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Cd Drives No Longer Working But Should Be....


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#1 elisa

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 09:37 PM

Hi! hope someone can help - I've been living without cd's for a long time!
I have an old computer emachine 500a running windows 98se

My friend installed a cdrw drive years ago and it worked for a long time, but now neither the original dvd drive nor the old cdrw work.

they get power, and their lights come on and blinnk as if they are reading a disk. in device manager, it says they are working properly.

I have tried reinstalling audio and video drivers, with no change....

I was wondering if the IDE cable setup was a problem (because someone I talked to said it was that for sure!)

I checked the BIOS settings (btw the bios is american megatrends 10/29/99) (yes, 1999!)

it says the
primary master is the HD, secondary slave undetected
secondary master cdrom, secondary slave cdrom

I opened the computer and saw that the one cable is connected to both the HD and the floppy, and the other cable is connected to both cd drives

The fellow I talked to said this was the problem, but I don't know what is the correct way it should be setup and how everything should be done

I tried to search for similar problems on this board, and see that someone was told it was their motherboard (topic 43163) and there was another post that referred to cable setups (topic 45460) but it only said how you "wouldnt want both the writer and another drive set as master" but not how it should have been set instead!

Please let me know if I can provide any more info and THANKS VERY MUCH in advance for your help!

Elisa

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#2 RichieP

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 10:46 AM

Your floppy drive should be connected by itself to its own connector on the motherboard. It shouldn't share with a hard drive.

If changing that doesn't sort your problem, check the back of the CD drives. One should be master, the other slave.

#3 elisa

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 07:23 PM

Thanks for your reply:

I checked again and the floppy cable is just clipped to the cable connecting the hard drive to the motherboard!

I also checked the backs of the disk drives and the cdrw is set to slave (in the middle of the cable) and the dvddrive ("new" one) is set to master and is at the end of the cable.

Any other ideas for what I can check or do?

#4 RichieP

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 05:29 PM

Not sure what you mean by "clipped to the cable connecting the hard drive" but to me it all seems a bit weird that it was all working OK before. Only thing I can suggest now is to try another drive with the same set up (a friend's in your machine?) or try a new drive, although it seems odd they both stopped at the same time.

Edited by RichieP, 04 March 2006 - 05:29 PM.


#5 Herk

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 08:46 PM

Ok, I've been reading through this and your account seems to be missing something. What about the jumpers on the drives? Personally, I'd probably want the CD/RW to be the master and the plain CD-Rom to be the slave. But whichever you choose, the master should be at the end of the cable and the slave in the middle, but the jumpers on the back need to be set as well. Set the master drive's jumper to master and the slave's jumper to slave.

#6 elisa

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 01:17 AM

Thanks for helping me troubleshoot this -- yeah, it doesn't make sense because both drives used to work the way they are set up now.

I originally thought the floppy was on the same cable as the HD but the two cables are just clipped together with a white plastic clip - they go to different plugs next to one another into the motherboard

wrt the jumpers - they are set as I mentioned before above ("I also checked the backs of the disk drives and the cdrw is set to slave (in the middle of the cable) and the dvddrive ("new" one) is set to master and is at the end of the cable. ") When I checked the BIOS settings it referred to both cd drives as cdrom so I'm not sure which is which, but since it worked before, I imagine they are configured the same way.

I wish I had access to another cd drive to check it - I guess I could take it to a computer place if I can't figure it out -- not sure if it would be a good idea money-wise to put any $ into this system though! We have some old programs and a digital microscope (intelplay) that work on this system so I would like to fix it if possible.

The drives used to make quite a bit of noise (like spinning noise) but they don't now... not sure if that's my imagination though.

Any other ideas?

thanks again! elisa

#7 RichieP

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:56 PM

Seeing as they have both failed, it would point ot something like the cable or connection to the motherboard. However, they are shown in the BIOS. This is starnge. May be worth investing in a new DVD writer. I don't know where you are but you can pick up a decent one for less than 40.

#8 elisa

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:55 AM

I am going to borrow another cd drive to check it.

It is really strange to me too that the drives are recognized by the computer (in device manager = working properly) and in the BIOS, and they look like they are "doing something" because the lights come on green and blink as if a disk is being read. If I delete the drives from device manager, then reboot, they are recognized as new hardware and reinstalled like they should be.

If the cable is bad is it possible that it could appear to the computer to be OK but not be?

I was hoping there was some kind of diagnostic available that could do something to tell me what is the problem....!

#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 04:40 AM

Look in the device manager and see if there are any warning marks in the ide controllers that go to the optical drives or the optical drives thenselves.

#10 RichieP

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 11:20 AM

Don't know how you're getting on with this, but you could try Doug Know's CD-DVD-Fix

It's a safe download from a well known site.




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