External DVD/RW Drive No Longer Recognized by Windows XP

I have an HP Pavilion laptop (model ze4430us) / mobile AMD Athlon XP2400+ 518MHz 448 MB of RAM, running Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 3.

I have an external DVD/RW, Sony DRX-810UL, as well as a JVC digital camera (GR-D270) which I've used successfully connecting to my laptop via FireWire/ieee 1394, until now.

The computer no longer recognizes either device. I've uninstalled the driver in the device manager, plugged in the device, restarted the computer, the computer finds new hardware (Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller) and when I direct it to scan for hardware changes, nothing is found.

I've searched this problem on the Internet and see that many people developed problems with their FireWire devices after SP 2, and that Microsoft has a hoffix, but I am not confident enough to try this procedure without some technical assistance.

The laptop is my only computer, and I don't want to have to reformat it if I can avoid it. I also don't want to crash it and loose everything stored on it.

Assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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Tony BarkdullTier 2 SupportCommented:
Try this to recover the drive, provided it is not a hardware failure

Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... I also don't want to crash it and loose everything stored on it. "  ==>  Before doing ANYTHING to resolve this issue, you should backup your data.    NEVER keep anything you don't want to lose in only one place => hard drives DO and WILL fail ... it's not a question of IF, it's a question of WHEN.

If you don't want to buy an external hard drive, then subscribe to a cloud-based backup service like Carbonite ... but whatever you do BACKUP your data.

As for the specific problems you're having ...

=>  download Doug Knox's excellent utility to restore your optical drive:  http://www.dougknox.com/xp/scripts_desc/xp_cd_dvd_fix.htm

=>  download Microsoft's hotfix for the firewire issue -- just download the file, then double-click on it to install the hotfix

Both of these fixes are "safe" -- they won't do anything that jeopardizes your data ... BUT that does not change the fact that you should take some action to ensure you have a good backup of anything you don't want to lose.

Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
With both the camera and the DVD dysfunctional; I hate to say it but, in my humble opinion, you must have knocked the firewire connector loose or the port has gone bad.  With the laptop off, does it seem loose if you try to wiggle it with a toothpick?
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i would test the devices on another pc to be sure they are ok
K_JohnsonAuthor Commented:
I took the Sony external DVD/RW to an Apple store and it was recognized on an Apple computer via FireWire.

Today, I tried Doug Knox's utility, as well as 82440 hotfix, rebooting after each. Still no recognition of the FireWire connected devices.

When I uninstalled the driver in Device Manager, a few days ago, and restarted the computer with the External DVD/RW connected via FireWire, the computer rebuilt the (Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller) but the external drive wasn't recognized, BUT, WHEN I UNPLUGGED THE FIREWIRE CONNECTION, THE COMPUTER DID MAKE A BELL SOUND...???
it can be it is rather slow  (not much ram) in recognising the device
try again

also, on that apple - could you read a cd?
Tony BarkdullTier 2 SupportCommented:
Make a backup before editing Registry, I repeat...MAKE a backup

That being said, Unplug the drive

Go to HKey_Local Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Emun and locate ALL instances of the drive in question. Remove every key with that drive ONLY. Restart the PC and reattach the drive
K_JohnsonAuthor Commented:
I am not very tech competent with computer issues, but not entirely dim either. I received instructions to delete registry keys yesterday, and managed to search for the EXACT keys indicated, and was unable to locate them. I'm attaching an image of what I found.  

Let me clarify, the D: drive CD/rw works normally, and the Sony External DVD/CD RW drive works normally using my USB1 connection. The IEEE 1394 port on my laptop stopped recognizing the Sony External drive and (with different cable) stopped recognizing my digital video camera.

I am unaware of how to make a Backup of my Registry, but I will try to find out how before I proceed with altering the registry.

K_JohnsonAuthor Commented:
Yes, External Drive could read CD on Apple test computer connected with FireWire.
Sorry, forgot to answer earlier.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
In other words, your drive is working fine, but the firewire interface is not.

... so the problem is NOT your drive -- thus you can forget about the fixes relative to the drives (registry mods; Doug Knox's download; etc.)

Microsoft's hotfix for firewire issues didn't work either, so I suspect you may have a failed 1394 interface.     The simple way to confirm that is to add a PC-Card firewire interface and confirm that everything works through it:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158010

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Tony BarkdullTier 2 SupportCommented:

HKey_Local Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\ENum

Should be a 1394 key. It will be listed under that.
You may have a failed Firewire port and may need to use the USB connection until you get the Firewire port fixed or replaced. Since it is a laptop, the system board replacement may be involved. Check your warranty.
K_JohnsonAuthor Commented:
Re: "Microsoft's hotfix for firewire issues didn't work either..." I only tried one, (KB Article Number(s): 824400), though I see many Microsoft hotfixes relating to this exact issue.

In regards to registry modifications; I believe I did a Registry Backup by establishing a specific System Restore Point. Is there a better way?

I found the Registry Editor location mentioned by tbarkdull (2 images attached) and saw the 2 devices I'm trying to get recognized again, by my computer, but I have no knowledge about how to properly proceed in removing the Registry Keys.

Assistance will be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I have no available funds to purchase additional components at this time to determine whether or not my port is defective. I have no reason to believe that it is defective, and the fact that the computer makes a "ding/bell" sound when I unplug the FireWire cable after rebuilding the driver keeps me optimistic that it is functional (plus all the other issues cited on the Internet about this exact issue). JVC camera registry entriesRegistry-Sony-drive.jpg
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
This is the hotfix you should try:   http://support.microsoft.com/kb/885222
K_JohnsonAuthor Commented:
Followed advice, got add-on card. It's working!

sincere appreciation for all who assisted, thank you very much.  

happy holidays.

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