on a laptop (see title); the strange thing is it reads DVD okay but not CDs. And I’m concerned for when Windows XP needs reinstalling as I can’t get the XP CD boot disk recognised (I burned a DVD with it on but that’s no good either).

TSST TS-L462C 24x slim combo is the optical drive description - I have tried flashing the bios (system and drive) but still it fails to read any kind of CD (programs etc).

I’m thinking the drive is obviously faulty but thought I’d check first before possibly ordering/picking up a SONY DW Q520A, which my local PC World store has in stock. Of course, as a novice, I have questions about this too:

  1. Does anyone know if it is compatible with the Dell or is even the best drive to go for (just want a nice simple fix really)

  2. Is it easy to install? I’m thinking it’ll just be a question of removing retaining screws and sliding the old drive out.

  3. Do I need to set any jumpers or fiddle elsewhere in order to get the drive to work?

  4. Is it advisable to flash the bios of the Sony drive when installing it? I think it’ll have the latest firmware but see that people modify bios’ and use utilities to change master/slave settings and things (hence the reason I ask not because I want to do it for fun but because it may be necessary).

  5. Oh, and lastly but importantly – the old TS-L462C 24x slim combo (DVDRom/CDRW) drive, I’m hoping it’s dead because the laser pick up thing is duff and not because of any other reason - eg, the interface to motherboard/ribbon cable or whatever optical drives use. Is there any way other than trying a new drive to test there is no other cause for this drive’s failuer? The drivers are loaded fine and as I said, it reads DVDs perfectly well - it’s just I can’t use my XP CD to reload the OS from boot up.

Thanks for reading - hope you can help.

Hi and welcome @CDF!

So you are also not able to boot from your Windows CD or any other bootable disc? If so, then check if you are still under warranty.

I’m thinking the drive is obviously faulty
Check your warranty status and contact Dell support.

  1. Does anyone know if it is compatible with the Dell or is even the best drive to go for (just want a nice simple fix really)
    Anything is better than a Samsung notebook drive :wink:
  1. Is it easy to install? I’m thinking it’ll just be a question of removing retaining screws and sliding the old drive out.

It is easier to replace a drive in a desktop computer. You’ll have to know, what screws and plastic nipples have to be removed/pressed/whatever in order to change the drive. Maybe you can find a maintenance manual for your notebook somewhere on the web.
Also, some notebook manufacturers had own opinions about the front bezel of the drive they used, so it is not sure if another drive will fit there.

  1. Do I need to set any jumpers or fiddle elsewhere in order to get the drive to work?
    No. Much harder: They moved that into the firmware. So there is a drive version that will work as secondary master only, and there are drive versions that are set to primary slave. Or any other combination. :frowning:
  1. Is it advisable to flash the bios of the Sony drive when installing it? I think it’ll have the latest firmware but see that people modify bios’ and use utilities to change master/slave settings and things (hence the reason I ask not because I want to do it for fun but because it may be necessary).
    Availability of firmware updates for notebook drives is - erm - forget about that…
    On the other hand it may be necessary to flash a firmware that sets the operation mode (master/slave) correctly prior to installation. But it is essential that you have to find out the operation mode of your existing drive.
  1. Oh, and lastly but importantly – the old TS-L462C 24x slim combo (DVDRom/CDRW) drive, I’m hoping it’s dead because the laser pick up thing is duff
    Try cleaning the lens. That may help sometimes.

Michael

Thanks very much for both the welcome and for answering my questions in so helpful manner.

I know about fitting desktop DVD/CD etc drives but have no experience of doing that with laptop. I didn’t know laptop DVD drives had plastic nipples - can I just copy the nipple layout thing when swapping the drives?

The Dell laptop was bought used and secondhand and a support disk was not included, which makes things that much harder, though the OS is already installed and license key is genuine, so that’s one thing. I’m not knowledgable about different methods of booting a computer and installing the OS (XP Pro in this case) but have had a look at the bios to change boot sequence etc. No joy there though - I have a pen flash drive thing but that is only formattable in FAT/FAT32? and so it doesn’t allow me to copy Windows XP to that and then load the OS from there (at least not the way I’m trying to do it). Of course the whole reason for going down this line of inquiry is to be sure that if the OS does fail to load the laptop will still be usable as it’ll be re-installable.

On the other hand it may be necessary to flash a firmware that sets the operation mode (master/slave) correctly prior to installation. But it is essential that you have to find out the operation mode of your existing drive.

So it’s a Samsung drive then is it? And they’re not too good then? Hmm. How do I find out what the ‘operating mode’ is on the drive? Is it viewable in Windows (like the UDMA etc transfer thing in the optical drive properties bit) or will I need special software in order to see it?

Thanks for your help, Michael. I will try giving the drive a thorough cleaning too, just in case. But essentially, I’m hoping the Sony DVD/RW drive is a good option for replacement (if correct in dimensions etc) - I’m not that technically able so I don’t really want to have to do too much to fiz this problem. The laptop isn’t even mine but a friend’s who just got it largely on my advice that it was a good deal (providing we could fix the optical drive).

What a hassle! :doh:

Is it okay to go with the Sony DVDRW drive then? I have to try replacing the drive as soon as possible so I guess this is the best one to go for…?

PS. Gave the laser pickup a clean and the Dell drive still won’t read cds.

Hi,

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

I know about fitting desktop DVD/CD etc drives but have no experience of doing that with laptop. I didn’t know laptop DVD drives had plastic nipples - can I just copy the nipple layout thing when swapping the drives?
It is not the drive, but the laptop. You have to disassemble it in order to replace the drive. Maybe you can find further information at http://support.dell.com Also, the front plate of a replacement drive may be different of that of your original drive. Sometimes it will fit, sometimes it won’t, and sometimes you can change the front plates.

I’m not knowledgable about different methods of booting a computer and installing the OS (XP Pro in this case) but have had a look at the bios to change boot sequence etc. No joy there though
It should be possible to boot from CD. See, if you can get a manual at Dell website.

  • I have a pen flash drive thing but that is only formattable in FAT/FAT32? and so it doesn’t allow me to copy Windows XP to that and then load the OS from there (at least not the way I’m trying to do it).
    Forget about that. You need a Windows install CD*, there is no other method to reinstall Windows.
    Of course the whole reason for going down this line of inquiry is to be sure that if the OS does fail to load the laptop will still be usable as it’ll be re-installable.
    Think about a Live Linux system like Knoppix, Kanotix or Ubuntu :bigsmile: Also very fine for data recovery from damaged Windows installations.

So it’s a Samsung drive then is it?
Yep. :iagree:
And they’re not too good then?
Indeed.
How do I find out what the ‘operating mode’ is on the drive? Is it viewable in Windows (like the UDMA etc transfer thing in the optical drive properties bit) or will I need special software in order to see it?
Nero Info Tool should be good for that. Also Windows device manager should show you that information.

I will try giving the drive a thorough cleaning too, just in case. But essentially, I’m hoping the Sony DVD/RW drive is a good option for replacement (if correct in dimensions etc) - I’m not that technically able so I don’t really want to have to do too much to fiz this problem. The laptop isn’t even mine but a friend’s who just got it largely on my advice that it was a good deal (providing we could fix the optical drive).

What a hassle! :doh:
Indeed. And replacing a notebook drive is much more difficult than doing that on a desktop computer. So, I strongly advice getting as much information as possible from Dell Support website.

Michael
*) I managed to build one from the I386 folder some years ago. But it is not that easy

Jesus, you weren’t wrong there! Fortunately I have been quite lucky with this laptop as I will now explain.

I took it with me down to the PC World store to get that SONY DW Q520A drive and managed to fit it in the shop. But the Dell laptop didn’t like the new drive at all and refused to detect the IDE port at all so no hard disk was detected either (despite being installed just where it was). The store tech guy helped me fit it and we examined the ultra crap Dell BIOS and were totally unable to get it to see the new drive no matter what.

After thinking this whole business of seeking out a replacement laptop CD/DVD drive so we could later restore Windows at some point if need be was about to get far more complicated and become something of an ongoing nightmare, I decided to throw in the towel and see about getting a refund on this second hand laptop (dodgy territory). But, as with getting a refund on the Sony DVDRW drive, I was damn lucky and managed to get £180.00 of the £200.00 originally paid for the laptop back. Moral of the story is…

Leave well alone!

Well, thanks for your advice Michael. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you. Well, I expect pretty much the same thing but with a lot more anxiety… The way you dissect my posts when answering my queries makes me laugh - are you a surgeon or a philosopher or something in real life? Hee hee. Thanks again - hopefully I’ve learned my lesson and will stay away from Dell laptops in the future and any shady deals!

I know this is old and you got rid of the laptop already, but you should have had NO problem removing the CD drive from this system. The Inspiron2200 simply has one retaining screw on the underbelly, right near the center. All you have to do is unscrew that, and then the drive will slide right out of the system.