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 PostPost subject: DVD drive only reading DVDs and not CDs?        Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:26 am 
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Hey,

Just wondered if anyone might know what is up here - I recently installed the copy of Vista Ultimate that I got from HeroesHappenHere on my PC and found that no CDs (burned or retail, all work fine in other PCs) were recognised, whereas all DVDs work fine. CDs worked up to only about a week ago, so I tried in my old Vista Business installation and Mac OS X on the same PC and still nothing, only DVDs, so it looks like the new Windows installation may have been a coincidence.


When I put any CD in the light comes on the drive (not flashing, just on) and instead of the disc spinning up after a few seconds like it normally does it appears to do nothing, although you can hear some very faint sounds a bit like the ones DVD players for TVs make when you first put the disc in if you go right up to the drive. Windows Explorer hangs during this time, and after about 15 seconds or so the light goes off and the machine behaves as if there is no disc at all in there, ie clicking on the drive in My Computer says "please insert a disc" and ejects the tray. It's not an absolutely massive problem as I can install things by sharing my laptop's DVD drive over the network, but it's kinda annoying. The drive's just a standard SATA DVD-RW, 8 months old.

Thanks :)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:32 am 
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Common symptom of a DVD drive going bad. You might be lucky and find that the lens is just dirty so try one of those disk drive cleaning kits. If that doesn't work, your only option will be a new drive. From what I've read in other places, DVD drives don't seem to last more than a year with average use, so if you've used yours quite a lot, then 8 months is about right. I don't use mine all that often and its over a year old now but it can't have long to go. I've already had one stop working in the past after a year or so, so it must be true.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:41 am 
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Andy wrote:
Common symptom of a DVD drive going bad. You might be lucky and find that the lens is just dirty so try one of those disk drive cleaning kits. If that doesn't work, your only option will be a new drive. From what I've read in other places, DVD drives don't seem to last more than a year with average use, so if you've used yours quite a lot, then 8 months is about right. I don't use mine all that often and its over a year old now but it can't have long to go. I've already had one stop working in the past after a year or so, so it must be true.


I don't know how they die so quickly... Mines about 2.5 years old, burned *hundreds* of DVD's (in upwards of 500+) and its working fine.

Vista Ultimate R2: your burner is definetly dying. I'd just buy a new one, I can buy them brand new here in Australia for $28AUD (13.70pounds). Get a Pioneer one, thats what I have.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:09 pm 
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Damn, that really sucks if it has to be replaced, not so much the cost but that my case has bezels over the drives meaning to slide a new drive in you have to pull the front of the case (which is so difficult to get off it takes ages and would probably need everything else taking out of the box for risk of breaking it), or I guess you might be able to get it in from behind which would mean taking the power supply out (again, almost total dismantlement) :(


As it's less than a year old, is there any way of getting a free replacement? It came from Dabs.com and was an OEM one (no box etc) - do OEM ones have warranties and if so do you send it back to Dabs or the manufacturer? I may just have to live with it though as I really don't want to have to totally dismantle the PC :(


I'm guessing a lens-cleaning CD wouldn't work as it doesn't seem to spin up any CD, and would a DVD (if there are cleaning DVDs) clean the CD part of it?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:27 pm 
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If its under 1 year old then it will still be under warranty. All electronic items come with a 1 year warranty. Just get them to replace it under warranty. Unfortunately either way you'll still have to dismantle the PC to replace it.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 3:18 pm 
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DVD drives are made so cheaply these days.... even the non-OEM drives (The ones that costed 100+ 2 or 3 years ago) are built poorly. I had an LG drive that died a while back (Paid $120 for it) and have only burned 5 DVD's and a few CD's with it. Now it won't read CD's and only burns to DVD-RW's. This kind of crap ticks me off. If you pay a premium price for a premium drive, it should last for a while, regardless if their considered "disposable". :x


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat May 24, 2008 5:37 pm 
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I've had no problems with read-only drives (CD and DVD) or older burners (32x CDRW drives and such, salvaged from "dead" machines).

That said, my first brand new DVDRW/RAM does-everything-including-the-washing-up drive was an HP dvd840 w/LightScribe and I think it was bad almost from installation. I came to a point where I needed to burn some backup DVDs, podcasts and such, but when I burned them I'd have a ring about 1/4cm wide about 1/2cm in from the centre that looked unburnt. Most of these DVDs read fine, DVDs would just skip for a moment when they hit the ring, but it was obvious that the drive was a dud after trying many different types and brands of media. CDs always burnt perfectly.

I took it back to the shop almost a year after getting it (I thought it might've been bad media/buffer underrun/crappy burning software or something) and after a little hesitation they were good enough to exchange it for a brand new drive of the same model rather than tell me to send it to HP. The replacement drive seems to be fine so far, but my introduction to DVD burning wasn't all that sweet.


I was fixing up a friend's machine and remembered he said that his optical drives were playing up, the DVD drive wouldn't read CDs (but could read DVDs) and the CDRW wouldn't burn them (but would read them). Tried checking cables, tried flashing them, cleaning them, everything, and I finally gave up and told him they were just crap drives that had semi-died.

I guess it's not all that unusual for optical drives to die after all. :(


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:18 pm 
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My OEM drive had the same problem. It still works occasionaly but the tray wont lock unless i turn it upside down. I had to switch to my backup drive i got in 2005. It still works great.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:54 pm 
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Thanks for the tips guys :) Ended up ordering a new drive (Pioneer this time, thought I'd try those as someone recommended them), looks like I'm going to suffer for having a "bling" case rather than a basic one where you can just slide the drives in and out... Decided to bling it a bit more while buying the drive though, eBuyer had a pair of nice blue lights for just £3 that I'm going to mount inside it, thought I might as well stick those in there if I'm going to have to open it up anyway!

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:59 pm 
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Finally got my new drive fitted, after about an hour of trying to get at the drive in the PC including cutting my hand on it somewhere! :x Honestly, these "bling" cases might look pretty but they sure aren't aren't as easy to replace parts in as the more basic ones! Can't get the drive out throught he back of the bay as there's something stopping it, can't get it out through the front as to do that you're supposed to pull the whole front off the case, which I managed once after similar pain when first building the PC but couldn't do this time, eventually managed to prise the bezel off from in front of the drive and slide it out that way instead! Anyway, seems to be working now, let's hope this one lasts a bit longer! (and hopefully it works with OS X, the last one did perfectly, haven't tried this one yet)

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