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Cd Recognition Problem Xp Pro Sp2


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#1 Mike McCaw

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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!

Thank you,
Mike

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#2 usasma

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:10 AM

SDMonitor.exe - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/S....exe-12467.html

This free utility will help you to see what's accessing what in your processes: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/S....exe-12467.html

Have you checked in Device Manager to see if there's any conflicts? Go to Start...Run...and type in "devmgmt.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter.

You also may want to run the System File Checker. Here's a link to a How-To: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43051/how-to-use-sfcexe-to-repair-system-files/

If that doesn't work, then I'd think about doing a repair install of WindowsXP (this retains your programs and data): http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 Mike McCaw

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:17 AM

John,
Thanks!
SDMonitor is Spyware Doctor, which I only installed a week ago, so that is not the source of the problem. Device manager has always reported that everything is copasetic.
I'll try the logging thing and system file checker this evening, and consider the repair install.
Cheers,
Mike

#4 Mike McCaw

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:20 AM

John,
The second link is the same as the first (description of SD.exe). Could you please re-post the one to the utility to view hardware accesses? That sounds like the tool I was looking for.
Thanks,
Mike

#5 usasma

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:40 AM

Aww crud!!! Sorry! My avatar is of Ray for a reason - I'm a bit visually handicapped.

Here's the link: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/ProcessExplorer.html
I don't think that it has a logging function - but running it while the CD is acting up should give you the time to see what's what.

I'm wondering if this is a driver issue that Windows isn't picking up. The difference between Safe Mode and regular mode is that, basically, a whole bunch of drivers aren't loaded - and Windows uses the "fail-safe" drivers to run your devices.

A simpler fix might be to uninstall the CD in Device Manager and then reboot Windows to allow it to redetect the drive.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 Mike McCaw

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:06 AM

Thanks!
I'll check that out, and it would be easy to try your other suggestion - Doh!
Mike

#7 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:21 AM

You also might check and see if there is a firmware update for your cd.

And you can also try their troubleshooter.
http://plextor.com/english/support/support_plexhelper.html

And a description of their blink codes:
http://plextor.com/english/support/plexhel...16A-SAandUF.htm


Firmware upgrades:
http://www.plextor.com/english/support/sup...loads.html#firm

Edited by Enthusiast, 26 September 2006 - 10:28 AM.


#8 Mike McCaw

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:08 PM

Thanks, Enthusiast.
The firmware is up to date, the problem replicates with several different drives, of several different brands, and whether they are hooked up IDE or USB.
I can put the same drive in another computer with the same OS but different software, and it functions perfectly.
I am sure that too many processes or packages think they own the CD drive, but can't figure out how to find them!
Mike

#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:21 PM

It may possibly be something like InCD or a problem with Roxio, depending which versions if any you have. Both have had known problems with XP in older versions.

Or it may be registry corruption.

Use Startup Inspector to disable aps one by one in your Windows Startup Menu until you hopefully find the culprit.
I agree that if you do not have the problem in safe mode it is an ap causing this anomaly.

Startup Inspector – freeware (manages startup menu – helps you identify aps in the startup menu so you can disable unnecessary programs from running in the background when they are not needed)
And
Startup Monitor (a small freeware ap available on the same page to notify you and require your permission for any program to add itself to your startup menu)
http://www.windowsstartup.com/download.php

Edited by Enthusiast, 26 September 2006 - 03:25 PM.


#10 Mike McCaw

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:23 PM

I'll try the startup monitor.
For what its worth, the amber light blinks 12-15 times at the initiation of each cycle, the same as when a CD is first inserted.
Mike

#11 Mike McCaw

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 12:21 AM

Hooray!
I used startup inspector to stop loading about a dozen background apps, and things now work right. Most of them weren't (apparently)related to the CD drive in any way, but about three were.
I may play around with trying to find out if its just one of them or an interaction, but for now I'm a happy camper.
Thank you very much, both John and Enthusiast!
Mike

#12 Enthusiast

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:28 AM

You are very welcome.
Success at helping gives us great satisfaction.

Make sure you did not disable any anti-virus, firewall or realtime anti-malware aps though.

Good luck. :thumbsup:

#13 Mike McCaw

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for the warning, but I didn't touch those - previous tests had shown that they weren't a factor.
I disabled a bunch of registration reminder apps (for software long registered - go figure!), some update checkers for seldom used software, one of two aps governing card readers, goback (which I had long ago disabled),something left behind by NERO when I uninstalled it, and (drumroll) INCD. I'll try starting up the NERO app and INCD one of these days to see if either of them or both together are the culprit. If I find anything interesting, I'll post a note in case anyone else runs into the same issue.
Mike




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