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CD drives unavailable on two laptops...ideas why?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2005 4:51:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Is this a chronic problem with laptops?
I have a 5 year old Toshiba (yeah, that IS kind of old) and a 2 year
old Northgate (2 is not old.) And both have the exact same problem.

Yo put in a CD, it revs up and makes the seeking data noise, but then
the OS says no media found.
WinXP Pro on the Northgate, and Win98 and Slackware Linux on the
Toshiba.
They won't recognize even when you have a bootable CD in and reboot.

A couple of exceptions:
We sent the Northgate back while uner warrantee to fix it, and when it
came back, it worked for a month, and then started doing the same thing
again.
The Toshiba, I can leave powered down for a week or so, turn it on, and
it works fine for a few hours then stops recognizing the CD-Rom.
(But if I leave it powered down for a whole day or two, it doesn't
work. So it's not a heat issue. I have no idea how, logically, not
using it for a couple of weeks will make it work again for a while.)

Is there something I can do to diagnose thr problem? Get some more info
on what's going on? Is this just pointless and we're stuck with the
problem?

Thanks for any suggestions!
Liam
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2005 6:19:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

news@celticbear.com wrote:
> Is this a chronic problem with laptops?
> I have a 5 year old Toshiba (yeah, that IS kind of old) and a 2 year
> old Northgate (2 is not old.) And both have the exact same problem.
>
> Yo put in a CD, it revs up and makes the seeking data noise, but then
> the OS says no media found.
> WinXP Pro on the Northgate, and Win98 and Slackware Linux on the
> Toshiba.
> They won't recognize even when you have a bootable CD in and reboot.
>
> A couple of exceptions:
> We sent the Northgate back while uner warrantee to fix it, and when it
> came back, it worked for a month, and then started doing the same
> thing again.
> The Toshiba, I can leave powered down for a week or so, turn it on,
> and it works fine for a few hours then stops recognizing the CD-Rom.
> (But if I leave it powered down for a whole day or two, it doesn't
> work. So it's not a heat issue. I have no idea how, logically, not
> using it for a couple of weeks will make it work again for a while.)
>
> Is there something I can do to diagnose thr problem? Get some more
> info on what's going on? Is this just pointless and we're stuck with
> the problem?
>
> Thanks for any suggestions!
> Liam

The Toshiba, if when powered down it remains connected to AC power, is
likely a weak CMOS battery. When it is discharged the BIOS flash ROM
loses its contents which includes device settings. The next time you
boot see if the CD appears in BIOS setup. The XP laptop should not have
a failing CMOS battery. It might be the upper/lower filter problem that
plagues XP; see
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314060

Q
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2005 8:46:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Quaoar" <quaoar@tenthplanet.net> wrote in message
news:nIKdnexybO19bvLfRVn-tg@comcast.com...
> news@celticbear.com wrote:
> The Toshiba, if when powered down it remains connected to AC power, is
> likely a weak CMOS battery. When it is discharged the BIOS flash ROM
> loses its contents which includes device settings. The next time you
> boot see if the CD appears in BIOS setup. The XP laptop should not have
> a failing CMOS battery. It might be the upper/lower filter problem that
> plagues XP; see
> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314060

In addition to checking the BIOS to see if drives are recognized, download
any diagnostics for the CD-ROM drive manufacturer web sites.

Also, see whether ISOBuster can read the media.
http://www.smart-projects.net/isobuster/
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2005 10:20:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

news@celticbear.com wrote:
>Yo put in a CD, it revs up and makes the seeking data noise, but then
>the OS says no media found.

I had a similar problem with a Sony laptop, and a gentle cleaning of
the laser lens solved the problem. Dunno if it was dust, dirt,
pollen, an inadvertent fingerprint, or what, but it was noticably
shinier after swiping it with a Kleenex...
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
April 28, 2005 12:09:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi Liam... Is this just a CD and not any DVD drives? Anyway DVD
drives have two lasers (or more perhaps). One for CD and one for
DVD. Well anyway, even with just CD, the laser could become really
flaky. Sometimes it could be worse when fired up after a long time,
or worse after it has been running for a long time. It works much
like a fluorescence lights. And sometimes they last a long time.
Then again, they may fail ready early. That is what first comes to
my mind anyway.






Cheers!


________________________________________________________
Bill (using a HP Pavilion AMD 1.2GHZ under Windows 2000)
-- written and edited within WordStar 5.0




<news@celticbear.com> wrote in message news:1114631490.244003.261200@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
Date: 27 Apr 2005 12:51:30 -0700

Is this a chronic problem with laptops?
I have a 5 year old Toshiba (yeah, that IS kind of old) and a 2 year
old Northgate (2 is not old.) And both have the exact same problem.

Yo put in a CD, it revs up and makes the seeking data noise, but then
the OS says no media found.
WinXP Pro on the Northgate, and Win98 and Slackware Linux on the
Toshiba.
They won't recognize even when you have a bootable CD in and reboot.

A couple of exceptions:
We sent the Northgate back while uner warrantee to fix it, and when it
came back, it worked for a month, and then started doing the same thing
again.
The Toshiba, I can leave powered down for a week or so, turn it on, and
it works fine for a few hours then stops recognizing the CD-Rom.
(But if I leave it powered down for a whole day or two, it doesn't
work. So it's not a heat issue. I have no idea how, logically, not
using it for a couple of weeks will make it work again for a while.)

Is there something I can do to diagnose thr problem? Get some more info
on what's going on? Is this just pointless and we're stuck with the
problem?

Thanks for any suggestions!
Liam
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 2, 2005 1:01:45 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Quaoar wrote:
> news@celticbear.com wrote:
> > Is this a chronic problem with laptops?
> > I have a 5 year old Toshiba (yeah, that IS kind of old) and a 2
year
> > old Northgate (2 is not old.) And both have the exact same problem.
> >
> > Yo put in a CD, it revs up and makes the seeking data noise, but
then
> > the OS says no media found.
> > WinXP Pro on the Northgate, and Win98 and Slackware Linux on the
> > Toshiba.
> > They won't recognize even when you have a bootable CD in and
reboot.
> >

> boot see if the CD appears in BIOS setup. The XP laptop should not
have
> a failing CMOS battery. It might be the upper/lower filter problem
that
> plagues XP; see
> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314060

Thanks for the reply.
The Northgate drive shows up in the BIOS just fine.
AheadNero even recognizes it. Technically, Windows is recognizing it,
actually. I was even able to update the driver (2002).
But it won't recognize any CD/DVD put in it. Whether blank or not. The
OS, AheadNero, whatever, they all say the drive is empty.

That link, I tried the RegEdit suggestion, no change.
Oh well. =/
Can one buy a different laptop drive and swap the old one out with it?
Man I like PC's so much better for repairing. =)

Thanks
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 2, 2005 1:04:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Howard Kaikow wrote:
> "Quaoar" <quaoar@tenthplanet.net> wrote in message
> news:nIKdnexybO19bvLfRVn-tg@comcast.com...
> > news@celticbear.com wrote:
> > The Toshiba, if when powered down it remains connected to AC power,
is
> > likely a weak CMOS battery. When it is discharged the BIOS flash
ROM
> > loses its contents which includes device settings. The next time
you
> > boot see if the CD appears in BIOS setup. The XP laptop should not
have
> > a failing CMOS battery. It might be the upper/lower filter problem
that
> > plagues XP; see
> > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314060
>
> In addition to checking the BIOS to see if drives are recognized,
download
> any diagnostics for the CD-ROM drive manufacturer web sites.
>
> Also, see whether ISOBuster can read the media.
> http://www.smart-projects.net/isobuster/

Werll, I tried ISOBuster, and it's recognizing the drive OK.
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ-811 H100.
But no matter the program, no CD/DVD is being recognized as in the
drive. Blank or not. They all at as if it's empty.

I did a preliminary search for Matshita software...not good.
Thanks for the reply!
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 2, 2005 11:41:24 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

news@celticbear.com wrote:
>Can one buy a different laptop drive and swap the old one out with it?

Did you try cleaning the lens?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 2, 2005 5:05:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

William P. N. Smith wrote:
> news@celticbear.com wrote:
> >Can one buy a different laptop drive and swap the old one out with
it?
>
> Did you try cleaning the lens?

Yes, yes I did.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 3, 2005 12:22:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

<news@celticbear.com> wrote in message
news:1115064343.414354.212850@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
Date: 2 May 2005 13:05:43 -0700

William P. N. Smith wrote:
> news@celticbear.com wrote:
> >Can one buy a different laptop drive and swap the old one out with
> >it?
>
> Did you try cleaning the lens?

Yes, yes I did.

Well this sounds very bad then. As CD/DVD drives use a laser or two (DVD
drives use two). A laser is about as reliable as a light bulb. As when
they work, they are great. But when they fail, they can't read a thing.
In my experience they can fail within the first 50 hours of use very
easy. And if they pass this test, they more than likely last pretty
long. In my experience the ones that fail could be up towards to 20% in
the first 50 hours. But in your case, two of them may have failed! Gee
that is very unusual, but I wouldn't discount it at all.


Cheers!


___________________________________________
Bill (using a HP AMD 1.2GHZ & Windows 2000)
-- written and edited within Word 2000
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 3, 2005 4:39:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

<news@celticbear.com> wrote in message > Werll, I tried ISOBuster, and it's
recognizing the drive OK.

Is ISOBuster reporting media in the drive?

If not, then I'd say you've got a dead drive or faulty controller.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 3, 2005 11:07:43 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Howard Kaikow wrote:
> <news@celticbear.com> wrote in message > Werll, I tried ISOBuster,
and it's
> recognizing the drive OK.
>
> Is ISOBuster reporting media in the drive?
>
> If not, then I'd say you've got a dead drive or faulty controller.

Yeah, it's reporting no media in the drive.

If it's the drive...can a person buy a new laptop drive and just
replace the old?
If it's the controller, then, there's no hope, is there. =(

Thanks for the replies! Much appreciated.
Liam
!