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Disappearance/Reappearance of CD-RW (IDE) and DVD-RW (USB) Drives

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Hello All,

This question pertains to an old machine, a Dell Dimension 4550, WinXP Pro V2002 SP3, P4 CPU 2.4GHz, 1GB RAM.

A while ago I "lost" the CD drive (Sony CRX175A) on the computer and assumed it had gone bad. Before that happened, I had also been using a LiteON SOHW-1693SX USB DVD-RW drive as well, but had taken it elsewhere. Today, when I hooked it up again it was MIA as well.

After some research, found this Your CD drive or DVD drive is missing or not recognized by Windows or other programs on the Microsoft website. It has also been much discussed in these parts, too.

First I uninstalled the devices in device manager, then followed the instructions given in the above MS Support article, rebooted and both devices are back. Now, the interesting part:

1. For both devices, they are listed as their correct type and working
in device manager and in appearance under "My Computer".

2. If you insert a CD into either one, both spin up and correctly detect
the type of the CD, e.g., CD ROM, CD RW.

3. If you then attempt to open the drive to look at what's on the CD:

a) If it's a data disc you get nothing showing in the
folder listing, and, in most cases a message box
asking you to "Insert disc into {drive letter}"

b) If it's a music disc, you get no track listing, but
never the "Insert disc" message. At the same time,
both Windows Media Player and Real Player can both
get full track listings and play the CDs

c) For both drives, sometimes, if you just let them sit
there for a while, you can get a correct folder/track
listing under Windows Explorer. This is on a drive
that initially read the disc and insisted that you
"Insert disc" into it when you attempt to view the
contents. [Believe me, I am [b]not[/b] rushing
to look at the CD content until after the drives have
done their "spin and blink" and that has ended.]

Has anyone ever seen this sort of behavior before? Is there a fix for it?

Thanks much,
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