CD-RW dead?

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CD-RW dead?
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Flying Dutchman
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September 7, 2010 - 5:33 pm
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Ahoy there!

It looks like my old Win XP machine is slowly going downhill.
The machine is seven years old, has an ASRock P4i65G mobo with a Northwood Intel P4. It came with a SONY CD-RW CDRX230E Burner (Secondary IDE Master) and a SONY DVD-ROM DDU1621 (Secondary IDE Slave). Both were working fine until last night, when I first noticed that the CD-RW doesn't read any media I put in, not even the laser lens cleaning CD.
Power connection is ok (light turns on when media inserted).
It shows in Win Explorer and in Disk Management, while no errors show in Device Manager or Event Log.
A couple of odd things I noticed only last night or today:
- In the POST screen, both the CD-RW and the DVD-ROM are listed as ATAPI CDROM and not by their name/ description.
- In Win Explorer, both the CD-RW and the DVD-ROM are listed as CD Drives and not by their name/ description.
- When the drives have no media, when I click on the DVD-ROM in Win Explorer, a message pops up asking me to insert a disk, but when I click on the CD-RW it

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David Hartsock
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September 8, 2010 - 1:53 am
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Hi Dutch!

The easiest thing to do is swap the cd/dvd drives. Set the DVD as master and the CD as slave. If the motherboard supports cable select this is a 60 second operation requiring exchanging the IDE cable between the two drives. If the motherboard doesn't support cable select it becomes a 90 second operation. Move the jumper on each drive (slave to master and master to slave) and swap the IDE cable.

This will eliminate bios and motherboard causes. There really isn't much in the OS to affect this and it probably is a failed CD drive. New ones are extremely cheap now days. CD/DVD Burners are cheaper today than CD ROM(readers) were just a few short years ago. I just purchased a couple for work for $18 shipped. Also, brand/model isn't nearly as important as it was several years ago - there were many issues in the past between burners and media compatibility. You had to use specific blank media brands with specific burners. This is largely a thing of the past! I haven't had media related problems in years!

I've had good results with Lite-On. Here is what I bought for $18 shipped - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827106289

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Flying Dutchman
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September 8, 2010 - 1:48 pm
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Thanks for the reply Dave.
I haven't tried your suggestion yet, probably later or tomorrow morning - I hate troubleshooting machines in the evenings.

But since I had an odd development, here's a little quiz for you (and anyone else interested, of course).
I did the rest of my planed troubleshooting this morning and it seemed to have made no difference. At some point, I decided to do the most basic troubleshooting, try different media. Here's the odd thing. It reads all my Win XP installation CDs (including those I've slipstreamed with SP2 and SP3) and my BarPE rescue CD; basically all bootable CDs. But it doesn't read my mobo's original CD or any of my commercially bought music CDs - go figure.
Doing this, reminded me that the drive makes a distinct, sort of puffing, noise when it starts to spin. And suddenly, I realized that when it's not reading the media it's because it's not spinning.

So, any ideas?
Even if it's not completely dead, it's certainly far from being reliable.
I

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David Hartsock
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September 8, 2010 - 7:31 pm
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Well, it's basically an electric motor. Dirt, grime and dust can get into the motor and gunk things up. Dis-assembly is possible, but not worth it in the big picture - more trouble than it's worth. However, if you really want to know what's going on inside you may find it interesting!

[quote:jen4n8pz]Even if it's not completely dead, it's certainly far from being reliable.[/quote:jen4n8pz]
That's the key!

So, where are you from? If you don't want to post it you can PM me. I always find it interesting to learn a little about the people who visit!

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Jim Hillier
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September 8, 2010 - 8:23 pm
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Hey FD - Reading some discs and not others...my guess would be faulty laser or dirty lens. The symptoms seems to fit.

As Dave said, not worth mucking about with really, would most likely cost more to repair than buying a complete new unit.

Cheers....Jim

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Flying Dutchman
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September 9, 2010 - 3:31 pm
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Thanks for the interest, guys.

I've picked my model and am buying it tomorrow.

@Jim
That's what an acquaintance voted for as well, going as far as to suggest a cleaning attempt with a swap moistened with pure alcohol; could be an interesting experiment.

@Dave
Will go for the dis-assembly as soon as I get the new one up & running.
Will PM you later this week.

Thanks again, guys.

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