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DVD Drive Won't Read Discs

Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
So I've been using the same DVD-RW drive that's been carried over from several PCs over the years. On a whim, I inserted a disc inside to read the contents within, and that's when I noticed that it won't read the disc; the DVD drive lights up, ejects, shows up in system properties, etc, but after it blinks a few times it just hangs there. The My Computer screen and anything else showing the drive letter freezes as well.

While I rarely use the disc drive these days, seeing how most everything is digital download, I would like to try and fix it in the event I would have need of installing a physical disc. Any ideas?

Professor Snugglesworth on


  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Remove it from the Device Manager, reboot, let the computer reinstall it. See if that helps.

    If not, spend $25 and get a new one on NewEgg.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Didn't change anything. It's weird, since it can be opened up through the computer, has the same lights as usual, etc. If it was just a loose cord, it wouldn't work at all, right?

    I'm kind of bummed, since this was the one single component I had carried over through at least 3 PCs (and two more PC upgrades), damn near over 10 years.

    Also not looking to spend the money on a replacement anytime soon, as I've currently had little need for it. If there was a $10 model, I'd go for it.

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    Optical drives are really easily ruined just through a sudden jarring movement (which takes the laser out of alignment.) Any chance your system was moved recently or suffered a bit of a shock? That's about all it takes. Alternatively, the laser itself (the little path it slides on to move from the internal to external edge of the disc) can become stuck, but fixing the problem by taking the drive apart is quite likely to knock the laser out of alignment anyhow in such cases.

    You can try buying 'cleaner' discs which are pretty much just blank discs with a tiny brush or two physically mounted to them to sweep off the lens of the laser, but if you went from reading things fine to not being able to recognize a disk at all, I'll wager they won't help you.

    Sorry to not be of much help. Do you by chance have a dvd drive on a laptop or something? You can always use that to move media to a USB drive in a pinch.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    10 years and you're bummed? You should be ecstatic. Take it out, give it a little pillow to sit on, and make it a tiny shrine.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    So in my haste I go and purchase a DVD-RW that was on sale during Newegg's Black Friday deals:

    Unfortunately, as I learned when the product arrived today, I don't have any open HDD ports on my motherboard. My old drive was a Lite-On that connected to my motherboard using a blue IDE ribbon.

    I already requested an FMA from NewEgg, but I'm also trying to research the cheapest options right now. Do they sell any HDD splitters, or adapters for converting a SATA to an IDE?

    Alternatively, I've tried to find an external DVD-RW under $20, but no luck. I also don't know how to narrow my search to find a DVD-RW that connects to the blue type of IDE ribbon.

    Please help.

  • AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    You can't convert SATA to IDE. You could convert either to USB, but that will cost you around $15 so you might as well jsut get a new drive. Are you sure that you don't have any more SATA ports?

    Here's a list of all the IDE DVD-RWs on Newegg right now: 600003705&IsNodeId=1&name=IDE

    I just got a 3DS XL. Add me! 2879-0925-7162
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    This is the motherboard I'm using:

    According to that, there are 4 ports. I have four hard drives, so they're probably taking up the slots. It's a bit crammed inside my tower, so I suppose I could check again.

  • AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    That's a lot of hard drives :p

    Yeah, it looks like there are only 4 ports. You could get a PCI or PCIE SATA adapter card, but that would cost as much or more than just getting another DVD drive.

    I just got a 3DS XL. Add me! 2879-0925-7162
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm a hoarder...of both physical and downloadable media. One of the drives may only be 200GB, but it's also worked reliably for years, so I don't really want to part with it.

    So I went with this option, as it was the cheapest due to free shipping:

    Not thrilled paying over $20, but maybe I can offset the cost by selling the not-working drive on eBay.

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