Please help, newbie. Thanks


I’m sorry I am new to this forum and unsure where to post this thread, so please forgive me.

I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me some pointers with regards to my CD/DVD player in laptop.

I have an Acer Travelmate 2356XM which I purchased about 3 years ago, low budget one I know but it was primarily just to be able to use for internet and MS word upon starting uni.

However I have recently over the last year or so begun to utilise the CD/DVD drive for watching DVDs etc.

I am a little perplexed by the fact that I am able to play some DVDs and yet not others.

My drive is a Slimtype DVDRW SOSW 852s. On the actual drawer it shows the big RW logo with DVD+rewritable underneath and the big DVD logo with the disc underneath with RW/R underneath that. I am a little unsure as to what DVD’s it can/cannot play and which DVDs it can/cannot burn to.

When looking at my system information the DVD drive shows as DVD/CD-ROM, all enabled etc.

I have managed to play some burned DVDs but not others, this also goes for actual official shop bought discs, I am able to play some and not others which I find quite strange.

Maybe my drive isnt enabled with something, but if anyone can tell me if I am actually able to play certain discs and If my drive allows me to burn onto DVD’s. Its not recognising blank DVD’s DVD+R or DVD-R, so i cant seem to work it out. ITs really weird, how I can play some burned discs but not others, yet neither of the blank ones are recognised.

When I do put the ones in that cant be recognised it just spins and then stops and spins more over and over, lots of whirring getting my hopes up sounds but then comes to nothing. Its really annoying me now as I can only watch some things but not others.

Also it plays CDs fine, so no problems there on that front.

If anyone is able to help me out it would be so much appreciated.

Many thanks


After a bit of searching on the forums, it seems your drive is known to be rather poor quality. It is a Lite-on dvd drive, and looks like it first showed up back in 2004.
Here is the big thread on it in the Lite-on forum:

From the sounds of it, the drive is partially dying. DVD drives use two lasers, one for dvds, one for cds, and the dvd side of things seems to be going bad.

It might be difficult to find blank dvd media to match it even if it was in pristine condition. You’d most likely need 8x media if you could find it.

So I guess I need to buy a new drive?

When you say that I’ll most likely need 8x media, is that because the drive I’ve got is an 8x, not 16x? as I have seen on previous desktops ive had?(Sorry im not very up to speed with these bits)

If you could recommend a replacement, what would be the best type of driver to replace it?

I mentioned 8x media because it was introduced years ago and your burner might have support for them in the firmware of the drive. It won’t recognize 16x media, and so it reverts to a generic burning strategy with them which probably won’t work well, if at all.

You might want to make sure DMA is enabled for the drive before doing anything else. Follow this guide
The most important part is Current Transfer Mode. It should be Ultra DMA 2 for this drive I believe.
Might be grasping at straws, but better to be sure on this point.

I’m afraid I’m not qualified to recommend a replacement drive for you, but there are others who post here who are. Lets see if they show up soon.


I have checked this and It seems both are enabled on my system already, so Im not sure.

Ok, well i’ll keep reading and see if i can find something.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.


Try lightly cleaning the lens with some isopropyl alcohol on a Q-tip then lightly blow dry with some canned air, and see if it plays your dvds better. Also it will write to -r, +r, +r DL media. If play back and burning is still a problem it would be much cheaper and better to buy an external usb burner. What brand a speed disks have you tried to burn and with what program?