Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Unable to Read Any Commercial CD in Both CD/DVD Drives

by retired_in_sarasota / January 28, 2009 10:59 AM PST

I have two CD-ROM drives on my Dell desktop. Until today they worked fine.

I installed a new keyboard driver (which isn't working right) and now I am unable to read any CD in either drive. It's a MicroInnovations KB535BL keyboard with hot keys. The keyboard works but the hot keys don't. Their technical support gave me a different driver to try and that wouldn't install at all. I haven't heard from their second level technical support. So I tried to reinstall the keyboard driver from the CD that came with the keyboard. That's when I discovered that I couldn't read any CD on either of my CD-ROM drives. I haven't been able to contact MicroInnovations second level support.

The steps I've taken so far without success include:

I checked to make sure that the commercial CDs that I'm using to test with work in my laptop. Then I try to load the commercial CD on my Dell in each of the CD-ROM drives. Autostart doesn't run on either CD-ROM drive on my Dell.

I load the commercial CD into either CD-ROM drive and go to Windows Explorer and click on the drive. I'm asked to load a CD in the drive (which already has a CD in it).

I've uninstalled the drivers for both CD-ROM drives and rebooted. XP reloads the drivers, but no change in behavior.

I've run the MS tool to fix the "upper filters/lower filters" registry problem. The tool reports that I don't have that problem.

The Event Viewer does not show any warnings or errors related to CD drives or drivers.

I ran the MS AutoPlay repair wizard with no change in behavior.

I ran PC Fixer by Digital Support Technology and found nothing.

System Info:
Dell Dimension 8200
Windows XP Home SP3
1,024 Meg Memory
2-60GB Internal Hard Drives
Samsung DVD-ROM SD-616
Sony DVD R/W DRU-810A
Laser and Ink Jet printers
A ton of applications.

I would really appreciate any suggestions to fix this as I'm out of ideas and I have a headache! Thanks very much!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Unable to Read Any Commercial CD in Both CD/DVD Drives
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Unable to Read Any Commercial CD in Both CD/DVD Drives
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Just ideas.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 28, 2009 11:39 AM PST

1. Test to see if the drives will boot ANY XP or other bootable CD. We only do that to test the drive. We don't proceed with any install.

2. Depending on the results of test 1 the next steps.
a. Fail. Check till you're blue that the BIOS has enable the IDE channel and shows the drives in POST.
b. Fail. Remove both drives. Repeat test 1 with just one drive properly jumpered.
b1. Both drives fail the single test. Go get a drive that does boot.

c. Pass. Replace the hard disk and install the OS as a test. See if the keyboard driver kills it again.

Collapse -
Thanks For Response and Ideas
by retired_in_sarasota / January 28, 2009 8:09 PM PST
In reply to: Just ideas.

Thanks for responding and for the ideas!

I've tried several commercial software install CDs that work fine in my laptop and worked in the Dell desktop until yesterday.

I'm not clear on how to check to see that the BIOS has enabled the IDE channel and shows the drives in POST. I pressed F2 during system startup and looked around the setup menu. I didn't see anything that talked about IDE channels or POST. I did see that setup shows the Samsung drive as secondary drive 0 and shows drive type as AUTO. Same with Sony drive, only it's secondary drive 1. I also looked in device manager and again don't see any reference to IDE channel or POST. A Google search didn't give me any hints either. So I guess I need some additional detail on how to perform this step?

A couple of other "factoids" might be relevant: When I installed the keyboard driver off the CD that came with the keyboard, it seemed to install normally and resulted in a task bar icon that I could open to set/change the hot keys. Of course, it didn't work, but at least there was a program installed.

When I downloaded and installed the keyboard driver from the vendor's web site, an error message flashed by too fast to read entirely that said something about reading/writing past the end of something (sorry, that's all I could see).

The keyboard vendor level one guy sent me another driver to try. That driver started to install and then terminated without any task bar icon or any software showing in Add/Remove programs. In the course of our conversation, I THINK the support guy said he was running that driver on his VISA machine.

So I'm left wondering if either 1) the driver I downloaded from the vendor's web site screwed up something or 2) the driver the support guy sent me is VISA only and screwed up something.

Anyway, I'm hoping for some further instruction on how to check that the BIOS has enabled the IDE channel and shows the drives in POST.

Sorry for the long response, but I figure more information is better than less.

Collapse -
Share the link to
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 12:39 AM PST

Share the link to the manual for your machine's BIOS. You own this machine and would find it much faster than I can.

Collapse -
Support Link for Dell Dimension 8200
by retired_in_sarasota / January 29, 2009 1:04 AM PST
In reply to: Share the link to
Collapse -
Support link showing the BIOS
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 1:15 AM PST
"Primary Drive 0:
Displays primary hard drive 0. The default is Auto.

Primary Drive 1:
Displays primary hard drive 1 (if installed). The default is Off.

Secondary Drive 0:
Displays secondary hard drive 0. The default is Auto.

Secondary Drive 1:
Displays secondary hard drive device type. The default is Off."

So we see that if we had 2 CDRW drives on the second IDE channel, the second one would he disabled.

Let's hope you will make sure these channels are not set to "Off."

Later we see "IDE Drive Interface
Sets the IDE-drive interface options. The default is Auto."

Auto sounds good to me.
Collapse -
System Setup Info
by retired_in_sarasota / January 29, 2009 2:23 AM PST

With the info you sent, I was able to navigate the Setup windows and see how everything was set. To summarize the main screen:

Primary Drive 0 Hard Drive Drive Type AUTO
Primary Drive 1 Hard Drive Drive Type AUTO
Secondary Drive 0 Samsung CD-ROM Drive Type AUTO
Secondary Drive 1 Sony CD-ROM Drive Type AUTO

Under Integrated Devices (Legacy Select Options):

Everything is set to the default as shown on your last post. HOWEVER, there is an additional item on the bottom of the Integrated Devices screen list that does not show on your last post:

IDE DRIVE UDMA OFF (the option is ON)

I DID NOT change anything for fear of destroying the world as we know it. But if you think I should turn the IDE DRIVE UDMA setting to ON, let me know and I'll give it a shot. I did look around on Google a little and wasn't sure if the stuff I saw was applicable to my machine.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 5:57 AM PST
In reply to: System Setup Info

Worth a try. You can always put it back.

-> Do the drives show on any BIOS screen?

Q. I offered how I test above. I can't find your answers or where you tried it. Did you try it?

Collapse -
Turning UDMA ON Did Nothing
by retired_in_sarasota / January 29, 2009 6:52 AM PST

I tried turning IDE DRIVE UDMA ON and it had no effect.

As far as your question regarding the drives showing in any BIOS screen, I assume you're referring to your item 2.a. in your 1/28/08 7:39 PM post? If so, I responded in my reply at 4:09 AM on 1/29/09 that I didn't know how to do that and that's when we started looking at the settings on the setup screen. If you gave me other guidance as to how to see if the drives show on any BIOS screen, I don't see it. Please advise! Thanks for your patience as I'm obviously NOT an expert!

Collapse -
Last rites.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 7:03 AM PST

PERFORM these steps again ->

Please do this. Reboot, test.

If this fails we have reached the end of what we can do in text mode. You could replace one drive with some 30 buck DVDRW and see if that helps ->

If you can't see a BIOS screen with the drives then it's not there. Be sure you've opened it up (power off!) and checked that the cables from the motherboard to the drives are snug in their respective places.

Collapse -
by retired_in_sarasota / January 29, 2009 10:53 PM PST
In reply to: Last rites.

Early on, I had tried to do a System Restore. As usual, all I got was "unable to complete". So I went on to all the stuff described previously.

This morning, I was leafing through some old articles looking for inspiration and came across a reference magazine put out by SmartComputing called Fix Your Own PC. Most of the material is pretty basic.

But I noticed a discussion of an alternative way to do a System Restore when the usual way didn't work. The approach is to reboot in Safe Mode by holding down F8 during the initial boot sequence. When the Windows Advanced Options Menu appears, choose Safe Mode. After logging in, click NO to restore the machine to a previous state using System Restore. System Restore automatically opens and you proceed as usual.

Well, IT WORKED. I restored to the morning before I started trying to install the keyboard driver and BOTH CD/ROM drives now function normally. Boy, am I relieved!

Mr. Proffitt, thanks for sticking with me through this and offering your helpful suggestions. Perhaps someone else can profit from my experience of how to get System Restore to work using an alternative method.

Collapse -
Sorry I missed that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 11:00 PM PST
In reply to: Fixed!!!!!
Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.