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Cd Drive Disappeared In Windows


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#1 Andrew

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 11:49 PM

One of the computers at my office is having a strange problem and I am at a loss as to how to fix it.

When the regular user logged on this morning, she couldn't run a CD she had put in. She called me (of course :thumbsup: )

The first thing I noticed is that that CD drive (it's an internal CD-RW) doesn't appear in either My Computer or in the Device Manager. I tried entering the drive path into Windows Explorer but to no avail. I tried to use the Add Hardware wizard, again to no avail.

I figured the problem was hardware and I swapped the IDE cable first. After starting Windows, the drive appeared in My Computer and worked normally. I figured it was fixed and that I was done.

A while later (after the user had logged back on using her own account) she told me that the drive had disappeared again.

Suspicious, I got the Windows XP CD and was able to boot up from the drive. So I know that the problem must be with Windows.

The regular user is the only person who uses that computer and she only has user-level privileges. She is not very computer savvy and would not have installed or uninstalled any hard/software.

The machine is a Dell Optiplex 170L and is less than a year old. It's running MS Windows XP Pro SP2.

I need to know how to fix this. She plays a lot of music CD's and I was wondering if this might be caused by Sony's ill-conceived copy protection software that caused all those problems last year.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 13 June 2006 - 11:51 PM.


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#2 usasma

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:03 AM

Since the BiOS recognizes the CD drive it will boot from it. This also indicates that the drive is functioning correctly. So, the problem is with Windows.

1) Go into Device Manager and delete the drive. Reboot and see if Windows recognizes and reinstalls the drive. Check to see that the problem doesn't recur.

2) If it recurs, then try running SFC.EXE /SCANNOW from the Run dialog. If it asks for your CD, visit Windows Update immediately afterwards to check on any needed updates.

3) If this doesn't fix it, try uninstalling/reinstalling the motherboard/chipset drivers.

4) If this doesn't work, try a repair install of Windows (instructions here: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm )
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#3 pascor22234

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 02:19 PM

A fix for disappearing optical drives can be found here. Download and and unzip the archive. Right-click the file cdgone.reg and select Merge; click OK. Restart your system.

#4 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 04:43 PM

It seems to me that the only way you could know for SURE that the problem is with Windows and not the Optical Drive is to replace the Optical Drive.

I say it is POSSIBLE that the drive is on it's way out. It is currently an intermittent problem. At least that is still theoretically a possibility.
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#5 Andrew

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 06:12 PM

1) Go into Device Manager and delete the drive. Reboot and see if Windows recognizes and reinstalls the drive. Check to see that the problem doesn't recur.

I tried that, the drive isn't listed in the Device Manager nor anywhere else within Windows.

2) If it recurs, then try running SFC.EXE /SCANNOW from the Run dialog. If it asks for your CD, visit Windows Update immediately afterwards to check on any needed updates.

In progress now, standby...

3) If this doesn't fix it, try uninstalling/reinstalling the motherboard/chipset drivers.

Sounds rather drastic. Last resort, I hope

4) If this doesn't work, try a repair install of Windows (instructions here: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm )



#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:36 PM

Does it have the Sony Rootkit installed on it?

What media player are you using to play audio? (what is the default)?

#7 Andrew

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 12:04 AM

Does it have the Sony Rootkit installed on it?

I was thinking about that. I don't know. I know she plays CD's on it (including one that pops up a window with an anti-piracy statement when the disc autorun's.)

What media player are you using to play audio? (what is the default)?


She uses Windows Media Player 9.


So I ran the SFC.EXE command and it appeared to work after a restart. I played a CD and everything seemed hunky-dorey. After logging out of the Administrator account and logging into her user account, the drive was still shown in My Computer. I put a CD in and it spun up. Then the icon for the drive turned from the standard CD drive icon into a standard hard drive icon with a question mark (I took screenshots, but I forgot to bring them home; will post them tommorrow) and would not play. I logged out and then in again and the drive was missing again. :thumbsup:

By this time it was edging towards 5 o'clock so I quickly swapped out the CD-RW for a spare CD-ROM. It was recognized and worked, but I didn't have time to do the logging in and out that seemed to trigger the problem after prior attempts to repair. I'll post again tommorrow.

Thanks for the help so far! Stick with me, we'll lick this!

#8 rowal5555

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:18 AM

Hi AmazingAndrew.

I have been having an optical drive problem too. You may care to check the advice here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/54652/disappearing-hardware-nec-dvdrw-nd-2500a/

This is still ongoing so will post if I get an answer. Cheers

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#9 Andrew

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 02:36 AM

Thanks, rowal5555. I'll be keeping an eye on your progress.

#10 Andrew

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:30 PM

Well, I swapped out the CD-RW drive for the spare CD-ROM. It's purring along smoothly. I guess it was the drive after all.

Thanks everyone! :inlove: :thumbsup: :flowers: :trumpet:

#11 Andrew

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:44 AM

Just a follow up: I installed the drive on a different PC, putting it as a slave on the secondary IDE channel (the master being a DVD/CD-ROM) and it works fine.

Weird, no? :thumbsup: :flowers:




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