Optical drives no longer recognize discs

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Old 08-08-07, 06:44 PM
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Optical drives no longer recognize discs

All of a sudden, both my optical drives (DVD-RW and CD-RW) quit recognizing discs. Put in a disc -- any disc -- in either drive and it acts as though there is no disc in it. In properties (with the disc in), it shows no free space and no used space -- again, as if nothing is inserted. I have tried multiple discs, including pressed audio CDs, and the result is the same. Device manager recognizes both drives and indicates that both devices are working properly. I am stumped. Any ideas?
 
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Old 08-08-07, 07:12 PM
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Whenever that happens to me, I shut the machine down, unplug it and wait a few minutes before starting it up again..
 
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Old 08-08-07, 07:20 PM
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That's rule number 1. When all else fails and baffles, reboot.
 
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Old 08-09-07, 05:20 AM
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I had tried rebooting, but that did not help. I did not try shutting down, and unplugging as it strikes me as unlikely to achieve a result different than rebooting. The drives do work, as I was able to boot the computer from the operating sustem CD. My guess is that some process is running that is doing this, but that's just a guess. Keep the ideas coming -- I don't want to do an R&R!
 
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Old 08-09-07, 07:05 AM
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Shut it down, unplug it, wait a few minutes and try again..
 
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Old 08-09-07, 07:38 AM
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I will try this. I am curious, though, as to how shutting down, unplgging, and waiting a few minutes differs in effect from restarting. Thanks.
 
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Old 08-09-07, 08:28 AM
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It removes all voltages from the system, and resets everything to 0.. It's called a cold boot..
 
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Old 08-09-07, 04:30 PM
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Well, I tried a cold reboot, and it didn't work...
 
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Old 08-09-07, 05:29 PM
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Did you do a Windows update recently?
Did you change IDE drivers lately?
Is the ribbon cable ok?
Possible IDE-1 gone bad.
Can you try the drives in another machine?
 
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Old 08-09-07, 05:31 PM
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Do the drives spin up when you insert a disk? If not, it could be a bad power supply or mother board. If there is not enough power to the drives, you wont be able to spin up.

Just a thought....
 
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Old 08-09-07, 08:47 PM
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Did you recently install some game software or maybe play a music CD that has multi-media "extras" on it? Some idiotic software and music publishers are embedding copy protection in their CDs that is supposed to make it more difficult to make copies, but can actually cripple your PC. This is along shot but it's possible.

Try going into Device Manager (right click My Computer -> Properties -> Hardware and see if your CD and DVD drives are listed among the devices, hopefully without yellow exclamation marks next to them!)
 
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Old 08-10-07, 05:24 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, but I still have the problem. Strange thing is that when I go into msconfig and set the computer to do a diagnostic startup, the drives will work after restarting. Figuring that it must be a running process or startup application that is causing the problem, I restarted it normally, and started ending processes one at a time (except for essential ones, of course), but even after ending all nonessential process except for NPROTECT.exe (which would not let me end it), I couldn't get the drives to recognize discs. In addition to the NPROTECT process issue, another thing I noticed is that in msconfig, after disabling the startup items, when restarting something called NvCpl started itself back up by creating a duplicate entry in startup (in mscong) to the one that I had unchecked. I'm not that sophisticated, but am wondering if either of these could be the possible cause.
 
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Old 08-10-07, 09:15 AM
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NvCpl is your Nvidia control panel..
What entries are in Start - Programs - Startup? Anything there can be deleted..
 
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Old 08-10-07, 03:08 PM
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CD Probs

You did not mention if your CD drives show up in device manager. NTPROTECT is put there by Norton antivrus.
 
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Old 08-10-07, 05:07 PM
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And you still didn't answer my question....
 
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Old 08-10-07, 05:59 PM
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Yes, the drives spin up, but only when I start in diagnostic startup. No new programs added except for a recent reinstallation of Windows Defender and AVG Antispyware (free version). Newest development: by process of elimination, I have established that the Plug and Play service appears to be the culprit. However, if I disable that service, when I click on "My Computer," I get the searching flashlight, which just goes on and on. Does that make sense??
 
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Old 08-10-07, 06:02 PM
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In answer to AxlMyk, start/programs/startup is empty, although Kaspersky AV launches on startup.
 
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Old 08-10-07, 07:32 PM
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To "help" rule out a power issue, disconnect one of the drives and see if the other one works now.
 
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Old 08-11-07, 08:52 AM
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Okay, I tried that, but no difference. I also noticed that when I disabled the Plug and Play service, I couldn't print.
 
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Old 08-13-07, 05:29 AM
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Well, since I don't keep much data on the computer, I decided to bite the bullet and reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Took about four hours, including putting the software and data back in. Heck, I spent close to that amount of time trying to figure this problem out. It's nice to have the PC clean and noticably faster. Thanks to all for your help on this.
 
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