CD-Rom drive not working

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-03-06, 09:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
CD-Rom drive not working

I have a Dell Optiplex GX-240 desktop computer. The CD drive has not been working for several weeks. When you put in a CD, the light blinks on the drive about 10 times, but nothing else happens. When you use My Computer and select the D: drive, it says "please insert CD into drive" (even when there's a CD already in). Also, the device manager shows the proper CD drive and doesn't show any problems.

I did try another CD drive (that I bought used off Ebay), but the same thing happens. It was a Samsung SN-124.
How do I troubleshoot this further?

Thanks for any ideas,
Steve H.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-03-06, 07:55 PM
tae's Avatar
tae
tae is offline
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,469
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
is that your only cd dvd type drive?
 
  #3  
Old 07-03-06, 08:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, this computer has a small case and only a single, slim/thin CD-RW drive.
 
  #4  
Old 07-08-06, 07:58 AM
mike_s104
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
what OS are you running?
 
  #5  
Old 07-08-06, 12:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Windows XP. An interesting tidbit.... There is a CD in the drive and I just jiggled the mouse to get the computer out of hibernating. The mouse cursor/arrow on the login screen momentarily showed a small CD, then it disappeared. Not sure what that means. I did just try to do a firmware update on the CD Rom drive by going to Dell.com and downloading firmware for that specific CD Rom. Didn't seem to help, though.

Thanks for any help.

Steve
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-06, 03:21 PM
mike_s104
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I'd back up my data and do a restore from the CDs that Dell most likely sent with the PC.
 
  #7  
Old 07-08-06, 04:56 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 104
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
A cd is a pretty basic part: either works or it does not. You indicate XP occasionally will see something in the drive?

Even if the case is small, you can still test two CD's at once assuming your cable has three connectors : one for the MB and one for each CD. You just start the system with the cover off and the extra drives laying on the case side or wherever the cable will allow. Try setting the CD's to master and slave, then hook both up and see what XP sees ( you can place a manual or magazine under the exposed circuitry of the drives to shield them ). I would also try it as a second drive on the primary IDE cable, assuming your HD's aren't SATA. You just want to be 'sure' that one part of the system is not the problem. Once that's accomplished whatever is left should be it.

Or, if you have one, try the 'bad' CD in another 'good' system: see if it works there. Hate to suggest it, but have you pulled the data cable and power leads off and reset them, ensure alignment on the data cable? Simple stuff, but it happens.

It does happen that a drive will go partially bad and register as a drive but not allow you to use it. Luckily an OEM Sony DVD Burner only runs about $50 now.
 
  #8  
Old 07-08-06, 05:20 PM
mike_s104
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by bluewhale
A cd is a pretty basic part: either works or it does not. You indicate XP occasionally will see something in the drive?

Even if the case is small, you can still test two CD's at once assuming your cable has three connectors : one for the MB and one for each CD. You just start the system with the cover off and the extra drives laying on the case side or wherever the cable will allow. Try setting the CD's to master and slave, then hook both up and see what XP sees ( you can place a manual or magazine under the exposed circuitry of the drives to shield them ). I would also try it as a second drive on the primary IDE cable, assuming your HD's aren't SATA. You just want to be 'sure' that one part of the system is not the problem. Once that's accomplished whatever is left should be it.

Or, if you have one, try the 'bad' CD in another 'good' system: see if it works there. Hate to suggest it, but have you pulled the data cable and power leads off and reset them, ensure alignment on the data cable? Simple stuff, but it happens.

It does happen that a drive will go partially bad and register as a drive but not allow you to use it. Luckily an OEM Sony DVD Burner only runs about $50 now.

true to all of that. I was going on the fact he mentioned other issues with windows. another test would be to see if you can get the system to boot from a bootable CD like a Windows XP CD. if it boots, then the OS is causing the issues. if it does not boot, then the CD-ROM may need to be replaced.
 
  #9  
Old 07-10-06, 07:24 PM
wilkindw's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Halifax
Posts: 56
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Dirty Drive

Also see situations where the drive harboured large dust bunnies preventing the laser from reading the cd.
 
  #10  
Old 07-10-06, 08:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all of the information and tips. I will try this week to attach both CD-Rom drives. I am not sure how to set them to Master and Slave, though. Is there a recommended method to remove dust from the drives. Can I (carefully) blow them out with my air compressor hose? BTW - I don't have any backup or restore disks. The computer was purchased used off Ebay about 2 years ago with XP already installed on it. No backup software was included.

I will update any information once I try a few things.

Thanks,
Steve H.
 
  #11  
Old 07-10-06, 08:55 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 46
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You should be able to get the drivers and stuff from Dell's site. It will be under the downloads.

As far as blowing out with compressed air: I have done it before with an entire computer (couple times actually, and continue every so often) but you need to make sure the air is clean. No oil or water in the compressed air, which is a common problem with air compressors. If you have a good filter, then you should be ok. Spray some air onto a clean glass surface or something just to make sure. Also, you may want to regulate the air pressure coming out. You don't really need to shoot 90-100psi into a CD drive or computer tower, so regulate it down if you can. If not, just leave some distance between the air hose fitting and the part you are blowing out.

If all this seems to much trouble, or you don't have the water trap/filter, then go with some canned air. It is expensive for no more than you get, and it is sometimes a hassle to purchase because some kids have found a way to turn it into a cheap high. But, all that set aside, it should work fine for what you want.

I always blow out my computer case every so often with my compressor. The inside of a computer, including drives (not the hard drive) can really get dusty over time. This reduces the computer's cooling efficiency and can sometimes cause it to overheat, creating more problems.

Anyways, I hope you get it to working. If you need anything, just hollar. Keep us updated.
 
  #12  
Old 07-11-06, 06:35 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well it seems that my luck is running low with this computer... I have no Windows XP boot disk, the computer only has 1 cable/connector for the CD-Rom, and the connector type is different than 2 of my old computers (1 HP & 1 Compaq). I don't really want to open up my new Dell to check things out. I did blow out the small amount of dust bunnies in both CD drives that I have, and tried to plug them each in, but the computer does not see any disk that is in the drive.

So am I off to the store to buy a new drive? Any way for me to create/use a boot disk from my new Dell or my Toshiba laptop that will work to figure this out?

Also, would the Master/Slave settings make a difference here? Isn't there a jumper or something for this? Located on the side of the hard drive? Do I change anything else besides the location of the jumper?

BTW - I did take some photos of the connector and computer internals but can't attach them here. Not sure if they'll help anyone, though.
Thanks again,
Steve
 
  #13  
Old 07-11-06, 08:00 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 104
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
As to XP the Dell 'might' have a utility on it to create an Install CD or DVD. You would probably have to search Dell's site or call them and possibly have to pay for support to find out. You can install any version of XP to that system, however unless you use a Dell CD you probably will not be able to use the XP serial number on the tag on the case. It might install, but probably will not authenticate when you start doing updates at Microsoft.com. Cheapest solution I can think of is to call Dell and see
1: does the system have a program to create the install CD? or
2: can you purchase one for $10. That's the price I hear quoted most often for a physical installation CD for XP.

The connector type for a cd is always the same with the caveat that the different manufacturers will often fill in one of the holes in the cable's female connector. This way you 'have' to use their CD/DVD units as they are missing that exact pin. An easier way is to just have/buy a generic 40 pin data cable, which will have none of the holes blocked, and use it. With a generic data cable you should be able to connect ANY cd / dvd unit. And the standard cables will have three connectors: one for the motherboard and two for hard drives/CD's.

Master and slave are set with little jumpers on the rear of the unit. There is normally a legend of sorts just above or below it...A single jumper will connect a pair of pins on the back of the drive: just place the only jumper you use on the pins that correspond with the legend where it says MA for master, SL for slave depending on which one you want THAT drive to be. There is another selection called CS which stands for cable select, however I'm old school so just set them to master or slave manually to be sure.

And as to dust: if you had actual dust bunnies IN your optical drives they may well be toast. Be careful when blowing into an optical drive: you can cause damage with the compressed air. Canned air does cost a fortune, however Costco often has it for less than half of the computer stores, so we buy ours there by the case once a year or so and just store it. On a new PC ( hotter CPU ) the CPU heatsink and the graphic card heat sink are the places to make sure there's no accumulated dust present.

Hope this was clear: no coffee yet today
 
  #14  
Old 07-11-06, 09:44 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Smile

WooHoo.... figured something out here. I was able to scavenge a 40pin ribbon cable from our old HP as well as the CD drive. I unplugged the Dell CD-Rom ribbon cable at the motherboard (and found it was the standard 40 pin configuration on that end), then uncapped a white flat 4 pin connector. I plugged the HP 40pin ribbon into the Dell motherboard, then connected it and the 4 pin connector into the HP CD-Rom, and bingo, it works. When I started up the Dell, it recognized the new hardware, and has no problem with the CDs I've put into it so far.

Of course I've got the whole case open and CD drive off to the side and sitting on the floor, but it works for now. The kids were able to play their multiplayer game using this computer now, so that's what counts.

So.. any bets on if it's the CD-Rom or the cable/connection?

Thanks for all of the help,
Steve H.
 
  #15  
Old 07-12-06, 10:08 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 104
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
No bets from me. Just use, if you have the parts, other parts to identify the defective one. I have had trouble following which part was where, but if you take one of the two original drives and connect it to the orig PC using the data cable from the other ( Dell? ) system that would tell you if it was the cable or not.
 
  #16  
Old 07-12-06, 11:22 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Smile

I can't interchange the 40 pin ribbon cable from the HP with anything from the Dell. The CD-Rom end connector is totally different.

I took some photos and uploaded them here of the original setup:

http://w107.photobucket.com/widgets/...m290/srponies/

I will probably just try to buy a brand new small form CD drive and that should do it.

Thanks,
Steve
 
  #17  
Old 07-12-06, 01:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 104
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
ok, I'm impressed. Or depressed Dell apparently has come up with a proprietary connector .. ok, just called my buddy who still has a computer parts store: he says this is a laptop part: doesn't know what the interface is called, but he's see it in laptops from time to time. Is this system a small form factor PC?

And the four pin Molex ( white ) connectors look to be power for the peripherals.


paul
 
  #18  
Old 07-12-06, 01:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The PC (desktop) I have is a 2002 model. I believe the CD case/type is the small form factor.

The white connector is what I used to power the HP CD-Rom, along with the HP/40 pin ribbon.
Steve
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: