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no CD in drive error

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Hello everyone. I am writing on behalf of my moms dell XPS 400. she has had multiple problems with it, eg The Sims 2 crashes all the time, DISP errors, Direct X errors all having to do with the sims 2. and a couple of times on start up it will display a pre-boot error message that i dont remember what it says (somethig about master/slave stuff) but at the times when it displays this error, the CD/DVD drive(s) will not be usable, they wont even be powered, you cant eject or anything. but this would be simply resolved by restarting and then on restart there would be no errors and everything would be fine. and this first started occuring when the graphic card drivers were uninstalled (in the process of trying to fix the sims graphic errors)

so this is just some background info, the problem we are having now is this:

now when she tries to run anything from the CD drive it tells her to insert the correct CD. but the CD IS in the drive. also what confounds me is the fact that when you go to my computer and choose open on the drive, it will read the contents just fine. so for that reason i dont think its a driver problem because it still reads the CD it just wont start the program. it started doing this randomly for no reason (that i know of). an interesting note as well is that when the sims 2 is started it gives a blank error dialog box. nothing but an Ok button on it. odd..

its also insteresting to note that this is the second XPS that my mom has had. she sent the other one back to dell because it was doing the same thing with the cd drive so they sent us a new one and after a few weeks, the same problem is back. i have no idea what is causing it, maybe it has something to do with something shes done or that game that has all kinds of problems. i dont know. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. she (and therefore me as well) is at wits end!

The Cd drive is a Phillips DVD + RW DVD8801

Edited by mitharatowen, 06 August 2006 - 09:45 PM.

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Tru Techie

Tru Techie


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well, ok if ur willing to reinstall the OS, then go ahead and do that. and that error message about Master/Slave is most likely with ur CD Drive. do u have 2 CD/DVD Drives? if so. then the problem is that either they are both set to slave or master. if that is the case what you wanna do is. you take the CD Drive out, like unplug it, Both of them. then. you look at the parts where the cables connect. and to the far left you will see some pings, 6 of them will be grouped together, and 2 will be slightly seperated to the right i believe. and in those 6 pins, there is going to be this blackish cap that is covering 2 pins. what you want to do with only one of the drives, is take out at cap, and put it in the 2 pins (vertically) to the right. so here is how it iwll look
.---.---. | . . -M=Master
.---.---. | . . -S=Slave
to set the drive to master, put that black cap on the 2 vertical pins labelled above.

and on the OTHER drive put the black cap on the 2 pins vertical in the middle, labelled above.

the when plugging it in the IDE channel will have to ends that connect to the drives, the one at the very END of the cable connects to the Master and the one in the middle connects to the Slave. ALSO when connecting the power cable, the Molex connector, its the one with 4 holes in it an dit has a wires colored red-black-black-yellow.

then reinstall the OS. go to your motherboards manufacturers website (either dell or intel im guessing) and download the proper driver for the motherboard. then download the update for your Video Card. then try installing Sims 2.

sry the image is really BAD, but the stupid board wont let me put spaces between them so i had to replace the parts inbetween the pins (periods) by dashes. so just ignore ALL the dashes u se ein that graph. and the letters u see corresspond to the pins directly above/below the letter.

my god DELL sucks. yeah they sent u a "new" one.

Edited by Tru Techie, 07 August 2006 - 10:29 AM.

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