DVD does not read

Posted on 2005-05-10
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi folks, just a quick update.  My son trashed his computer by starting up with a dvd in the drive.  Since then the drive has had zeros written to it, the motherboard has had the cmos reset and the bios reset.  The drive has been reformatted and has xp install etc.  I have had to do this with my spare cdrom drive as both my son's cdrom and the dvd will not read.  They show up on the system as installed and working properly, but when you put a disk in them nothing happens. I have uninstalled them and reinstalled them, but to no avail.
I put the dvd into my system and and it does the same thing.  I am starting to think that something has happened to the drive itself.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:Ned_Kelly
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    I don't believe that you can stop a piece of hardware from working just by starting with a DVD in the drive.  The OS and drivers can be trashed, but the hardware should still work; it is possible that the DVD drive failed at the same time and that is why the cause seems to be that inadvertent startup.  If both drives from your son's machine no longer work, and you have tried them on another machine, then some other event (like a failing power supply, for example) is the cause.  Two drives going at the same time is too coincidental to be a random failure, so I suspect a power surge or power supply failure.  You did a clean system install and they still don't work, so that is conclusive for me, if you didn't change the jumper settings (did you?).  I would also consider keeping an eye on the power supply, because it may have a problem.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I need just a tad bit of clarification... he had a DVD in the DVD Drive, correct? what DVD was it? OS or something maybe one of his friends burned?

    It's possible that the DVD (if it was burned by a not very nice or un-knowing person) could have some malicious software that would do something similar to the computers when they booted off the DVD.

    However like Callandor said... it would sound like the Drive is toast... but why is a better question... other than the power surge mentioned, any big magnets around? ;-)
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    >> They show up on the system as installed and working properly, but when you put a disk in them nothing happens.

    99% of the time, this is indicative of a broken laser. There is nothing that you can do, within reason, to repair the drive.

    >> Since then the drive has had zeros written to it, the motherboard has had the cmos reset and the bios reset

    Was this done by the software on the disc, or in an attempt to fix a problem? What was the problem, exactly?

    Under normal circumstances, there is nothing wrong with starting a computer with a disc in the drive, since the BIOS should be set to boot from the hard drive.

    btw, CD/DVD drives actually have a strong magnetic part inside, so it's unlikely another magnet would do much harm :)

    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Check if you can read DVD's on that drive. DVD drives have 2 lasers, one to read CD's and another for DVD's. Very often one of them breaks, and then it is only possible to use the drive for reading one sort of media...
    Drives themselves can't be repaired (or not for a price that would make it interresting), so either get a new drive or check if yours still has warranty...

    Author Comment

    Hi folks, the system was reset and formatted due to the original crash which I was not able to fix.  Since then I have not been able to use either the cdrw or the dvd that came from my son's system.  So I'm starting to think that both drives are now buggered and will need replacing.  Neither drive will spin up ready for reading when you insert a disk, it just asks me to insert a disk.
    When my son trashed his system he had loaded some files from one of his workmates into a folder for a program that he uses at work.  I have already said to him that the files were most likely the cause of all this.  The other thing is that he might have just  received a virus as his system was going very slow, so he rebooted and could not from then on access his system.
    Many thanks for all your help.
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    I agree, the drives sound like they're dead and should be replaced.  Fortunately, they don't cost that much nowadays.  I still think it is a coincidence that the drives died at the same time the files were loaded.  A reboot triggered by bad software might cause a power fluctuation, but the drives had to be close to dying for that to affect it.

    Author Comment

    Hi, Yes I would agree with that.  The power supply is ok so I think I will give the system back to the son and he can buy the drives when he is ready.
    Many thanks everybody
    Regards nedkelly

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