Laptop drive can't read DVDs and insists that they're blank - what could be wrong?

Hi everyone, I’ve got a wee bit of an issue - my laptop (Dell XPS L502X) optical drive has stopped reading DVD-Rs. It detects them upon putting them in but insists that they’re blank. I don’t have any factory-made DVDs to try but I have so much stuff on burned DVDs that it’s moot if they work or not. The DVD-Rs work on a friend’s machine, and the drive till reads CDs.

I’ve found a LITE-ON DS-8A5S Internal Slimline SATA DVD Writer for £20 but before I go for it, I’d like to know if it’s possible to diagnose and fix the problem. The only thing done since I last used it (whch was a while ago) was a BIOS flash - could this affect it at all?

I considered upgrading the firmware on the drive but it’s already at the latest version, and worked before anyway.

Laptop bios updates have been known to cause grief w/ drives. But the fact that it reads CDs does make drive failure a real possibility. Try removing the power cord and battery, allow it to sit for 1/2 hour, start it up and see if the drive works. Try booting from a bootable DVD-R. If these fail, it is likely the drive.

Hiya, thanks for replying. :slight_smile: Upon trying to install Windows XP to see if I could run Windows-based diangostics (and I’m told also that the drivers are in Windows and not available separately) from a CD -R I kept getting the blue screen of death so my guess is that something’s going wring with the drive.

I found a Lite-On DS-8A8SH DVD writer for £20 from PC World which seems like a great deal considering that it’s Lite-On so went for that. Just got home with it, will install it later or tomorriow - let’s hope that this fixes my PC woes.