Lost my CD-Rom drive

Posted on 2003-10-28
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I donated a Celeron PC to my school. (I'm a teacher.)   It has MS ducts on it that I need for teaching (i.e. PowerPoint in specific.)  I'm a real beginner so I hope you'll be patient.  

I bought this when I thought I wanted to learn how to do a few things and didn't want to use my main PC because of the ramifications.  So, to learn how to partition (why, I've long since forgotten--just something to do), I partitioned the PC.  I've even forgotten the drives, but I think there were 4.  It was a simple partitioning exercise.

So, when I brought it to my school, the sysop had to install our school/district network on it .  In the process, I lost the D: drive/CD-Rom.  (It's currently showing up on a shared drive on the network, but it doesn't work.)    The sysop said that the only thing he's ever experienced in this case stemmed from a virus.  I really don't think the machine has a virus.  I rarely used it at home and had it  covered under Norton Antivirus until my option to cover it recently expired.  

My sysop will probably not get to the problem for months if not in the next school year.  Any  suggestions?...and thanks.
Question by:jackie33
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LVL 44

Assisted Solution

CrazyOne earned 75 total points
ID: 9638684
The CD drive may be defective
To test do this.
Boot to a Win98 boot disk put in a data CD and then at the prompt Type in


then type in

Hit the Enter key

If you don't get a listing of the contents of the CD then do this

Type in


then type in

Hit the Enter key

If you don't get a listing of the contents of the CD then you probably have a defective CD.

Or put this drive in another machine and see how it behaves there. If you have a similar problem then you probably have a defective drive.

Or barrow another CD drive and install it in this machine an see it that works

Assisted Solution

caza13 earned 75 total points
ID: 9639143
I'm trying to figure out what you mean when you say that you "lost the D: drive/CD ROM".  When you partition a hard drive it is divided into a primary partition and an extended partition.  The extended partition contains the logical drives.  Windows 98 automatically assigns the drive letters.  The primary partition is drive C, and the logical drives are assigned other consecutive letters (D, E, F ...).  If there is a CD drive, it is assigned a letter following the last logical drive.  If it was orginally drive D, it will be pushed down the alphabet after the hard drive is partitioned.  If a drive D is showing on the network, I wonder if it is the CD ROM or a logical drive.  Does drive D also show under "My Computer" in "Windows Explorer"?  If a Network Interface Card (NIC) was installed in the computer, one of the connectors to the CD drive may have come loose.  Try unpluging the connectors from the CD drive and from the mother board and plug them back in making sure that they are securely seated, and that there are no bent pins.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 75 total points
ID: 9639228
Can you tell us if the systems administrator has placed restrictions on the computer labs' CD Rom Drives?  This is a common practice in Schools and further educational establishments to restrict the inquisitive types from installing games like Grand Theft Auto on the workstations, and obviously also reduce the risk of cross-infection from home-produced CD-R Discs.

You also mentioned that "...had to install our school/district network on it".  Do you mean that it is no longer running Windows 98, but rather that it has been upgraded to a common operating system used by all other workstations, eg. Windows NT or 2000?

Have you tried accessing it using different media?  For instance, it may work with an Audio CD, whereas it may not allow you to see the contents of a "data CD".  Let us know the results if this hasn't already ben tested.

Has an Iomega ZipDrive been connected to the computer either to the Printer Port or via a USB cable?  The Iomega software allows you to change the drive letters around and, if the system is then booted without the drive attached, it can sometimes forget the drive letters and effectively hide them.

Is this behaviour common to ALL users logged onto that computer?

I like your comment..."My sysop will probably not get to the problem for months if not in the next school year".   Can you tell me where your school is, and I'll apply for his job :-)

Ask your Systems Administrator to check the following:

1. Is there a logon script or some other policy in force restricting the use of, or hiding the CD Rom Drive from particular user groups?  (eg. the inquisitive brats)  It could well be that it has been configured so that all users logging into that machine are placed in that group and subject to its restriction.

2. Ask him to boot to the "CMOS Setup Screen" (BIOS) and either force it to "autodetect" the drives again, or try to change it to another drive type, and then back again.  Often this works.

3. Verify whether any of the drives have been compressed using "DriveSpace".  If so, this creates a "host drive" that could change the drive letter of the CD Rom.

4. Has he used any software to create a "virtual CD"?  Such utilities create a "virtual drive" that is allocated a letter and then bluffs the system into treating it as a CD Rom where one would normally be sought by the system, eg. Reference Titles like Encarta.

5. Has CD Writing software been installed on it since you donated it?  This can occasionally cause problems.

6. Has the utility Tweak UI been installed and used on the system?  It has a user option, using quick check-boxes, that allow drive letters to be hidden or displayed in My Computer and Windows Explorer, although the drives could possibly still be seen on the network.  Tweak UI just serves as an interface to write restrictions to the registry.

7. Tell your sysop to look specifically at the following registry key using RegEdit:




If there is a "DWORD" value (white icon with blue 1's and zero's) named "NoDrives", have him take a note of the value which will be represented something like "0x03ffffff (67108863)"

Tell him to look here for an explanation:

Please get back to us and let us know the results or answers to my queries.
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Accepted Solution

Huseyin1 earned 75 total points
ID: 9640103

With 4 partitions I dont think the CD ROM drive will be known as D: .      I think now you have to find out what each letter is and then you'll find the CD ROM drive.

double click "my computer" now right click each drive letter in turn and then click properties.
In the pop up box under lable (at the top of the box) is TYPE: this will tell you what the drive is, if it's a Local, network connection or a CD ROM/DVD/CDR drive.

........also typiong FDISK at the pronmpt from boot up and then choosing option 4 will tell you how many partitions you have.


Author Comment

ID: 9646680
I'm going to post points for answers here  because everyone likes immediate gratification.  However, I'd like to come back.  I'm not linked  closely enough wiith the sysop to get ready answers from him and post his findings  here and begin to eliminate problems in the time frame you guys like.

I'll print your answers, study them, and present them to the sysop.  (He's the twerp that got me into this mess!)    Hopefully, you'll have the wherewithall to come back.

P.S.  Generally speaking, the school district doesn't fix what isn't broke.  We currently work in Windows98.  It does well for 2000 teachers and 32.000 kids.  The next move would take (simply speaking) what's beyond our monetary capacity to employ.  (Yes BillDL, I'd ,too, love to trade man-hours with my sysop.  Yet, he has the brains; I don't.)

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 9647555
What gave you the impression that the experts here press you for a resolution?  :-)

Thank you for that, but as the problem still hasn't been completely solved, please drop back in here fo any further clarifications to thos points discussed, or to discuss new findings that may have arised as a result thereof.

>>> "...Yet, he has the brains, I don't" <<<

Not necessarily, unless IQ is imparted from a piece of paper with a couple of qualifications written on it.  Academic qualifications don't always equate to vocational experience and skill.

Actually, Systems Administrators are usually very good at resolving all manner of Networking problems, but are often a little rusty when it comes to diagnosing and solving a problem with one single computer.

That's a lot of users, and I can see why he wouldn't be able to dedicate a whole lot of time to fixing one machine.

One point that will help you read these pages a little more easily.  If your address bar says  then click on the following one to get into the "Old look" that lays out the pages a bit wider:
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 9647564
Oh, man.  That wasn't poor grammar, it was a typo !!

"...arised as a result thereof".

tsk, tsk.

Author Comment

ID: 9664928

My sysop serves two school with a total population of about 1200 and probably 60 teachers.  He was in my classroom yesterday.  Not only do I have a problem with my "teacher" computer, but I have four very old computers that the students use to access the Internet and work on local programs.  None of the students' computers have worked since he re-networked our  school system last summer.  So, as he was trying to re-image the students' computers (which didn't work) he was trying to talk me through getting rid of programs/files on my teacher computer so he could repartition/reconfigure mine.  (Remember, I have extra drives that appeared out of nowhere after the renetworking job.)  We solved nothing.  In the 45 minutes he spent, he couldn't get any of the kids' computers  to recognize the CD-Rom drive , and he didn't have time to come back to my computer.  He was off to another problem that COULD be solved.  He won't spend one minute past his contract hours.

I'll come back, as I said, when the problem's solved.  Gosh, you may turn off your notificaiton! (That's okay.)

P.S.  I'm glad you proof your comments.  I'm still wondering about the word "past".  

Thanks, Jackie


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