Posted 25 September 2006 - 11:54 PM
I've been struggling with this problem for some months, and have finally realized that it is in Windows, and not applicaton or hardware related.
This problem suddenly appeared; it was not from the beginning of the system.
Whenever I insert a CD (audio or CD rom, it doesn't matter), the computer essentially freezes up for several minutes. I can move the mouse pointer, but any actions I try to take may be ignored or delayed for a minute or two. The pointer will flash a cd icon from time to time.
The drive (a Plextor PX-716A) will spin up, then slow down. The light turns green. The light turns yellow. There is a ten second pause. The yellow light flashes, the drive spins up and the whole cycle repeats. This will happen at least ten times and sometimes as many as twenty-five times.
Usually, after the first cycle or two, the disk is recognized as the appropriate type in the "My Computer" window, but it may NOT be opened or explored. I used to think that it was somehow scanning each track for something, but the number of cycles seems random.
I have removed almost all the pieces of software that might claim to own the drive, I have double checked that Windows Media Player is NOT the default player for CDs or DVDs, I have repeatedly scanned for rootkits, viruses or spyware, and have run both Norten System Works and Registry Mechanic many times. I have turned off autorun at the group policy level in the registry. I have tried disabling Internet Security and Antivirus autoprotect. None of these steps has fixed the problem.
I tried swapping out the drive for a different model, no difference. I tried hooking up a drive via USB interface. Same behavior
If I boot in SAFE MODE, the problem goes away! This implies to me that two (or more) processes are colliding at the attempt to read the TOC. I've run the task manager, looking at the processes, and the only ones that show any activity are: Explorer, csrss, lsass, and SDmonitor. Each of these come on at 2% usage for a few seconds from time to time as the cycle repeats.
Is there some way to LOG what processes or programs are attempting to talk to the drive, so I can figure out what the bad actor is? I have reached the point of feeling that my only available option is to wipe the drive, do a clean install of windows and all my important software, then bring back all my data. That will take me about sixty hours, so I'd really rather not.
Any help or guidance will be most gratefully received!