CDROM : Windows doesn't always read CD

am running Windows XP on a P4 1.70Ghz, 128MB RAM system which suddenly stopped detecting my CDROM.
Since i wanted a DVD/CD-RW, i bought a Combo Drive.
 Windows now detected this drive and i tried the first CD at hand.. which was read just fine.
The second disk i tried wasn't read at all. I tried restarting, changing the IDE cables, Uninstalling/Installing the secondary IDE (on which the CDROM is) but nothing worked.

Generally, (about half the times i tried), when i rebooted, the CD was detected, if i open and close the drive, then its not read anymore!

Does anyone have any ideas pls?

Thanks alot!

Mc
mcfonkAsked:
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DarthModConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Submitted to PAQ with points refunded (500)

DarthMod
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gusdarinoCommented:
I have seen this under two situations:

1. CD is dirty.  Odly enough, it may read some times but not others.
2. Power supply or power supply cable are bad or going bad.  The only way to test this is with a diagnostic card that can display power sags, surges, etc.

If the problem happens with a particular CD then it may be dirty or scratched.
If the problem happens with any CD then I would check the power supply and cables.

If you have another system you can swap the CDROM's to see if a known good CDROM works well in the system.  Likewise, swapping the CDROM can tell you if the CDROM in question works well in a system with a known good Power supply.

Hard drives and other devices are more tolerant to slight power fluctuations than CD-ROMs.  The CD-ROM uses a laser to read and is suseptible to power fluctuations, vibrations, etc.

Hope this helps.

Gus
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nobusCommented:
I also saw that you run XP with 128 MB Ram; you should upgrade this to 256 Mb or better even 512 MB. It could be caused by a ram shortage also. If you want more Ram, check to see what model / type you buy at crucial or kingston site, they have a program on site listing the ones for your system. You will need more RAM if you are going to write CD's
It also can be the cd-drive in the end (unlikely, but possible) check if it is listed in the device manager and BIOS in the correct way
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WEINBERGERCommented:
Does Bios pick the CD Rom up i.e. when booting up does the CD rom show when checking available IDE drives (usually shows just after the memory check).
If a Windows CD is placed in the drive at boot up can you boot using the CD ?

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icedrop-dcseCommented:
i know this might be a bit overkill but try clearing your cmos and reinstalling your OS. it might help.

the explanation in this is that we could have xp recognize your cdrw/dvd from the start.
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nobusCommented:
But unless we get an answer, every guess is the good one...
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mcfonkAuthor Commented:
thanks alot for your help guys. but in the end, i went out and bought a new one.. i had tried EVERYTHING! hehe
the new one worked just fine..
strange but true. sorry for abandoning the question hehe

mcfonk
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