Tsstcorp CD/DVDW TS-H552B unable to read DVDs, reads/writes CDs fine

OS: Windows XP Media Edition, Version 2002, SP3.

The drive is able to read and write CDs fine. However when I insert a commercial DVD game into the drive it is unable to read the disc. As far as it is concerned there is no disc in the drive. If I click on the drive under My Computer it tells me to insert a disc, even though there is one. Originally I thought the problem was that the game I was using was dirty and damaged, because it was but I encountered the same problem with a brand new and completely undamaged disc. This same disc also works perfectly in another computer’s DVD drive, just to rule out the extremely unlikely chance that the game was shipped non functional. I do not have any DVD movies or writable DVD media to test it with. The drive itself has worked before, and it is difficult to say when it stopped working as the only DVD I tried it with, prior to two days ago was rather messed up, so the problems I was having reading it could have just been from that. In addition, while the drive reads as a DVD-RW in My Computer, if I right click it and hit properties it displays as Type: CD Drive under the General tab. It also sometimes, after the computer has been on a little while displays as a CD-ROM drive instead of a DVD-RW in My Computer. Restarting fixes this problem, but the drive still refuses to recognize DVDs.

Steps I have tried to attempt to fix this, with no success:

Delete drive in device manager, reboot computer. Well I’m able to do all of this, and it redetects the drive upon restart, but the drive still does not read.
Download firmware for my drive and follow the instructions for flashing it. It was able to install successfully, but the drive still has the same problem.
Downloaded and ran http://support.microsoft.com/mats/cd_dvd_drive_problems from Microsoft. It was able to find a problem, but did not tell me what that problem was and was not able to fix it.
Downloaded and ran an Autorun fix from Microsoft called Autofix.exe. It did not make any difference.

In addition I noticed something odd in device manager.

Under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers it seems as if there are too many entries. I don’t have enough technical expertise to know if there actually is something wrong here or not, but there are a total of nine entries here:

ATI IDE Controller.
Primary IDE Channel (listed 3 times).
Secondary IDE Channel (listed 3 times).
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller (listed 2 times).

My computer is an eMachines, T6520. It is stock standard except for the hard drive, which went out a few months ago and had to be replaced. I am certain this is not the problem as the DVD drive has worked many times since then on DVDs.

My best guess as to what is going on is that the problem is directly related to it erroneously displaying as a CD drive under My Computer > right click > Properties > General tab. But I don’t have the slightest idea how to fix it.

Hi and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

DVD burners have two separate lasers: one for CD and another for DVD media. If the DVD laser is damaged, the CD one can still work perfectly, but your drive cannot use DVD media at all.

The only solution is a new drive. If your computer is still under warranty, you can ask for a RMA :slight_smile:

Regarding the drive being seen as CD drive, it is a known problem in Windows XP, and is only “cosmetic”, i.e. it involves only the string shown in windows explorer, but the drive functioning is not influenced in any way :slight_smile:

Computer warranties normally last one year, and if not two or three correct? I believe it’s older than that. I don’t remember the exact time I bought it but I am certain it is more than three years ago. Also, what is an RMA?

Are you sure the problem is hardware related? I understandably don’t want to purchase a new drive if it isn’t necessary, particularly since my research also turned up that if the problem is related to my configuration that the new drive will have the exact same problem as the old drive.

There are two methods I could think of for a workaround. I don’t want to try either of them without consulting an expert first and seeing if they’re actually feasible but…

Method 1: I have two computers. One is having the DVD reading problem. The other the same disc works fine in, however the system specs aren’t good enough to play the game. I legally own the game, and have full and legal access to both computers, which are connected via a wireless network. The idea here is to find a way to insert the disc into the drive on computer 2, and have it be installed and played on computer 1. Not exactly sure how to do that, probably with remote desktop? It will work even better if after installing it I don’t need the DVD in computers 1 or 2 to play it.

Method 2: Similar to 1, but a bit simpler. Bypass the non working DVD drive in computer 1 by getting an iso using computer 2 and using that in computer 1. Only thing is I am about 75% sure the DVD drive on computer 2 is a DVD-ROM, and not a burner. Obviously that means I can’t burn data to DVDs, but can I still get data from them? I don’t remember. I haven’t used the burning abilities of my drives enough to be familiar with that aspect of their functionality.

Of course I’m hoping the problem is simply related to configuration, or a dirty/out of alignment lens on the DVD laser so I don’t have to do any complicated workarounds to get out of paying 50 bucks for a new external DVD drive.

QUOTE=PeterSP;2567583
Steps I have tried to attempt to fix this, with no success:
(…)[/quote]What you could try as final test: Get a bootable DVD (I like the Knoppix Live DVD for that, a Vista or Win7 install disc should be okay either) and see if you can boot your computer from that drive.

In addition I noticed something odd in device manager.

Under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers it seems as if there are too many entries. I don’t have enough technical expertise to know if there actually is something wrong here or not, but there are a total of nine entries here:

ATI IDE Controller.
Primary IDE Channel (listed 3 times).
Secondary IDE Channel (listed 3 times).
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller (listed 2 times).

That is nothing to be worried about. Seems your motherboard chipset has several SATA ports plus PATA connections. If the Sata controller is configured as IDE, it will show up as described above.

Michael

I do not have any bootable DVDs about, nor can I try to make any without first getting some writable media. And if it’s not recognizing a commercial DVD, it probably won’t recognize blank media either.

This is one of those computers where instead of giving you the software discs to install stuff on your computer they install that at the factory and don’t give you any discs, not even OEM discs. Which caused me no end of grief with the aforementioned hard drive failure - having to have someone else reinstall stuff cost as much as the hard drive itself.

That is nothing to be worried about. Seems your motherboard chipset has several SATA ports plus PATA connections. If the Sata controller is configured as IDE, it will show up as described above.

Michael

How do I tell if the SATA controller is configured as IDE, and what does it mean if it isn’t?

[QUOTE=PeterSP;2567605]I do not have any bootable DVDs about, nor can I try to make any without first getting some writable media. And if it’s not recognizing a commercial DVD, it probably won’t recognize blank media either.[/quote]Okay. Then skip that, go ahead and buy a new drive.

This is one of those computers where instead of giving you the software discs to install stuff on your computer they install that at the factory and don’t give you any discs, not even OEM discs.
IIRC, then there should have been a “create recovery discs application” preinstalled.

How do I tell if the SATA controller is configured as IDE, and what does it mean if it isn’t?
This is a Bios setting. Don’t change unless you love BSODs. :cool:

Seriously, there are several possible operation modes for Sata controllers:

[ul][li]AHCI
[/li][li]RAID
[/li][li]IDE[/ul]AHCI gives a slight performance gain, but this mode is not always good for connecting an optical drive. Additionally, on Windows XP and older, the drivers have to be installed during setup.
[/li]In IDE mode, the controller behaves like an IDE controller. Compatibility with older flavours of Windows and optical drives is better.

Michael

Ouch.

IIRC, then there should have been a “create recovery discs application” preinstalled.

I think there was. However I did not RTFM, so when I finally did have a problem, and cracked open the manual with ‘recovery discs’ I was very annoyed to find those were blank, and I should have burned them. When the software was reinstalled, the innate create recovery discs utility didn’t get reinstalled with it. According to emachines, this can only be installed at the factory, which would explain it. In any case the hard drive problem has long since been resolved.

This is a Bios setting. Don’t change unless you love BSODs. :cool:

BIOS? I think I’ll stay well away then.

Since the workarounds I’ve thought of seem more appropriate for other sections of the board I’ll post new threads for them. But I’m still not done with this thread, just in case someone else has ideas that can help.

Sorry for the double post, but something else occurred to me.

I do not have a bootable DVD. Though attempting with a non bootable DVD yielded interesting results.

Computer starts booting, gets to the part where it displays the eMachines logo. Computer attempts to read DVD, the light comes on, I hear it making sounds, but it does not succeed. After about 1-2 minutes it stops. The computer immediately continues to load (normally it gets past this screen much faster).

At the part where it says that Windows XP is loading though I do hear the DVD drive successfully running… however about 30-45 seconds later it stops. And since the computer hasn’t actually booted up to the desktop, I cannot input any commands, and when I check it after doing so it still refuses to read the disc.

However it is the fact I can make the DVD drive seem to work under those conditions that makes me think it is not a hardware problem.

[QUOTE=PeterSP;2567883]Sorry for the double post, but something else occurred to me.[/quote]Double posting only increases confusion - that’s why we don’t allow double posts. :cop:

I do not have a bootable DVD.
Perhaps you can ask a friend?

Though attempting with a non bootable DVD yielded interesting results.
Usually you get a message that the disc is not bootable then.

Computer starts booting, gets to the part where it displays the eMachines logo. Computer attempts to read DVD, the light comes on, I hear it making sounds, but it does not succeed. (…)
(…)
However it is the fact I can make the DVD drive seem to work under those conditions that makes me think it is not a hardware problem.
No. Your drive attempts to read the disc, but it fails after some time. If you insert a non-bootable disc into a healthy drive, then you would get a “non-bootable disc” error message after a few seconds. Depending on your Bios (you have no influence on that) you are then either prompted to do something or the computer will check the next drive in boot order if this is bootable automagically.

You may try to clean the lens - or as already suggested - replace the drive.
There are lots of more or less good tutorials on the net
http://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+install+a+DVD+drive
plus there are installation instructions available on the ODD manufacturer’s support websites. And some drives even come with a printed version of the instructions.

Michael

Oops.

Perhaps you can ask a friend?

My “friends” can better be described as “people who insist, if not demand my help at every turn, but are willing to outright lie and worse to avoid providing me with free favors”. Suffice it to say, I cannot rely upon others to help me unless there’s something in it for them. Yes, I do need to hang around better people. That’s neither here nor there.

Usually you get a message that the disc is not bootable then.

No. Your drive attempts to read the disc, but it fails after some time. If you insert a non-bootable disc into a healthy drive, then you would get a “non-bootable disc” error message after a few seconds. Depending on your Bios (you have no influence on that) you are then either prompted to do something or the computer will check the next drive in boot order if this is bootable automagically.

You may try to clean the lens - or as already suggested - replace the drive.
There are lots of more or less good tutorials on the net
http://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+install+a+DVD+drive
plus there are installation instructions available on the ODD manufacturer’s support websites. And some drives even come with a printed version of the instructions.

Michael

Well, so much for that hope. I do find it odd it seems to successfully run while Windows XP is loading, but not any other time though. So, cleaning the lens. That means either getting a cleaner disc or dismantling the drive, right?

Hi,[QUOTE=PeterSP;2568052]
My “friends” [/quote]Okay. No option for you then. :frowning:

Well, so much for that hope. I do find it odd it seems to successfully run while Windows XP is loading, but not any other time though. So, cleaning the lens. That means either getting a cleaner disc or dismantling the drive, right?
Exactly. Or trying compressed air (such is sold in cans in hardware and electronic stores). I personally prefer dismantling, but YMMV.

On the other hand, the 55x drives weren’t that good at all. So this would be a good opportunity to get something better :smiley:

Michael

[QUOTE=mciahel;2568058]Exactly. Or trying compressed air (such is sold in cans in hardware and electronic stores). I personally prefer dismantling, but YMMV.

On the other hand, the 55x drives weren’t that good at all. So this would be a good opportunity to get something better :smiley:

Michael[/QUOTE]

I’ve already made some arrangements for a replacement drive. But out of curiosity, where would I shoot the compressed air into?

Open the tray with a paperclip (using the emergency eject hole) and then go ahead.

Michael

[QUOTE=mciahel;2568096]Open the tray with a paperclip (using the emergency eject hole) and then go ahead.

Michael[/QUOTE]

The tray as in the part you put discs on? I can open that normally. Or did you mean something else by opening it?

Yes, the tray you throw your discs in :wink:

Michael