I am hopelessly lost. Why doesn't my CD-ROM work?

First, let me mention that my computer system was self-built around March 2002. It worked great until my CD-ROM drives started acting crazy around June. I even went so far as to move from Windows 98 to Windows XP to try and correct the problem, but they still act up. Nothing I do seems to work. And it happens in both my regular CD-ROM drive and my CD-Writer drive. If I switch them around (master <--> slave), they still act up.

The problem is this. After about a half hour of usage after my computer has been turned on, they refuse to read CD's. It'll sound like a car starting (same with both CD drives) and will sometimes even lock up my computer or cause an unresponsive application (example: My Computer when trying to read either CD drive).

I'd love to hear any suggestions as to how to correct this problem. It's been annoying me for months, and I have NO idea what the problem is. I've done everything I can think of to do including:

* Migrate from Windows 98 to Windows XP
* Disable one CD drive and only run one (the remaining one still goes crazy)
* Swap CD drives
* Configure the BIOS/CMOS, etc.

Thanks for any help. :-(

- Matt.
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  1. It's interesting that both drives seem to be playing up in the same way; that rules out a whole bunch of things.

    Maybe it's an overheating thing? Are the drives right next to other things in the machine, or in there airflow around them? Or perhaps the power supply is being unreliable.

  2. Do you think a nice big internal fan in front of them might help? That is one of the only ideas I have left to try.

    The only other thing I can think of is a hardware failure somewhere...perhaps a conflict with the motherboard?
  3. Well, I'm no expert in cooling issues - but it couldn't hurt to try. If it is a heat thing, I'd have thought it would help. Besides, you can never have too many fans anyway :)
    You said you tried disabling one of the drives - was this through software or did you try physically removing one?
    It'd be interesting to know if the problems were exactly the same when only one was present i.e. works ok for 30 minutes then dies. I once had a hard disk that worked fine for a few minutes after power-on, then stopped working when making bad noises. Maybe one drive is failing, but is occupying the controller hardware - so the other drive cannot be accessed either.

    Also, I suppose it's unlikely, but you might just be really unlucky and have both drives physically failing at the same time!

  4. Thanks for your input. I like your idea of messing around more with physically disconnecting the CD drives. I'll have to try that. I did swap them from the regular CD drive being the master to the CD writer drive being the master and there was no change (flip-flopping). I also tried disabling each drive under the system control panel, but this also produces the same results as far as I can tell. The tough thing to test is that this happenes after a period of time passes.

    Maybe I'll feel ambitious in a few days and try it out. But I'll need to clear off my desk and finish getting my wife's computer up to speed first. Hers is being a pain at the moment. All we want to play is a network game of Civ III. We finally got our router working with it and last night we had to replace the video card to something more modern. Now we need to upgrade the power supply so the video card will work. Sheesh! :-)
  5. Well i had that same problembut only with one cd rom and i managed to narrow it down to a faulty power supply or maybe even the disks your using. you might wanna make sure that your not using a crap make of cds and only use quality ones. thats my advice anyway. try it and let me know what happens
  6. Hmm, my power supply is functioning great with every other component. :-( And some of my commercial CD's also cause the same problems (such as Civ III, Master of Orion II, etc).

    I'll try a few more things and will be sure to post here with my findings. It might help someone else out who's had the same problems.
  7. I just had an idea. Would it be that perhaps I used a 40 conductor cable instead of an 80 one? I've been checking on the web, and webpages mention that newer drives require the 80 conductor cable. I might give this a try sometime today...
  8. Are wel still talking about optical drives?
    Optical drives can run on 80wire cables, but they dont need them really, even the DVD's that are ata66 or ata100. Optical drives simply dont need that much bandwidth.

    <b><i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i> - George W. Bush's favorite childhood book.
    Note: This book was first published a year after Mr Bush graduated from College.</b>
  9. Yeah but my power supply isnt having any problems with any other device apart from my cd rom thats why i thought you might be having the same problem, whats the spec of your pc?
    alot of the new vomputers need 250watts power supply but they sometimes come with 230watt ones, that might be it im not sure, wat you need is a volt meter to see if the power cable to the cd rom comin from the power supply unit its self is giving out the right amount of power to the cdrom, thats the problem i had and thats the solution i narrowed it down to, and since then my cd rom works
  10. in all your pluging/unpluging, you might try a new ide cable, it might help.

    YAhhhhhhh!!! Jan 27! Advance geforce fx seeing with Steve Molnar!!!!!!!! -you see, sticking with bou scouts finely paid off -mom
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