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Optical drive not recognised

Posted on 2014-04-07
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Last Modified: 2014-04-12
Hi,

Please could somebody help? - The CD/DVD drive on my Toshiba laptop is no longer recognised in 'my computer' or in device manager.  My current operating system is Windows XP, but I would like to upgrade to Windows 7 once I have the drive working again.

The drive tries to fire up when I turn the computer on, and there is the orange light when I open the drive, but it just cannot read any disks.  I have tried all of the fixes that microsoft suggest including the regedit option and looked to remove the upper/lower filters, but these didn't exist.

Many thanks.
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Question by:Sulli1968
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39983034
Try the following. XP is very old, but it might work. The instructions below are for Vista and Seven but check the registry keys and see if the changes make sense.

DVD / CD Drive not working

1. Close down all open programs
2. Open regedit.exe with Run as Administrator
3. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\... .…{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
4. There should be one of, or both of, UpperFilters and LowerFilters
5. Click on UpperFilters, Edit Delete
6. Click on LowerFilters, Edit Delete
7. Close down regedit trees and close regedit
8. Open Device Manager and Uninstall DVD / CD Drive
9. Shut Down
10. Restart and DVD / CD Drive should come back with auto discover
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Expert Comment

by:helpfinder
ID: 39983052
can you see that optical drive in BIOS? or in quick boot menu? because there is stil a possibility it is not working under XP but it works at all.

Another point - if you need your optival drive working just because windwos 7 installation then could be faster solution to make bootable USB drive and install win 7 from that device (and installation process will be faster than from DVD)

Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39983055
Thank you for your help - I have already tried this solution but there were no upper or lower filters shown.  Also, there is no DVD/CD drive showing in device manager.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983068
If there is no DVD/CD shown in the device manager,  either the power or data cable needs to be reseated at both ends or the drive has gone dead.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983069
If the drive is dead, replace it. A quick test can be swap it with a drive from a spare Pc.
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39983071
Hi Helpfinder,

I don't know how to get into the BIOS on this PC, there are no prompts at start-up?  Do you know how I could do this from a Toshiba Satellite PC please?

Many thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39983073
It is possible the drive is bad. Can you remove the drive and re-seat it?  Is it feasible to try a new drive?
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983078
Bios can be accessed by restarting and press F2, F10 or F12 on most laptops when you see the manufacturer's logo appear.
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39983081
TG-TIS,

How do I find if this is the case?  I can't see how to physically remove the CD/DVD drive from the PC.  It isn't completely dead though as it has the orange flashing light when I open the drive?
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983099
Turn the laptop off, turn it upside down. there will be a Toshiba sticker on the bottom with the model number. Google that model number to find a description of the parts in that laptop.  You should be able to find direction on replacing the DVD drive.

Google this:

Replacing DVD in Toshiba (my model number)
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39983108
Would I be able to create a bootable USB stick from a Windows 7 disk, to then install Windows 7 onto my XP PC?  I don't feel that I know enough about PC's to remove the optical drive and try re-installing it really.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983127
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39983121
Without a DVD, I think the ISO file as suggested above is a better approach.

At some point, you will likely need a DVD and so may wish to get it repaired.

Do you know this XP machine will run Windows 7?  Run the upgrade advisor first.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983133
sorry, I didn't read that question properly. Win7 may not run on the XP laptop. You should verify you have enough ram, hard drive and proper video for Win 7. Running the Win7 readiness too will provide a report if that laptop can run Win7 properly.

You will eventually need to get a new DVD drive. Since it's running XP, this might be deciding factor to just buy a new laptop with Win 7 or Win 8 on it.

Hope this info helps.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 39983875
It sounds like you simply have a failed drive.    Either replace it;  or just buy an external USB drive and use it -- although you may want to first confirm that the older system can boot from an external device.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983892
Most laptops will allow you to plugin an external USB DVD\CD Drive. if you are not able to find an internal replacement or not ready to replace it yourself, an external USB unit would be a great option.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39983901
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39985218
check if you can boot from the DVD - use abootable cd, like the XP install cd
if you cannot boot  -the drive is bad and should be replaced.
for removing the drive, usually there is 1 screw on the bottom that holds it - what model is yours?

it is probbably not wise to upgrade this to Win7; depending on the model, ram, and cpu
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Expert Comment

by:nige1961
ID: 39986061
Hi Nobus,

My model is a Toshiba Satellite Pro T2050.  I can't boot from a bootable CD as it's the CD/DVD drive that's not working.  There is a label on the front of the laptop that says it is Vista compatible and I thought that most PC's that can install Vista can also install Windows 7?  

Many thanks for your help (and also all your help TG-TIS)

p.s. I have somehow managed to post this from my husband's EE account, this is Sulli1968.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39986306
>>  I can't boot from a bootable CD as it's the CD/DVD drive that's not working.    <<  i thought you wanted confirmation of the fact that it's good or bad ?
you can also put it in another laptop to test it; if you like.

>>  thought that most PC's that can install Vista can also install Windows 7?  <<  yes, that is so - but how well it runs depends on the specs cpuc- ram, etc..
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39986348
Based on your situation, it sounds like you will not be able to upgrade to Windows 7 without that internal CD drive working. This is because the external USB drivers don't load until after Windows starts. Your Bios may have a workaround for this but when installing Windows 7 from a CD, you need to boot directly from that CD which you are not doing if you place that Windows 7 DVD in an external drive.

You might be able to trick the laptop in thinking a Flashdrive is the CD drive, but then you would need to make that flash drive bootable with a Windows 7 Iso image.

Bottom line... if you are not use to replacing an internal CD\DVD drive, I suggest you take it to someone that can do it properly. That would resolve the problem accessing the drive.

Hope this helps!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39986462
your simplest solution is a new drive - if this does not work
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39989243
Have you replace the drive or replaced the laptop?

Any more questions on this topic?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39990829
hi sulli - how is it going?
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Expert Comment

by:nige1961
ID: 39990898
Apologies everyone, I haven't been around for the past couple of days to be able to sort my laptop, but can I clarify, when you say I could use an external usb drive do you mean I could copy the disk to a USB stick to make it bootable for upgrading the laptop?  I can't replace the laptop at the moment.

Many thanks again,

Sulli1968
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Accepted Solution

by:
Tony Giangreco earned 250 total points
ID: 39991246
No, you need to use a utility or windows app to make the USB Drive bootable with a Windows Install DVD drive image on it.

Here are a few step by step guides to do that
http://www.ehow.com/how_5931990_make-xp-bootable-flash-drive.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_8251201_make-iso-bootable-usb-drive.html
http://arstechnica.com/business/2009/12/the-usb-flash-drive/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaXARa7jQMM
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 39991794
ok - but you best replace the dvd drive - then all problems are gone
for a rather low cost, here one for less than 5 $ (used)
http://www.amazon.com/s?rh=n%3A172480%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A4001436011
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39992577
Hi Nobus and TG-TIS,

Thank you both very much indeed, you have both been very helpful indeed.  I think I am going to buy a  new DVD drive and get somebody that knows how to do it to fit it for me.  In the meantime, I will give the points to this question to both of you for your helpfulness.

Many thanks again,

Sulli1968
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39992580
Glad we could help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39992584
Thanks for your help - it was very much appreciated.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39993454
normally, for removing the DVD drive - it's only one screw on the bottom of the laptop to remove; i fyou post the model - i can show it then
here an example :  http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/71715-35-remove-drive-laptop
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39994276
Hi Nobus,

Thank you, that would be great.  The model is a Toshiba Satellite A120.

Many thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39994395
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Author Comment

by:Sulli1968
ID: 39995746
Thank you nobus, I will try Bruvaal's suggestion today :)
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by:nobus
ID: 39995960
post results!
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