How do I check if an HP DVD640i drive is faulty, or just not installed properly

I have installed an HP DVD640i DVD Writer in an HP ProLiant ML110 G2 running WinXP

I can see the drive ( Letter E ) and open the tray with the Eject function from Windows Explorer, so it seems like the cables are connected OK.

However, I cannot read or record with it.

Hardware Manager reports that drivers are installed OK

Nero InfoTool reports " No Disc Inserted" when I have a commercial CD-ROM in the drive

I think that the drive may be faulty

Any further suggestions for troubleshooting ?

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I'd say the drive is faulty.  
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Got lightscribe disks?

There was a PAQ on this...all points to bad drive.
RufusGAuthor Commented:
The problem does not ever reach the Recording stage

I cannot even READ a known good commercial CD-ROM or DVD

Now I am trying firmware and driver upgrades, before returning the drive for a replacement


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Get a bootable CD and try booting it inside that drive. If you can boot, at least the CD reading part of the drive is OK. If you have another CD drive connected to the server which is bootable, get a knoppix CD and boot with it. Now try writing and reading CD's and DVD's, you can use K3B to write to the media.
Rindi has a point.
try booting from the dvd-rw unit and if it does then ther might be a faulty driver or system.
Before you go returning the drive try any bootable cd and check it this way

RufusGAuthor Commented:
I cannot even READ a known good commercially pressed CD-ROM or DVD
 - so I certainly cannot start Recording

The drive is visible as Drive E, and Windows Explorer allows me to Eject the tray - so the cables and power are good.

When I click on the other CD-ROM drive, Drive D: Message pops up:  Insert a disk
When I click on the this drive, Drive E:  nothing

I have tried swapping physical positions on the cable ( Master / Slave ) with no result

I think that the drive is faulty

 - unless someone suggests other tests

How about:

 - driver ( Looks good in Hardware Manager / Properties - Microsoft 5.1.2535.0 of 2001-07-01 )
 - firmware ( downloaded latest - same as version installed - JS04 )
 - Registry ( someone in HP support started to advise me about this, but the call from India failed partway through ! )
Maybe you can't read it inside windoze. Have tried a booting CD like I asked?
RufusGAuthor Commented:

The PC FAILS to boot from a bootable CD-ROM in the DVD640i drive.

The DVD640i is the master IDE device and I changed the BIOS to "Boot from CD"
 - I used the CD-ROM for WindowsXP

Can you explain how the CD drive works without Windows
 - does it use the regular Microsoft driver for that ?

Thanks for your help

The XP CD has a small OS which can boot to CD's and other devices for which the drivers are builtin. These aren't the same drivers that windows uses.

If possible I'd also try the drive in a regular PC and boot the CD from there.
One thing I forgot to mention earlier, in order to boot from an XP CD, you have to look at the bootup process and press any key when asked if you want to boot from the CD. If you don't press the key at the right time, the system will boot to HD and not CD. With some combinations of PC and monitor this message might show while the monitor can't display anything yet, in such a case you don't know what is happening and when to press any key...

To be sure, you may need another bootable CD that doesn't require user intervention to boot from CD. A good such CD is the UBCD or Knoppix.

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RufusGAuthor Commented:
It failed when I changed BIOS to Boot from CD

It failed when I tried it in another PC

So the drive is dead

Thank you everyone who helped

Full points to rindi, who is a real "Expert"
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