CDROM won't spin

My CDROM has been working for several months. It has no problem reading Thief, my favorable game. But gradually, it develops into a pattern that when I insert a CDROM, Thief or otherwise, into it, it doesn't spin up. OK I can't determine whether it is spinning. What I can see is its LED turns on for several seconds, and then off. The behaviour is identical to the case when the CDROM drive is empty. If it reads a disk, LED would turn on briefly (two seconds I think), turn off some .3 seconds, and then turn on again with a noise I associated with spinning.

When such a case appears, I keep removing and reinserting the CDROM and sometimes it succeeded in reading it. Seems it doesn't matter which disk I insert, because disks that it can read this morning, it may refuse this afternoon.

Weeks ago, if I insisted, it usually ends up spinning the drive and read it. This week, I haven't ever succeeded in making it read a single CDROM.

I applied a CDROM cleaner last month, although I do not see any measurable improvement. Today, even the cleaner disk won't spin.

Actually, it already happened before with my older 12x (Teac I think) CDROM. I blamed it and bought a 36x ASUS CDROM. Now the same develops again.

I tried to assign the CDROM drive to its own IDE channel, and switch back to be the slave of the primary channel. No difference observed.

Any ideas please?


Any idea
Irene012397Asked:
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Irene012397Author Commented:
More info. When it doesn't spin, it takes about 8 seconds.

And just after sending the question, I succeeded in persuading it to read Tomb Raider III. No idea why. It has rejected the disk for more than 20 times today. Bye for now for I got to play it when it still spins...
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Banyan99Commented:
My first guess would be a dirty cd drive. Have you tried cleaning it. If so then I would suggest you get another one. Because this seems to be dead.
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GleasonGuyCommented:
Try double-clicking "My Computer", then right-click on the CD-drive listed there. Select "Properties", then select the "AutoPlay Extender" tab. Select the "AutoStart" button and you should be OK.
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cybsashaCommented:
Did you try to connect CD-ROM on other IDE channel, I had problem like this , when my on chip IDE secondory controller not  working corect.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
:Banyan99
as I mentioned, I cleaned it a month ago. And yesterday, I can't spin up the cleaner disk to clean it.

The drive is only several month old, so it is hard to believe that it is dead.

:GleasonGuy
on the properties popup, I have only two tabs: General and Sharing. NoiAutoPlay Extender. BTW, when the disk don't spin, and if I click the drive in explorer, it says drive not ready. Clicking "retry" on this dialogue does nothing except popping up the drive not ready dialogue one more time.

And I don't really think autoplay matters, because to me autoplay means when a new CDROM is detected Windows reads the autorun.inf to start processing. When my drive doesn't spin, I can't even see the contents in the explorer.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
:cybsasha

I believe I mentioned that I have tried this. I have one IDE HD and this IDE CDROM. I have tried two configs:

1) HD as primary master and CDROM as primary slave.

2) HD as primary master and CDROM as secondary master.

I do not see any behavior difference between these two configurations regarding my problem.
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j2Commented:
Just accept the fact that your CDROM is faulty and replace it? (and make sure the 12V powerfeed is intact, otherwise the motor wont spin, but the logic part (5V) will still work.)
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Irene012397Author Commented:
First, I have already seen two of my CDROMs behaved this way. I suspect that it is not their fault. Second if the powerfeed has problem, I suppose it would not display intermittent symtoms that I saw. Or put it the other way. Does the tray need 12V? I NEVER have problem having the tray move out or move in. Just that on some days I have to retry dozens of times before it spins and recognize a disc is present. Once it is recognized, I have never encountered problems reading the disk until I power off or replace the disk with another. Doesn't sound like a power problem to me.
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j2Commented:
tray runs on 5v (atlesat in all CD's ive dissasembled :) ). If i were to guess, the laser or the focusing mechanism is faulty.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
If the laser or focusing is faulty, why in some cases it reads OK, and when it reads OK it continues to read OK?

How can I verify if this is really the case? What can I do to overcome it?
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j2Commented:
If that IS the case, you can't do anything. The way i see it, apart from cleaning it, making sure the connectors are fastened, what else can you do?
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Irene012397Author Commented:
Since I have changed it from primary slave to secondary master and back, I suppose that I can say I have made sure the data connectors are fastened. I'd have to check the power connectors though...
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cmarks55Commented:
The power supply in your computer case is dying.  Replace that and you'll be all set.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
The power supply is less than a year old, and I deliberately chose one with 230W output. Anyway, can I put this theory to test (besides buying a new power supply)? Buying one doesn't cost much but unscrewing the old one and redoing the wires is some work that I should like to avoid if that is not the cure.
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j2Commented:
if the powersupply was dying, you would also see random reboots, and tons of "Access violations" "General Protection faults".

If the PSU is dying, its only the cables servinf the CD that is dying.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
I have seen none of these three symtoms. BTW my system does hang sometimes (up to three times a week). After it hangs and I reboot, scandisk will find a 4K file and ask if I want to save or delete it. If I save it and read it, it contains some data with several text strings "PCI". I think it is W95OSR2 because the two machines have no hardware in common.
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cmarks55Commented:
I added an extra device (cdrw) and found that either my floppy or cdrw or regular cd-rom would randomly chose not to work for a couple of minutes when I went to use it (sound familiar?) and I had a 230W power supply.  I also had 6 slots on the board full, 3 ram chips, 2 case fans, 2 cdroms, the floppy and 2 hard drives.  Replaced with a 300Watt and all was good.  It is possible that the computer is drawing too much power for the devices present and that is the problem...the power supply may not be dying, just unable to handle your requirements.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
OK I'd do some testing. However it would really take some time because I can come back and give you some feedback. You see, it is not yes or no. I need to make a single change, observe for a few days to take statistics, make another change, so on. One day I'd be back.
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cmarks55Commented:
pull one power-hungry device and see if all is well....(I don't know if there is anything you can change though....

it also could be the power from your outlet.  At our office, the power is so bad you can watch the lights dim on almost regular intervals (about 20 seconds apart) so we're all on APCs.

sounds to me like a power related issue, especially since this is your second bad one in too short of a time period.

I could be completely wrong in your case....
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Irene012397Author Commented:
Yes it is convincing but these two days I have a run of good luck (>50% success on first insertion!) after the bad day (0%). I would need to take pencil and paper records and then unplug my fan. BTW can a PC use TWO power supplies? I suppose all DC supplies are the same and it doesn't matter how many separate power supplies I am using, right?
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j2Commented:
Yes, they can, AS LONG AS they have the same ground potential.

Also note that most PC PSU's requires a minimum load on ALL voltages to start.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
Ahhh yes. minimum loading. But that is not too difficult if I assign drives well. The same ground is more difficult. If it were a lab experiment I would just tie the grounds of the two power supplies together. When it is my PC, I would say that it can't be done!
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tlarsenCommented:
Hello Irene,

I have seen a similar problem in audio CD players (the basic drive mechanism for the two types is the same).  The problem resulted from wear on the motor spindle.  This could be resulting from buying cheaper hardware, less quality metals, etc.  What occurs, essentially, is that the motor can't start spinning, expecially with a disk sitting on it, will not be able to "spool up" as it were.  Since it is not really possible to give it a twist by hand (since it is pulling the disk in on the tray) the motor shaft remains in the same position.  If this is the problem it will occur wether there is a disk in the tray or not.

For the test repair that I did on the audio cd player, I set it up so that I could give the disk a push after the door would close.  In that case it could continue to spin, and the problem was solved for a while.  The downside is, it is a pain to do it that way.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
I tend to believe in cmarks55. ASUS isn't a bad manufacturer and it is difficult to believe a new CDROM can wear out an important part within half a year. Moreover, if wearing out is the case, ability to start should not be as "persistantly random" as it is: seems random everyday, but if it doesn't spin, can persist for a time long enough to wear out my patience.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
tlarsen: I didn't notice yours is an answer. Now if there any way to demonstrate that yours answer is correct?

BTW I am losing faith in the power assumption. I have disconnected three fans and the BIOS/DMI are reporting the same voltage: around 11.47 and -12.47. At times, they could rise in magnitue by some 0.15V (to as high as 11.6 and -12.6V). However, I can't see any different before and after removing the fans, and I can't see any difference in voltage when the CDROM spins and when it doesn't.

One new observation I didn't notice earlier. It may not be a spinning problem. When I am playing a game, I believe the CDROM must have spinned down. But I have no difficult to reading the disk again as long as it is properly detected when the disk is loaded. Once loaded, it can be read till I eject it, or till I shutdown Windows. If it was a power issue, then everytime it spins down it should be as difficult to read the disk as when it was first inserted.


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djraCommented:
I have replaced many CD's with this problem and always try them in another PC always with the same result which makes the power theory unlikely (Something you could try?). I believe the reason for not spinning up or spinning up then stopping is the laser doesn't recognise the CD as a CD. Perhaps more direct lens cleaning is required. Also I wouldn't count on brand as a sign of long life as all the ones I replace are 'brand' names and fair few fail around 12 months. If it is under 12 months old is it still under warranty?
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Irene012397Author Commented:
Replacing is a very difficult task. Yet I think I am going to do it, cause after two days of very good luck, it goes back again. Even music CDs aren't recognised.

Yes I think you have a good point: I believe it is that the drive doesn't recognize the disk as a CD.

But the most important point you made is about the warranty. Yes I should still have it. I'd phone them tomorrow!
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pcfelixCommented:
Dear Irene,

did you find any solution to your CD-Drive problem?
Guess, I have exactly the same bizarre thing on my notebook. I takes some CDs and others not. Like having a very exclusive taste....

Regards

Rai
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cmarks55Commented:
these wouldn't happen to be burned cd's, would they?  I found the Blue media for re-writeables re not universally accepted while the Green media are much better accepted (but still not perfect).  It doesn't matter what was burned, it's a media type thing.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
I still have no way to verify or refute the answer from tlarsen. However, the most useful advise is from djra, reminding me that my drive is still under warranty. I haven't yet the time to call the tech support so I don't know what will follow.

Something happened lately that I suspect to be the part of the problem. I am not sure whether it is true because thing changed too quickly.

A little early, an "outside" advise led me to check something. I found that I have been using MS Power Toys (or kernel toys, I don't remember since I installed all of them), and through TreakUI, I disabled "Play audio CD automatically" and "Play data CD automatically". These shouldn't matter because it just stop Windows from running autorun.inf and playing music by itself. The disk should still spin up and because available for use.

That day I noticed this, I turned the options back on, and the CDROM drive behave normally, for less than 48 hours (as I mentioned on Tuesday, December 07 1999 - 05:29AM PST). It stopped being able to read anything WHEN I AM PLAYING A GAME! This never happened before (as I mentioned, once a disk spinned up, Windows can read it until shutdown or disk change). After that, I haven't been able to read anything from the drive any more. I now really suspect that the drive is really dead.

I inserted the older CDROM that doesn't spin up (with the same symtom). I tested twice and twice I read the disk OK. So it seems that these options are not very healthy for use. In the minimum, these options stop the disk from being recognized as a CDROM when the drive is dying.

As for yesterday, I took the CDROM in my office and installed it at home. I would call tech supp for my ASUS CDROM as soon as I can to further find out what happened.

As for you, pcfelix, see if it is picky about the disk (that is, some disks always works and some always have trouble) or just random. If it is just random, see if you have TWEAKUI installed.

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Irene012397Author Commented:
cmark55,

what is Blue Media and what is Green Media?
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cmarks55Commented:
Color of the read-side of the CD.  Fuji makes both types and the Green is more expensive than the Blue.  Some companies only make one type.
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cmarks55Commented:
If you are using original music CDs and not burns, this is irrelevant.  Same with software disks-if they're original nad not burns, the blue/green thing doesn't matter.  The colors are only relevant to writeable/re-writeable media.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
OK my problem seems unrelated to original/burns, although I feel that originals are a little easier to read.

Anyway, why do my disks look silver? I have seen silver disks and gold disks (CDRs) for sell, but I haven't noticed blues or greens. Why? And are blue/greens look different because they are made from different material?
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cmarks55Commented:
silver is normal (non-burns) or do you mean you have silver burnable cds?
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Irene012397Author Commented:
I know nothing about CDR. I think a disk I have is a recorded CDR and the recording side look silver color to me. Perhaps it is not a CDR after all. I also have disks that are gold in color.
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pcfelixCommented:
Its random, yesterday a CD-ROM was running all of a sudden, which never didi before. When trying to install from this CD a program it died and then only one CD from the German CHIP Magazin kept running.
Its a kind of crazy...
You want me to try the POWERTOYS? TWEAKUI is a part of them, right?

Rai
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Irene012397Author Commented:
No I just asked because I think the TweakUI is part of my problem.

BTW, tech supp asked me to take the drive to them. I'd do it next week and see what they would say about it.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
After re-reading the message from tlarsen, I conclude that it is not an answer. No matter it is correct or not, I have to reject it.
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Irene012397Author Commented:
I took the 32x drive to support yesterday. After 5 minutes, they gave me a 40x drive. I don't know what happened to my 32x, but warranty is the solution to my problem.
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