Plextor PX-712A hangs when blank CD or DVD is inserted

[qanda]This thread is about the Plextor PX-712SA. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Plextor PX-712A (IDE interface) will read already burned CDs and DVDs but when a blank disk is inserted, the indicator light remains steady and does not blink, and Windows Explorer, if it is running or invoked, simply hangs. The cursor repeatedly displays a CD icon as if it is trying to read the disk.

I believe this is a software problem. I had no problem with this drive for several years and this problem one day arose some months ago. I had a spare PX-712A drive that had not been used much, and when I replaced the first drive with the spare, there was no change in behavior.

The motherboard has an AMD64 processor and an Nvidia Nforce chipset. It has onboard SATA-II connectors on which a couple of Seagate hard disks are installed, and normal PATA connectors on which the Plextor is installed as a master drive. It has Nero 7 and a CD burning program associated with Dart Karaoke Studio CD+G, which can burn CD+G format CDs as well as ordinary CDs. It has an Nvidia graphics card (Gforce 9500 GT) and Nvidia Gforce 6100 graphics built into the motherboard, which are disabled. It runs WinXP Pro that is updated with all service packs, and also has .NET Framework installed since I have some programs that require this.

Also, after running an old version of Norton WinDoctor, it told me that there was a missing dll file, which I replaced. I believe the dll file is associated with Dart Karaoke Studio CD+G which has an associated burning program that will write CD+G format CDs as well as ordinary CDs. The drive started functioning again for a few days and was burning CDs without any problem. This only lasted a few days, and the problem returned after running some other cleaner type programs.

I have tried various suggestions in these forums including uninstalling and reinstalling Nvidia Nforce drivers, uninstalling the upper and lower filters, running the MS fixer program for autoplay problems, looking for newer drivers and firmware updates for the PX-712A, running “cleaner” disks with the little brushes that are supposed to clean the laser lens, and switching the IDE cable between the two IDE connectors on the motherboard, and uninstalling and reinstalling the Dart program and Nero without success. I have not tried to run a repair install of Windows XP yet. I suspected a problem with ASPI drivers, which I don’t know why are there, since nothing is SCSI on the computer, but uninstalling and reinstalling them didn’t seem to do anything.