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DVD drive only works sometimes


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#1
sari

sari

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I have an Optiplex GX620 that seems to be having an issue with the DVD drive. I can read some CDs, but not all. I originally noticed the issue when I was trying to import CDs into my iTunes. Sometimes it wouldn't read the CDs. If I ejected and re-inserted the CD, sometimes repeatedly, it might eventually read it. It finally got to the point that it wouldn't read anything - my daughter was trying to install her Sims game and it wouldn't read it. I deleted the drive in Device Manager and let it re-install, and then it started reading some things again. We were able to get the Sims game installed, but it has frozen in the middle of playing, and I think it's related to the DVD drive not working right. It will still only read some music CDs, and it seems to be random as to when it reads them. Since it was still having issues, I downloaded the most recent drivers I could find from the Dell website, but that hasn't fixed the problem.

When I insert a CD, the light will blink and I will get an hourglass briefly on the cursor, even if it doesn't ultimately recognize that there is a CD in the drive. This was true even when it wouldn't recognize anything. Sometimes I'll even hear it start to spin, then it just stops.
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#2
stettybet0

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It sounds like the DVD drive is dying. I had a similar problem with a CD burner drive recently. Before long, it wouldn't recognize any CD, no matter how many times I tried. Replacing the drive fixed the issue.

A few questions to verify my hypothesis:

How does the drive fair in reading DVDs? How old is the computer? Is the drive capable of burning CDs or DVDs, and if so, how many have you burned in its lifetime (estimate, of course)?
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#3
sari

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Stettybet, that's what I was afraid of. It reads DVDs more consistently than CDs. The computer (and the drive) is about 3 years old. I burn CDs so infrequently - the last time I needed to, it worked, which I think was when I was building my home server - March, maybe. I've burned probably 10 in the life of the drive.

If that's the case, I'll get a replacement - it's not a huge deal to replace it, but if you have any ideas to fix it, I'm open to them.
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#4
The Admiral

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Here's my suggestion for every CD/DVD drive problem.

Follow Method 2 in MSKB 314060 to clear some potentially conflicting entries in the registry that cause a multitude of problems.

Also, if the drive is detected, try flashing the firmware on the drive. Expand CD/DVD on this page and select the appropriate CD drive. The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Also, let's Stettybet's theory of a drive dying. Download the Dell Diagnostics Distribution Package, run it, and put the Dell Diagnostics onto a flash drive or CD. Then boot to that CD or flash drive, and once you are into the diagnostics click Test System, then Custom Test, expand CD/DVD drives, expand the faulty drive, and then click on "Optical Built In Self Test" or something like unto it. Then click "Run Test" in the bottom left corner. This will run a number of hardware checks on the drive, like spindle speed, tray functionality, etc. If running the diagnostics from a flash drive, be sure to put in a CD for the drive to use. If anything fails during this test, chances are your drive is bad.

Edited by The Admiral, 27 August 2008 - 09:06 AM.

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