Compact discs (CDs) are a much more reliable method of exchanging data than floppies ever were. But they're not immune to problems. Here are a few tips to fix CD drive problems.

Verify it's a CD and a CD drive. CDs and DVDs

    Requires Free Membership to View

look almost identical. Most of the newest generation of desktop and notebook computers come with DVD drives rather than CD drives. DVDs don't work in CD players, although DVD drives can read CDs. So make sure the disk you're trying to load is a CD and not a DVD.

Clean the disk. Examine the surface for fingerprints or other marks. Use a blast of canned air, or else gently wipe the shiny surface with a lint-free cloth or wipe. (Wipe from the inside to the edge and not around and around.) If that doesn't fix this cd drive problem, try cleaning the disk with a dab of distilled water.

Reseat the cables. A loose cable is often the cause of a problem with a mass storage device. Even a cable that was once firmly seated can work loose as repeated startups and shutdowns of the computer create cycles of expansion and contraction. (The habit of not screwing or clipping the cable to the drive doesn't help.)

Try a CD-R rather than a rewritable CD. Some CD drives, especially older ones, have trouble reading rewritable CDs. But unless it's defective, a CD drive will usually read a recordable CD because the different physical recording method creates a better copy on a CD-R. If possible, try re-recording the information on a CD-R, then try it in the drive.

Check the BIOS. Sometimes the BIOS will get corrupted. To fix this CD drive problem, make sure the BIOS still lists the CD drive and, if you're trying to boot from it, that it is in the correct place (usually B:) in the drive sequence.

Force a reinstall of the device or drivers.If you remove the drive from the Device Manager list and reboot the system, Windows will automatically reinstall it on boot-up. If driver has a problem, this is sometimes enough to fix it. A more extreme method is to remove the CD drive from the Registry and reinstall the drivers with Device Manager.


Removable Media Storage Fast Guide

  Introduction
 CD/DVD cleaning discs may do more harm than good
 Data recovery freeware works on CD and DVD media
 Recover data from unreadable CD/DVD-ROMs
  CD/DVD drives slow down after consecutive read errors
 How to fix CD drive problems
 Blocking use of CD drives in WinXP for security reasons
 Troubleshooting CD/DVD-ROM devices in Windows

About the author: Rick Cook specializes in writing about issues related to storage and storage management.

This was first published in June 2006

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.