Sunday, February 6, 2011

Computer question

I noticed yesterday, when I tried to play a cd, that my computer is not recognizing the cd-rom drive. Any suggestions on what to do?


JeffS said...

Hmmmmmm......either the CD-ROM died, or the computer "lost" the driver. Or it's the CD-ROM.

First, see if Windows recognizes the drive in the system.

If you're using XP under the classic menu, double click on "My Computer". Under the new-fangled menu system, click "Start" and then "My Computer". In either case, see if the drive is listed under "Devices with removable storage".

For Windows 7: slip a disc into the CD ROM, open Windows Explorer, and see if it shows up.

If it fails to show up, try turning the computer OFF, and then ON, a hard reboot (if you haven't already, that is). Don't just restart it. If it's just a driver issue, the software ought to simply pick it up.

If this doesn't work, let me know; there's a way to force the driver to re-install, *IF* the CD ROM is working.

If it ain't working, all is not lost; replacing them is straightforward, although you'll probably need to get some geek-for-hire to do it for you.

JeffS said...


"Or it's the CD-ROM" in, "Or it's the COMPACT DISC itself."

Paco said...

Thanks, Jeff. We're using Windows XP. I'll do as you suggest. The drive, incidentally, is not now listed on the devices screen. And when I put a CD in the slot, it makes a noise, as if it's running, but no music comes out, and we don't get the usual pop-up screen that gives us the option of picking a device.

I don't know if this is related, but when we start the computer, instead of it automatically booting, we get a DOS screen which asks us to hit F1 to continue, or F2 to install or diagnose (I forget). The F2 function indicates that the CD rom is not enabled.

I've only used the CD player very occasionally, but I suppose it could have broken down.

richard mcenroe said...

Go to Control Panel/Device manager. Click on the icon for your CD drive. It may let you re-enable it through the status page.

When was the last time you cleaned your registry, btw?

JeffS said...

"Danger, Will Robinson! Danger"

You either have a hardware problem (possibly NOT the CD drive), or corrupted Windows software. I'd have to put my fingers to your keyboard to say which. I recommend the geek-for-hire option, as soon as you can.

Strictly speculating, but was this computer left on during your recent power outages? Voltage spikes and unprotected computers do not mix well.

JeffS said...

Richard, if that does work, I'd still suggest a trip to the local geekstore at some point. The DOS prompt on boot up suggests the "Safe Start" feature has been enabled, never a good sign.

Cris said...

If you are comfortable opening the box, try unplugging and re-plugging the power (4-wire) and data cable connectors on the drive.

bruce said...

Update your Device Drivers from Microsoft:

This has happened to me, components seem to eventually drift 'apart' due to constantly updating software.

JeffS said...

PPS: Paco, I do tend to "worse case" equipment failures, until I can fully diagnose them. You *should* try the other suggestions listed here before zipping off to Geeks, Unlimited.

Minicapt said...

1. Do the 'hard reboot' first,
2. Then check for a MS drivers update.
3. Unless you have experience 'fingerpoking', you should prepare yourself to call for the Geek Squad:
4. I shan't mention my iMac QuadCore, etc.


Paco said...

Don't be shy, captain. Do tell me about your computer. I am wondering whether this might not be a good time to buy a new one, and I would welcome any suggestions. I've never owned an Apple, but I hear they are well-spoken of.

Boy on a bike said...

I think I see the problem:

Useful Info Nation said...


Just uninstall it from 'Device Manager'. Reboot and it should reinstall. If that doesn't work, there's a thing called 'System Restore' in Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools.

Just restore it back to a date before you noticed the problem and see if that works.

mojo said...

XP: Delete it in dev mgr, then right click on the top of the tree and select "scan for hardware changes"

Could be a bad cable, or a bad drive

Anonymous said...

Pshaw. Paco, don't listen to the Gang of Geeks Committee God bless em). You ascertained what course of action should be taken. Buy a new computer. Seriously, do you want to spend more time fiddling about with this and that. Time is valuable. You could be writing stories, threads, r&d in the lab on some secret new product, etc. Buy the dang new thing.


Deborah Leigh

Paco said...

Many thanks for all the suggestions. Unfortunately, nothing seems to work, so I may well go with the Deborah option.

Steve Skubinna said...

Blame Sarah Palin.

Paco said...

Steve: I love it when she messes with my computer.

Anonymous said...

Shoot the fucking thing.