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DVD Drive recognizes CDs but not DVDs

Last response: in Storage
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December 6, 2006 2:08:07 AM

I recently built a computer that has an unusual optical drive problem. There are two DVD burners installed, both are Samsung SH-S182M/BEBN.

When I built the computer both drives worked flawlessly playing DVD movies, playing audio CD's, opening DATA CD's and DVD's and burning DVD's. I even played movies simultaneously through both drives.

I then shipped it to the family member I built it for. When they took it out of the box the top drive worked with everything flawlessly, however the bottom drive will not work with any type of DVD anymore. It will not play DVD movies or read DATA DVD's. The bottom drive still works perfectly with DATA CD's and Audio CD's.

They did not install any software or go onto the internet. They just turned it on and put in a movie. All the drive will do is act like it is trying to access the DVD but nothing happens. What could be the problem?

Is the DVD drive shot? Could the laser have been put out of focus enough during shipping that while CD's can still be read the denser DVD's can no longer be read?

I am at my wits end :?:

edit: I also had them make sure the IDE cable was secure to no avail.
December 6, 2006 11:22:21 AM

This sounds more like a software problem. Make sure you have the latest media player and drivers cleanly installed.

You did check cs/ma/sl jumpers didn't you? :wink:
December 6, 2006 4:02:40 PM

How could it be a software problem when both drives worked perfectly fine before shipping?

Now one drive works flawlessly while the other is having problems with DVD's both data and video while CD's work fine in it. Both drives are the exact same make, model and firmware revision.

As far as DVD's go the problemed drive just tries accessing an inserted DVD but windows explorer will not recognize that a disc has been inserted. Windows recognizes the drive is there but if you right click on the volume when a DVD is inserted you just get the spinning hourglass.
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December 6, 2006 4:32:13 PM

I hear what you are saying. This is a very unusual problem. First thoughts are that something has got damaged/loosened etc. in shipping, so it points down the Hardware route.

However, In case this wasn't the case, I was just suggesting a possible fix, either to find the problem, or eliminate something from the possible reasons list!

Sounds as though you have already settled on the most likely-a laser problem. Before you replace it, try it in another PC, and, if necessary, try another burner on your IDE cable. :wink:
December 6, 2006 4:47:56 PM

I had this exact problem with a couple of DVD-RWs over the last few years. It did not matter what price range I bought, eventually they just failed. That was only solution the tech support people could give me anyway, even after a barrage of trouble shooting tests. Sounds to me like you just have a bad drive.

Now you know why I don't spend more than 40 bucks on an optical drive. :wink:

Oddly enough, the cheapest DVD-RW I've ever bought, my current BenQ drive, has lasted longer than the most expensive one I had, which was a SATA Plextor.
December 6, 2006 7:17:40 PM

Thanks to you all. I seriously hope this is a hardware problem with the DVD Burner, specifically.

I can not test the drive in another computer as the computer was shipped to a family member on the other side of the country. He is in Florida, I am in California.

Really I was just hoping for confirmation that this was likely just a laser problem. As I can just send another burner, they only cost $33. It is certainly much cheaper than shipping the computer back and forth across the country, replacing the motherboard, or using a repair shop in Florida.

I just want to avoid shipping a replacement burner and finding out that did nothing.

Does anyone think this may be a motherboard problem or Windows problem. Windows was installed from a brand new XP Home SP2 OEM CD. All updates, patches and drivers were installed by me. I build computers for a living I just never experienced this specific problem with any machine I built. Either the new drive works or it does not.
December 7, 2006 11:07:00 AM

Actually I've come accross this problem quite a few times, prevalently with people using Limewire, and DVD clone, not saying that is where the cause lied but all 7 cases used them two frequently.

After nosing round some copying and media forums, it was explained to me that its a type of virus that attacks hardware, and or specific copying/watching DVD software. As its not attacking windows often anti-viruses don't catch them. I was told that every time you turn on and off the PC a line is being writen over the optical drives firmware. If you catch it soon enough it is simply fixed by flashing the firmware, but if not caught in time the drives a gonner. However its lodged in the software normally burning software, so uninstall nero, dvd clone, etc first, turn off system restore and delete all temporary files, application data and internet, and empty restore bin as well. Reboot PC turn system restore back on, reinstall software. This has worked for me on ever occassion I've come accross it. Not sure which bit did the job but followed all the instructions for a 100% sucess rate.
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