the Driver (DVD +/- RW) will not recognize any DVD's or blank DVD's but it will read CD's

Posted on 2006-04-15
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I just got my computer as a gift. It's a dell B110 series. At first I was able to watch DVD's (original or burned), but recently, my driver has stopped recognizing all DVDs. I have tried old dvds as well as new ones but i get the same result. I have even tried to make a data DVD. I can listen to a music CD and open data too. I can also burn CDs. What can I do to fix this problem?

Thanx in advance
Question by:all_around_rocker
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    I'm gonna addres the hardware issues only. (Short of time.)

    First the DVD and CD functions use different lasers and different circuits inside the drive so, in regards to the hardware, the fact that it works with CD's only really tells you that the discs are spinning and the interface between the drive and the system are okay.

    You may simply have a bad drive such that the failure only affects the DVD functions.
    This is not an uncommon failure.
    The fact that it was working and quit suggests to me that that's the case here.

    This sounds like a brand new system and I would have Dell replace the drive under Warranty.
    If you don't want to deal with all that then new DVD writers can be had for like $45 these days.

    There are a bunch of XP issues with optical drives.
    It was working and then suddenly not, so I don't think that's 'it' but it -might- be.
    I'll let someone else address those because I gotta go.......
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    The DVD section of the drive has malfunctioned. I actually have one where the CD section has malfunctioned but I can read and burn DVD with no problem. Claim your warranty on this one.
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    It might also be a driver issue.
     Before you contact Dell, click on Start - Control Panel - System - Hardware - Device Manager. Here you will see a list of installed hardware. Check the CD/DVD tab. Any sign of a question mark or an exclamation mark?  
    Double click on the DVD/CD entry, click on the driver tab and then on "update driver". Let Windows search for the appropriate driver.
     You could also click on the "uninstall" tab to remove the driver, then go back to Device Manager, click on "action", and then "scan for hardware changes". Let Windows redetect and install the drive.
    Now try to play a DVD. If there is still no change then it really does look like a hardware issue.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    You can usually tell if a drive is having trouble reading discs by the amount of activity it does after inserting the disc. If it seems to retry for un unusually long time, then chances are your dvd laser is shot and a replacement drive will be required.

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