Optical drive disappearing

Hello,

I am having a problem with my Acer Aspire 5100 laptop.

About 2 weeks ago, my LiteOn optical drive started to disappear from windows periodically. I thought that maybe the drive had gone bad or that I screwed it up because around that time I was playing around with LTNFlash, so I replaced the drive with a old NEC I had laying around. However, that has not solved the problem. The drive still periodically will disappear from windows. I am worried the problem may be hardware based as I once went into the BIOS when the LiteOn was still in the laptop and it didn’t list the drive as being there.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance,

Adict2jane :cool:

If its not showing up in the bios periodically, my first thought would be a loose connection for the data or bad power connection to the drive. Don’t work on laptops though, so I’m not sure how to check for this.
In any case, that would be my first suspicion on a desktop.

(heavily edited answer since I was thinking desktop, not laptop when I first replied :doh: )

You can try an eletrical contact cleaner spray. Just make sure the battery is out when you use it on the contacts, and give it time to fully evaporate before re-installing the battery.

Could you please check if there is something related in the Event Log?

Michael

This is definately a weird problem.

So it just happened again, no D drive in windows (it had been working the previous hour with no shut downs, putting the comp to sleep etc. I could eject the drive so it is not a power connection problem

I restarted the comp and went into the BIOS, and the drive was there! the computer was on a table so I do not think any connection could have been made during the restart process. After windows was loaded, the drive was visable under My Computer.

Weird huh…

[QUOTE=mciahel;2585284]Could you please check if there is something related in the Event Log?

Michael[/QUOTE]

Took a look but not really sure what I should be looking for. There were lots of errors with Microsoft office and my antivirus. Nothing hardware related…

[QUOTE=adict2jane;2585286]Took a look but not really sure what I should be looking for. [/quote]Look at the “System” section if there are errors.

There were lots of errors with Microsoft office and my antivirus. Nothing hardware related…
So your Office is fighting against your AV software. :eek:
What you could also try (assuming your laptop is able to boot from an USB drive): Prepare a 2 GB USB drive with a Live Linux system like Ubuntu or Mint. Boot from that USB drive and see if the DVD drive disappears also.

Michael

[QUOTE=mciahel;2585292]Look at the “System” section if there are errors.
So your Office is fighting against your AV software. :eek:
What you could also try (assuming your laptop is able to boot from an USB drive): Prepare a 2 GB USB drive with a Live Linux system like Ubuntu or Mint. Boot from that USB drive and see if the DVD drive disappears also.

Michael[/QUOTE]

The MS and Symantec errors are separate. The errors are also nothing to be alarmed at, things like “could not connect to internet to update definitions.”

I’ll see if I can get spare 2GB or greater USB key

If IDE drives check how they are jumpered.
I’ve had computers come in with similar complaints that literally ran for YEARS with the drives jumpered Master/Slave/Cable-select INCORRECTLY when “all of a sudden” they just decided to stop working one day…

Also IDE cables can fail…

SATA drive? my knee jerk diagnostics points more to OS corruption, typically (You’ve seen me type this before)
caused by a system HDD that has a couple errors…

AD

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2585322]If IDE drives check how they are jumpered.[/QUOTE]Laptop drives don’t have jumpers. :wink:

Michael

I missed that…

And in the case of a notebook I’ve got no good news…

If the drive is “there” in BIOS and not when the OS looks for it it’s probably OS corruption

Yes, TRY to reinstall all the drivers, but doing it by:
1)first deleting the driver,
2)shutting down the computer
3)physically removing the optical drive
4)restarting
5) then running a Registry cleaner
Then reinstalling the optical drive and allowing Windows update to look for the driver

If that doesn’t work…

I’ve tried all the other “fixes” enough times that when I see and verify that customer complaint I reach
for another HDD (one in a sealed bag) and an OS install disc and while that’s running
I start doing data recovery on the old HDD.

Thanks for all your replies,
I thought I had fixed the problem. I took the computer apart an noticed that I had not screwed in the drive well and it was loose. I tightened everything down and it worked great for 24 hours. After bringing the computer out of standby today, the drive is gone…

The hard drive appears to be fine, HDtune finds no errors or warnings.
I’m going to try a reg cleaner (CCleaner) and uninstalling the drivers.

Thanks everyone, I will keep you guys updated on my progress.

I’ve had three notebooks with similar problems in the last couple weeks.

In only one of the three cases were any errors detected on the HDD by various
disc scanning utilities.

However in one of the other HDD’s when using it as a data drive (After a fresh install of Windows
was installed on a NEW drive and all data coed and transfered) and using it to transfer data files
(mp3’s with crc data) writing to the drive went fine, but reading from the suspected drive produced
multiple CRC errors when copying mp3 files to another drive.

This is a repeatable error…

the same files from the same group of files results in the same errors, no matter ow many times you want to try it. removing just ONE file from the list of files copied from the parent source still prodces errors, but different files have the errors…

copying either group of files to an identical drive results in no errors…

This proved that there was an error that the disc utilities didn’t detect
and that the error was on the specific drive

BTW, the other drive that had “no errors”? it simply quit with no additional warning

I’ve found that doing things like this reveals and PROVES the exsistance of errors that otherwise go undetected

an undetected error leads to a false sense of security

AD

Thanks Allan,
I would have never guessed the hard disk could be the problem. I just finished backing up all the important files.

The problem occurred again, this time when I restarted, the drive was not there in the BIOS. Could a failing HD mess up BIOS detection? Also, I assume cleaning the registry will do nothing if the drive isn’t in the BIOS

Quick question, if it is the hard drive or a connection problem. Is it possible to damage the DVD burner?

Thanks again

In BIOS? unless the failing drive has a spin-up issue that results in it drawing more current than the drive controller is prepared to provide leaving insufficient power to start the optical drive…

It’s kinda hard to tell what the issue is inside a notebook when things start to go wrong.

I doubt any such issue could “hurt” the optical drive…

AD

Writing in with an update, although I don’t have much to report.
The hard drive appears to be ok. The problem seems to be a physical connection issue, I will tear the computer apart once more to take a look and see if there is an obvious pin or something that is bent.