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DVD-RW drive not reading some disks


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#1 gailee

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:40 AM

3 yr old Lite-on DVD-RW LH-20A1S. It is not reading OEM disks. It will read my backup copies of OEM, data CD-Rs and audio disks. It will not burn, sez no disk in drive. The power light comes on steady, the drive runs, the mouse pointer has the disk icon flashing next to it. While exploring my computer, sometimes it locks up while trying to use the drive. It ran fine the last time I installed a program (feb/mar and those disks are not being read right now). I have air dusted it, uninstalled the driver and found a firmware update at softpedia but it is up to date. Running winxp home sp2.

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 05:52 AM

Hello gailee and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

It is sad for me to say that the life expectancy of a optical that has burning capabilities has a very short lifespan.

The reason for this is because in order for that laser to burn into the layer of a writable disk, it has to emit a lot of heat, this heat is created by the intensity of the lasers beam being focused on the layer it is burning.

Like any light source, over a period of time the light grows weaker, the intensity grows weaker and the layers do not burn as deep as they did when the laser was at full power.

Often when disks start becoming coasters, it is often suggested to lower the burn speed of the drive and the drive will be able to heat the surface enough to get a readable disk once the burn process is finished.

However, when the drive gets to a point where it can no longer read perfectly written disks, it's time to retire the drive for a new one.

It clearly means the laser is too weak to read the tracks on the disk.

DVD/CD burner drives in both IDE/PATA and SATA are very cheap these days (usually under $40.00 USD, due to the newer Blue-Ray drive technology hitting todays computer market, so it is just as cost effective to purchase a new drive rather than try to revive this drive in question.

Bruce.
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#3 killerx525

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:55 AM

Also i realise you have SP2 installed, you should update to SP3 for security reasons.

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#4 gailee

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:39 AM

I purposely did not install sp3 yrs ago; thinking it's because of what I read with it having issues. I am trying to update my programs to install win 7. I guess I will try an older ide drive I have to get updated.

#5 gailee

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:55 AM

MrBruce, so why will it read some and not others?

#6 gailee

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:28 AM

On my laptop I copied the OEM disc to a CD-R and I was able to load the program using the above drive in question, although autoplay did not work. Why is that?

#7 Drovers Dog

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:36 AM

You could either fit a new DVD Burner, as suggested, they are quite cheap, or you coild try this Free Burner Program, http://www.imgburn.com/ just in case it is in the burning Program you use?

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#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:05 PM

On my laptop I copied the OEM disc to a CD-R and I was able to load the program using the above drive in question, although autoplay did not work. Why is that?

For security reasons, depending on what operating system you have, auto-play is disabled by default.

If you wish auto-play to be functional so that there is no request sent to you for approval, you can change this setting so it is always on.

Windows XP, go to MY COMPUTER, right click the optical drive icon, choose PROPERTIES, look for AUTOPLAY tab, then un-check the button where it says Prompt me each time to choose an action by adding a check mark next to select an action to perform then select the media player icon called Play using Windows media player or if you prefer another media player choose your default player.

You can also select Open folder to view files and choose that action, then once all have been selected, click APPLY.

Under Vista and Windows 7 you can go to control panel and look for the view by 'category' drop down menu and select small icons, (that is if it is not already selected) then look for an icon called AutoPlay. It is here, that you can enable autoplay for disk drives.

Now your system will autoplay the media automatically, be advise, this also allows infected media files to auto run or auto install on your computer, this is not always safe to allow with unknown media disks from other people's computers.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 19 August 2011 - 07:10 PM.

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#9 gailee

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:15 PM

Oh I know all that about autoplay. I'm not concerned with the autoplay not working since it does on audio cds. My question was why does the drive read a copied OEM disc and not the OEM??

#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:23 PM

Okay, I understand your question now and sorry I misunderstood your question the first time around.

If we were to examine how media disks were manufactured, how the aluminum layer sandwiched inside the disk is burned into with a high powered laser to create circular tracks of hills and valleys, to which the laser later reads and interprets as data.

Then consider that fact that the lasers are situated on a carrier and properly angled towards the surface of the disk.

Now lets look at the other factors involved here, how deep is the tracks on the disk, what angel was the laser on during the burn process? What angel is the reading lens on?

Often a laser can read back what it originally wrote, be cause the lens is on the same angel during both write and read states.

Being that the OEM disk was burned with a different laser, the angels don't match and you get a read error.

If you have ever examined a laser lens, you'd notice the lens is floating on a spring suspended carrier, the lens can be pushed around and tilted on its axis, this can cause the lens to be on different angels at different times, or not matched up with the track angels on pre-recorded disks.

I don't think I used a good way of explaining this to you and for that I am sorry, but hopefully you were able to follow what I was trying to explain to you.

You could read up on the Internet on how CD and DVD drives work.

Here's one such link.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cd-burner.htm

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 19 August 2011 - 11:36 PM.

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#11 gailee

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 10:50 AM

Last night I told my husband the story of copying the disc and how the copied one worked. He said it's the weight of the disc that isn't recognized. He says it has happened in his disc changer w/ music cds. So what you say makes sense. Unfortunate for me tho! Maybe that's why the new DVD-RWs I bought aren't recognized in my laptop but they are in my dvd player.




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