CD-ROM: problem to read CDs

I have an "old" Mitsumi 2 speed IDE CD-ROM that is causing me problems. Sometimes, it isn't able to read the CD-ROM or it begins to read and stops after a certain time. The message I have is that it is not accessible (Windows 95).

I would like to have your opinion on what the problem could be. Here are things that could be important:

- some CDs I use have been burnt by a CD-ROM writter;
- I have just installed a sound card (hardware conflict?)

Do you thinck that the CD-ROM reader is out of order?

Thanks for help!

LVL 5
fontaineAsked:
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fontaineAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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TimCaturaHouserCommented:
Prehaps you should reject this answer, and withdraw the question. You seem to have a very good handle on your challanges. All I can do is give you a deeper understanding of your correct suspecions.

1) CD's that are not mass produced. Gold disks have a lower reflection than aluminum, greenes's lower yet, blue's completely bite.  If the laser is weak from age, dirt, etc.... you will get this....

2) It is possible that you have a sound card with a IDE channel on it. While it may not be hooked up, it could be popping a IRQ which is shared. Look in Start/Settings/Control Panel/System ... check by your IRQ. Nose around the 14/15 area very closely.

Even if no device is installed, a scan may be happening to see if any devices are installed, causing your lock.

A well under $100. for a 24x, it may be time to retire the 2x, if you find that mass produced cd work fine, and its the gold/green ones that flake out. (Old and tired laser).

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jrhelgesonCommented:
What are you talking about, Old tired laser?
Have you ever heard of an old, tired lightbulb?
Have you ever heard of an old, tired LED?  It either works, or it doesn't.

What are you talking about with the reduced reflectivity of Gold CD's?  The Gold CD produces a much higher readability because the laser light does not "Bounce" around in the cd, giving it a much "cleaner" read.  Thus reducing the need for oversampling.

Where do you get your info?  I am seriously curious!
I have worked as the MIS for several multimedia production studios, and have been burning CD's since we purchased a full height cd Burner unit for over 30k.
I now consult with several studios now.

If this is just some theory you have come up with, it needs refinement.
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rmarottaCommented:
fontaine,
I always try to run a problem CD-ROM in real-mode DOS first.  This can eliminate may problems associated with the way windows handles the drive.
I've had older drives refuse to read a CD recordable except when using  the DOS driver.
If it works okay in DOS, you can begin to troubleshoot for Windows related problems.
Regards,
Ralph

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TimCaturaHouserCommented:
I have seen reduction in output. Yes, lightbulbs do reduce with age. So does HID lighting, and photostrobes, floursents, etc. Prehaps solid state lasers give off less because of a reducing voltage (with age) because the electronics driving them begins to drift.... (caps that begin to lose storage ability, resitors that drift with age).... This does not take into account plain old dirt and other associated grimes....

You information sounds very good on why gold cd's. Thank you... My information on the gold may be incorrect. I read approx. 100 magazines (trade) per month, so I don't remember where I got that data..... The data on the colbat (blue) cd's is my own experience.... I am sure that your commerical laser burner is of better quality than a consumer's 2.x. As a guy who has been doing field work for a few decades, I hope to offer you a new piece of data. Solid state laser in comsumer products do exibit a reduction in output over time. Again it may be the supporting electronics, not the LED itself, but would this fine point be of interest to the end user? A poor read, is a poor read.

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busukaCommented:
My suggestion is: first of all, clean lens of your CD-ROM. You can
do this with compressed air (best) or stick cleaning CD (not recommended
for continuous usage).
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fontaineAuthor Commented:
Thank you everybody for you help!
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