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Samsung CDR/RW drive not spinning although powered and no problems reported in WinXP Pro

Posted on 2003-03-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have a home network consisting of two PC's, a main one and my "secondary" PC which contains mostly media files for playing through TV downstairs. Having recently had a problem with the network cabling I decided to back up my media files (mixture of audio, video, bitmaps etc.) in order that I wouldn't lose access to the files on my main PC should the network cabling (or any other problem) prove to be an issue in future.

After sending a block of files to the CD Drive, I inserted a Blank CD and copied the files to the CD. The system then auto ejected the (now full) CD. I set about repeating the process with more data and inserted the next blank CD. After some thirty seconds an error message appeared asking me to insert a blank disk. I tried another disk assuming I'd inserted a faulty blank. No such luck, same message.

I therefore deleted the files from the waiting to be written box and tried again. no joy. I gave the job up as bad and thought I'd just try inserting a game cd to check the CD drive itself. After inserting the disk the drive light came on but nothing seemed to happen (auto play is enabled and should have started).

When right clicking on drive it took some twenty seconds for the system to react and then when I clicked explore the folder was empty. (it should have shown a lot of game related files!). I subsequently checked system prop's and noted that both CD drives (there are two on my system) were not being shown under their brand names i.e. Samsung etc but just as CD devices. That said under the properties button they were both being shown as working correctly.

I decided therefore to uninstall both and try rebooting. The system now recognises them both correctly again. I also checked the drivers and they are reported by Win XP Pro as being up to date. However the same problem persisted with no data showing on the CD. I have just noted however that the CDR/RW player is not actually spinning when I insert a disk despite the fact that the LED is flashing on and off repeatedly. I have since tried reseating all cabling which has had no effect either.

I'm beginning to think that the drive has just died and buying a new one is necessary however I thought I'd ask here as I've invested needlessly in new hardware previously only to discover I'd thrown money away over a easy to fix glitch.

To note: I use Win XP Pro. I'm not sure what other info may be needed so please ask.
Question by:Buryfc
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Accepted Solution

Snowguy earned 300 total points
ID: 8163067
You can check the drive with a boot flopy with cd rom support and see if the drive will read in dos. This will  rule out a windows software problem. If the drive is not spinning up I would think that the drive has died.

Author Comment

ID: 8163217
Any idea where I can get a boot disk with CD support as recommended for WinXP Pro?

Expert Comment

ID: 8163236
Snowguy gave you the right direction.  Boot with a floppy that has the real-mode cd drivers and try to access a good cd.  If it works then it isn't the drive.

I've seen a similar problem before and I believe it to be an XP built in cd recording software issue.

Have you tried 3rd party software to burn cds?
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8163341
You can get one here if you dont have one. A win 98 disk will work. Down load it to your desktop and click on it. It will then create the disk for you.

Author Comment

ID: 8168588
I guess from what has been noted above that the following is gonna be pretty rhetorical. The bootdisk didn't recognise the cd when it was inserted. Probably because the disk still wasn't spinning. Doh!

Unless anybody has a magic wand I'm gonna have to buy another writer which is a complete pain as this one's only a year and a bit old.

Expert Comment

ID: 8169496
The real mode drivers don't test for a spinning disk.  It wants to see power and a response from the controller card on the CDROM.

If it didn't see the drive (we aren't talking about seeing the CDROM disc itself) then it is the drive.  If it sees the drive but won't read the cdrom disc then it could be the disc, a cleaning issue, an alignment issue, a ribbon cable that came loose inside the drive, a broken sprocket, a rubber band inside that slipped off the motor shaft, etc.

Determining the cause depends on your willingness to replace the drive for roughly $21.00 (US) vs. working through the problem in order to figure out exactly what is wrong and fixing it (with the possibility of it not being fixable even if you do find out what is wrong.)

Expert Comment

ID: 8181396
If it's a Samsung sw 208 I've heard of a few now (including my own) that had this problem - dying, that is.

In fact I think you'll find there's some old questions about it: http://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&q=site%3Aexperts-exchange.com+samsung+cd+drive&btnG=Google+Search&meta= . I've had problems with a friends Samsung combi CD/DVD drive too ...

With mine, the RW side worked but the R side didn't, discs wouldn't spin up and I concluded it was a focussing problem (eg dead laser, broken transport) and bought a liteon, which rox.

Try your drive in another computer if you can to be sure of where the error lies.


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