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Computer not recognising CD-ROM drives
Thread poster: xxxAnneM
xxxAnneM  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 9, 2004


Have just discovered that my computer is not recognising either of my CD-ROM drives all of a sudden.
Any ideas on what has happened and how I can remedy this please?

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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
German to Polish
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Try to reinstall drivers first Mar 9, 2004

Maybe another software has damaged your driver files. This should work in most cases.

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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
Member (2005)
German to Spanish
Run Scandisk Mar 9, 2004

Try with Scandisk sometimes it help.

If you are working with XP.
Go to Start/Run/
write into the dialog:
and let it work

Maybe... if not
restore your System

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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:10
Member (2004)
German to English
A few thoughts Mar 9, 2004

How long is it since you knew the drive was working? Have you installed or uninstalled any new software since then, or added any new devices to your computer? If you have, that will be where to start looking for the cause of the problem.

Have a look in Device Manager and see if that is reporting any conflicts within the system. I use Windows 98, so can't comment on how you to that in other version, but for Win 98 you go to Control Panel, then click on System, then on the tab which says Device Manager. This will show you several things. Firstly, if there is an exclamation mark in a yellow circle anywhere that means there is a hardware conflict to do with that item, and that could well be part of the problem. Secondly, make sure that CD-Rom is listed as a component in Device Manager - if it isn't, your computer isn't even "aware" that it's got a CD drive. Thirdly, click on the "Cd-Rom" item in the list - this will bring up a list of your CD drives - are there any yellow exclamation marks here? - then for each drive you can click on "Performance" and the computer will tell you whether it thinks the drive is working OK.

Has the computer been moved or shaken - if so, there's a possibility that a cable might have come loose inside, and it could be worth taking the cover off to have a look.

You may need to reinstall the drivers for the CD drives - although it is puzzling if you have to do this without understanding why the problem has arisen. In Windows 98 the drivers are usually on the start-up floppy disk - I'm don't know where they'd be in other versions.

Good luck!

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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:10
Danish to English
+ ...
CD drive Mar 9, 2004

A. Young is correct, but there is also one more thing you can do. Go to the CD manufacture's web site and download an new driver. You will need to check your equipment list first to be sure you download the correct driver for the type and make of CD you have.

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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:10
Member (2004)
German to English
And one more thought Mar 9, 2004

I don't usually use Windows XP, but on a couple of occasions when I have had access to it I have been impressed by the System Restore function which lets you restore your system settings to how they were on a date that you specify. If you tell it to restore the system to how it was on a date when you know the CD drives were working it might do the trick.

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invguy  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:10
English to Bulgarian
I'd have written more or less what Armorel wrote Mar 9, 2004

... and I agree with all of it.

Actually, except for one thing: the CD drivers are not exactly on the startup floppy. It only contains a set of basic CD drivers to ensure CD support at startup. Else, every version of Windows (95 and later)should automatically recognize the CD and install a perfectly working (even if not the latest) driver.

CDs operate in a pretty straightforward way, so they are much less sensitive to the driver version used, unlike other peripherals such as video or sound cards. I don't think a new driver version would solve the problem here.

Anne, I noted that you wrote "either of my CD drives". If you have two CD drives and they stopped working at the same time, this is a good clue.

Normally the HDD(s) and CD(s) are connected through the same disk interface, basically EIDE. There are exceptions, but this is true for the vast majority of computers. The disk interface comprises two channels (primary and secondary) where each of them is capable of 'holding' one or two devices. Each of these channels has a separate connector on the motherboard, and a wide flat cable connecting it with the drive(s).

If your two CDs were connected to the secondary channel - which would be normal - the two most likely causes IMO are:

1) For some mechanical reason (mechanical shock, or installing a new device in the box and fiddling with the cables) the secondary channel cable has been (maybe partly) disconnected where it enters the motherboard. If you have opened you computer recently, this may be it. Open it again, trace the cable and push the connector back in place; or

2) You may have been fixing something in the CMOS setup and inadvertently disabled the secondary IDE channel.

This could explain why both CD drives stopped working at the same time, as well as why your HDD(s) is/are still working normally. They obviously do, otherwise you would have mentioned it... no?


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Andy Watkinson
Local time: 18:10
Catalan to English
+ ...
"Removed"anything recently? Mar 10, 2004

As mentioned above, the PC may not even be "aware" that there's a CD drive attached.

This could be becuase you recently removed some other device (using the remove safely/extraer hardware con seguridad), such as a USB memory, floppy drive or something else and inadvertently removed the CD as well.

Just a thought on how it perhaps happened.


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xxxAnneM  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank you Aug 11, 2004

Thank you all for your suggestions, and I'm very sorry for not replying sooner. I was waiting to get it repaired so I could let you know what had gone wrong, and I really only got it seen to last week. Basically, the connections inside had come loose. Once again, thank you all and sorry for not replying sooner. Anne

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Local time: 18:10
English to German
+ ...
check the connecting cables Nov 11, 2004

Hi! They sometimes get burnt up due to power fluctuations.

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Computer not recognising CD-ROM drives

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