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Help in replacing a laptop DVD/CD drive

by ya1950 / May 2, 2007 2:58 PM PDT

The combination DVD/CD burner on my 3 year old Toshiba M35 is on the blink. The drive is a tray loaded slim model made by Panasonic. I would like to buy a replacement but before I do I need to know what type of drive to buy. Specifically if I buy a newer slim dual layer drive will it be recognized by my firmware and OS (Vista business) or will my older Toshiba BIOS prevent the drive from working?

Also would anyone have a recommendation for a replacement drive, preferable one that could be made region free either by software or by flashing the firmware? TIA to anyone who takes the time to answer.

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I think I'll pass
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 9:56 PM PDT

"preferable one that could be made region free" tripped over the amount of research that I'd do for free.

But I've replaced dozens (hundreds by proxy) and never found a BIOS lockout yet.


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That gives me what I needed
by ya1950 / May 2, 2007 11:02 PM PDT
In reply to: I think I'll pass

Thanks so much Bob. That gives me the info I need. As long as there is no incompatability I can do the research and make an informed choice. Your help is much appreciated.

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Bob - could this be a first?
by ya1950 / May 14, 2007 1:49 AM PDT
In reply to: I think I'll pass

Hope you are still here Bob. Based on the above I just got a Pioneer K17. It fit right in the machine but something is strange here - the drive installed its drivers fine with Vista and is working. However .. on bootup I get an error message - "023 Failure IDE#2" and then a dialog asking me if I want to enter setup or boot. The machine boots up but I think the Bios does not like this drive. I can't see any way to resolve this error. Even changing the boot order in the BIOS still results in the error. Since the drive works under VISTA I assume it is ok. What am I missing? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. TIA

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Very odd. You're the first?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 14, 2007 2:13 AM PDT

"023 Failure IDE#2" in and in the newgroups doesn't find anyone with that report.

I tried a few variants by omitting the #2 but no one reports this. I wonder if your drive has a BIOS update you haven't applied yet?


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Thanks for the quick reply
by ya1950 / May 14, 2007 2:49 AM PDT

Thanks for replying so quickly. I also could not find anything on google nor could I find any firmware update on google. Googling around what I find is that the Pioneer k16 (I'm guessing the same for the k17) is a cable select unit. (post #20)

Could there be a problem with the bios wanting the drive set as master and the cable setting it as slave? Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

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I don't have your laptop...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 14, 2007 3:07 AM PDT

So I can't tell if you can tell the BIOS to ignore search a slave channel and failing.

If I put the next line in


I narrow it down to the dangerous brothers 1.44 firmware. I was not able to find 1.44 another way. Your choice on that.

So far I have yet to encounter ANY laptop that had an issue with master/slave or CS. Thankfully all current models just use CS and that takes care of all those bad old headaches.


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BIOS will not allow me to ignore a slave
by ya1950 / May 14, 2007 4:13 AM PDT

so I think I'm going to bite the bullet and return the drive to Newegg. To bad, its a nice drive but I don't think I can live with the error message when I boot up. Thanks very much for all your help in this.

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Try another model.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 14, 2007 4:27 AM PDT

The model you noted is a bit on the rare side. Stick with the make that your laptop maker uses.

You've actually made some big steps as to learning that such are replaceable. Now to move closer to something they used.


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Good advice
by ya1950 / May 14, 2007 5:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Try another model.

although I don't like the Panasonic drives Toshiba uses because they are locked in the hardware to prevent them from using region free software. Thanks again for your help.

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Region free never an issue. Cnet told how..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 14, 2007 5:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Good advice
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Didn't know that - thanks
by ya1950 / May 14, 2007 6:02 AM PDT


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Did some more reseach
by ya1950 / May 14, 2007 8:13 AM PDT

and I found that this is a common problem with Toshiba and some other machines. The drive is set as master by cable select but for some reason the laptop reads it as a slave giving the ide# error. Exchanging the drive may not solve the problem since it is a Toshiba issue and not a problem with the drive. Toshiba used to have a utility that would reflash certain drives and invert the cable select but it not available for newer drives. The solution seems to be to short out pins 45 (cable select) and 47 (ground) on the drive. This will force the drive to be read as master:

Not being handy with a soldering iron I'm going to get a conductive pen and give it a try.

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It worked!
by ya1950 / May 15, 2007 6:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Did some more reseach

Just to round this out in case anyone has a similar problem in the future - Following the instructions I posted above I opened the drive and connected pins 45 and 47, Didn't even have to solder them - I used a single strand of fine wire and wrapped it around the 2 adjacent pins. I replaced the drive and now the error message is gone. Runs fine under VISTA as well. Just a thumbs up if anyone has similar problems. The solution is really very easy once you know what to do.

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Print a label "Dangerous."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 15, 2007 7:33 AM PDT
In reply to: It worked!

"In a good way."

And wear it. Super job.


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