computer doesn't recognize hardware anymore

September 4, 2009 at 08:19:48
Specs: Windows XP
I have 2 dvd/cd burners on my pc. I have been "legally" copying dvd's for my church using Nero software. Now all of sudden, my pc doesn't recognize either of my drives (drive D & E). I've troubleshooted, and it finds the software and drivers, but doesn't see the drives. What gives?

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#1
September 4, 2009 at 09:52:38
Go to Disk Management.
E.g. Control Panel - set it to to Classic View if it isn't already set to that - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management.
Are the two DVD drives listed there?

Go to Device Manager.
E.g.
RIGHT click on My Computer, select Properties - Hardware - Device Manager

Are the DVD drives listed under DVD/CD-Rom drives?
If they are, is the list expanded and has a yellow ! or a red X beside one or both drives? If yes, did anyone install another add on burning program as well as Nero?

If you're not seeing the DVD drives in either place........

- has anyone been fiddling with connections inside the computer case since the last time the DVD drives appeared in Windows?

- has Windows been reloaded from scratch since the last time the DVD drives appeared?
..........

If no one has been fiddling with connections inside the computer case since the last time the DVD drives appeared in Window, and if no one has reloaded Windows from scratch since the last time the DVD drives appeared..........

If both DVD drives are IDE connected drives....
- one or the other drive may be malfunctioning, and in that case sometimes that results in both drives on the same IDE data cable not being detected by the mboard's bios properly. In that case there may also be a longer than usual delay while booting the computer in the first part of booting before Windows loads.
You (or someone) could try disconnecting one or the other drive, by disconnecting it's data cable connection at the drive, then the drive you didnt disconnect may appear just fine in Windows.
However, depending on how old the mboard and it's bios is, you may need to change the setting of the drive still connected at the back of the drive if it's set to slave, to set it to master or cable select.


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#2
September 4, 2009 at 12:32:46
Watch the start up screens when you boot the computer to see if ALL your drives are recognized by the BIOS. If they don't show there then you probably have a hardware problem.

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#3
September 4, 2009 at 13:07:49
Did you try switching out the PATA connection that both Rom drives are on and swtiching the connection to the other PATA connection that the hard drive is on? If they both show up on the PATA connection that the hard drive was on but the hard drive doesn't show up on the connection that the Rom drives were on then that secondary PATA connection might have gone bad.

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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Related Solutions

#4
September 4, 2009 at 13:28:07
".....then that secondary PATA connection might have gone bad."

There can be something wrong with the secondary IDE connection regarding it's data cable connection, but that does not normally happen spontaneously - someone would have to have been fiddling with the data cable.

As far as the secondary IDE controller itself is concerned, I've never encountered a bad primary or secondary IDE controller.

However, for some main chipsets, if the main chipset drivers have not been loaded intially when Windows is installed after Setup was finished, or if Windows was re-installed from scratch if the main chipset drivers have not been loaded after Setup has finished, sometimes the operating system can't then detect the secondary IDE controller properly, and if it can't, it can't detect any IDE optical drives connected to secondary IDE either.


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#5
September 4, 2009 at 14:41:55
Tubes

For what it is worth, I have seen a couple of IDE controllers go out.


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#6
September 4, 2009 at 15:27:57
I have updated drivers
I have done the device manager
I have disconnected the cd...
I have disconnected the dvd...
I have ensured all is enabled in BIOS
I have switched master & slave
I think that both (hard to believe) that both my dvd and cd drives have given up the ghost!!!
Time to buy some new one.
Closing

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#7
September 4, 2009 at 15:30:33
You didn't say if the drives are seen in the POST screens at start up.

Disconnect the data cable to one drive at a time to see if the other will then show.


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#8
September 5, 2009 at 13:39:54
Yes at startup, it does show both drives.
I disconnected each, started up, and still no response.
I even got the message, "new hardware found', but still no luck.
I truly believe that both dvd and cd burners have gone out.
Neither light comes on, when a cd is inserted, no sound of a spinning cd either.
thanks for all your help. closing

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#9
September 5, 2009 at 14:10:24
If both the drives are properly identified by the BIOS in the start up screens then buying new drives isn't going to solve your problem. The drives apppear to be operational.

Your problem is with WinXP.

Did you look in Disk Management like tubesandwires advised?

Disk Management isn't the same thing as Device Manager.

"I have done the device manager" What have you done there?

Go back to Device manager and expand the listing for IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Post what is listed there.


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#10
September 5, 2009 at 14:26:15
"Neither light comes on, when a cd is inserted, no sound of a spinning cd either."

It's extremely unlikely both drives would fail at the same time, unless some external event damaged both of them

Try connecting them to another desktop computer if you can.

If the power supply is putting out no +5v, or not enough of what is supposed to be +5v, the optical drives cannot work.
However, in that case USB devices, serial ports, PS/2 ports, floppy drives, etc. cannot work properly either, so that's not likely there isn't enough of what supposed to be an accurate +5v.
However, if what is supposed to be +5v is more than 10% too high, that WILL damage things that require +5v, and in my experience, the first to fry it's board is a floppy drive, then as time goes on, the second is optical drives, then cards in slots.

Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
See response 4 in this:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

A common mistake people are making these day sis installing a graphics card the power supply in the computer can't handle.

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.

.....

Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .

This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
http://members.datafast.net.au/~dft...

What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
http://www.badcaps.net/

Pictures of blown capacitors, other components - power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.:
http://www.halfdone.com/Personal/Jo...
.........

Is it possible this computer was exposed to a power failure event that might have produced a power spike or surge that damaged it? If it was caused by a lightning strike it's more likely it was danaged even if it is connected to an anti-surge/spike protection device.

Or - did the power supply fail and was replaced since the drives last worked?

Has anyone cleaned the inside of the computer with a vaccum cleaner since the drives last worked?


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#11
September 5, 2009 at 19:46:53
"There can be something wrong with the secondary IDE connection regarding it's data cable connection, but that does not normally happen spontaneously - someone would have to have been fiddling with the data cable."

Acutally a lot of times when an IDE connection goes bad it's due to a device on that connection going bad itself. That happened to one of my clients last year. One of his Rom drives went bad and it took out the IDE connection along with it. The same thing happened to another clients computer a couple years before that where his hard drive on the IDE connection shorted out and caused that IDE connection itself to go bad. It also happened to me back in 2002 with a Creative CD-RW drive. The CD-RW was producing a dirty electrical current due to a faulty electrical circuit which ended up taking out my secondary IDE connection.

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#12
September 12, 2009 at 11:47:34
All, thanks for the replies. Disk management only sees the hard drive. Both bios and device mgr see both optical drives, albeit with the yellow exlamas.

I'll try swapping primary with secondary IDE cables for grins.

I did not see any blown caps or volt regs, or smoke - mobo appears ok.


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#13
September 12, 2009 at 12:21:54
Doesn't make much sense IF in fact the optical drives ARE identified in the POST screens at start up by model name/number then they should show in Device Manager and Disk Management. In disk management you may need to scroll down on the screen to see the optical drives as they will be listed last.

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#14
September 12, 2009 at 16:20:10
OtheHill

"Doesn't make much sense IF in fact the optical drives ARE identified in the POST screens at start up by model name/number then they should show in Device Manager and Disk Management. "

It CAN happen....
If the main chipset drivers have not been loaded, I've seen some instances where this applies....

"....for some main chipsets, if the main chipset drivers have not been loaded intially when Windows is installed after Setup was finished, or if Windows was re-installed from scratch if the main chipset drivers have not been loaded after Setup has finished, sometimes the operating system can't then detect the secondary IDE controller properly, and if it can't, it can't detect any IDE optical drives connected to secondary IDE either. "

There is no DVD/CD-ROM drives listing at all in that case.

However,
migla stated

"Neither light comes on, when a cd is inserted, no sound of a spinning cd either."

Those things should work if the drive's power plug is plugged in and the computer is running - that doesn't require the data cable even be connected.

Sometimes both drives on the same data cable won't work properly if one of them is defective.

If only one of them is connected,
- if the led on one of them then works, the disk spins when a disk is inserted, that one is probably okay, the other one probably has a fried board.
- if the led doesn't come, the drive doesn't spin when only one is connected, in both cases, then I suspect both drives have a fried logic board, in any case.
......

migla

Have you tried connecting the drives to another desktop computer?

Are you SURE the IDE cable is connected to the drives properly?

If you're not sure, unplug the data cable connectors from both drives, then try inserting a disk in each to see if the led comes on, the disk spins. If there is a plastic pull tab at the connector, pull on the center of that - if there isn't pull on the center of the data cable near the connector. If neither does that unplug the power connector from one at atime, try the disk in the one that's still connected.

The led MAY not come on and the drive MAY not spin if any of these things are wrong:

The stripe on one side of the data cable has to be on the same side at the mboard header and at the drives - sometimes the connector can be installed backwards - either the stripe can be at the pin 1 end of the mboard header (marked on the mboard with a 1or a triangle or an arrowhead) and next to the power connector on both drives, or they can all be opposite that.

The proper end connector of an 80 wire data cable must be connected to the mboard - it won't work properly with thedrives if that is backwards - usually it's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a three connector data cable.

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittant, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Neither drive on the same data cable will be recognized properly if both drives are jumpered or set to slave or master.

Don't mix CS (cable select) and master/slave jumpering or settings on the same data cable.


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#15
September 12, 2009 at 16:54:06
This doesn't make sense to me either. I tested both IDE ribbons - both fully support the hard drive, I deduce they're ok. Then I picked up a brand new DVD writer (I set to "master" by itself on secondary IDE). Results are the same:

- BIOS recognized the new HP DVD,
- windows recognized "new hardware" on start up,
- Device manager sees new HP DVD, still with yellow exclamation, and
- Disk management does NOT see anything but the C drive.

Should I be looking for a new mobo??? BTW, current mobo has the latest flash.

Thanks for the excellent feedback thus far.


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#16
September 12, 2009 at 17:04:09
Well then, did you install the motherboard chip set drivers?

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#17
September 12, 2009 at 17:09:44
I dont know - is that differnt than bios refresh?

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#18
September 12, 2009 at 17:23:42
Tell us the make and model of the brand name system, or if the system is generic, the make and model of the mboard, so that we can point you to the correct main chipset drivers.
The former model is probably on a label on the outside of the case somewhere; the latter is usually printed in obvious larger characters on the mboard surface.

Is there more than one cd or dvd burning prgram installed on the computer, other than the simple one built into Windows?? - if there is that often causes problems with optical drives - look in the Programs list.


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#19
September 12, 2009 at 17:47:04
Drivers have nothing to do with the BIOS. The drivers you need are on the motherboard CD. You should install ALL the drivers from there.

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#20
September 12, 2009 at 18:21:58
A bunch of years ago I built this system based on:

mobo - asus A7N8X
proc - amd athlon XP 2500+
ps - antec 380W
ram - 1 gb
os - windows XP SP 3
video - Radeon X1650 PRO 256 mb
etc...

The mobo software (cd) is inaccessible - issue at hand.


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#21
September 12, 2009 at 18:29:44
The link to the drivers is below.

If you have different 80 wire IDE cables I suggest you change them.

http://support.asus.com/download/do...


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#22
September 12, 2009 at 20:09:57
Enter A7N8X in the box at left at OtheHill's link, select All in the box below that

Utilities -
NForce2 all in one version 1.16 driver for WinXP.

That includes the main chipset drivers but it's relatively a LARGE download.

It would be a very good idea to un-install everything that is listed in Add/Remove Progams that looks like it's one of the things that that all-in-one driver installation installs, BEFORE you install that.
Installing main chipset drivers when they are already present or are present but are corrupted usually does no harm at all, but some of the other things that installs might mess things up if they're already present.
Unfortunately, Nvidia does not supply just the main chipset drivers download separately (Intel, Via, and AMD does), even on their own web site
http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce...
Try the download on the Asus web site first.
Nvidia has a reputation for not fixing problems with their drivers, and these newest drivers may not work properly with your mboard's older chipset.
.......

"BTW, current mobo has the latest flash."

If you haven't already done so, go into the bios and load bios defaults, or, better still, optimized defaults if that's listed, save settings.
Flashing the bios usually does NOT do that automatically!
If the contents of the cmos, part of which are what you see in the bios Setup, are for a previous bios version, then the bios is likely to NOT work correctly!

The bios has two main chunks of data - a read only part, and the cmos part, and a small one, the boot block. When you flash the bios the boot block part is not flashed by default - in most cases it does not change from that for the original bios version for the particular mboard - it's a minimal backup that allows you to try flashing the bios again if something goes wrong while flashing or if you have loaded the wrong bios update (e.g. for another mboard version or revision).

When you load bios defaults you're loading the cmos contents for the particular bios version.
Clearing the cmos by moving a jumper on the mboard then moving it back, or removing the mboard/cmos battery and then re-installing it, also loads bios defaults, but in those cases the time and date are then set to defaults, you get a "Cmos Checksum Error" or similar message the next time you boot, and you have to reset those in the bios Setup after doing those things, save settings.
.......

By the way, contrary to popular belief, flashing the bios is NOT a cure-all!
You ONLY flash the bios if you're having a problem that is mentioned in the notes on the bios updates page for the model, or if you need to flash the bios to support a cpu type your present bios version doesn't support according to the cpu support info for the mboard model.

If you do NEED to update the bios, in most cases, a newer bios version includes all the fixes listed for previous bios versions, but don't load a beta (preliminary; not the final) bios version unless it's listed fixes include your specific problem..

If your system was working fine previously with a particular bios version, if don't need to flash to support a cpu type you intend to install, it makes no sense at all to flash the bios! The bios version could not possibly have anything to do with your problem!

You are taking a big risk when you flash your bios - if the flash fails, and/or the flash chip physically fails while flashing (this is COMMON - these cheap flash chips can only be flashed an unpredictable small number of times), you will have a mboard that will not boot.
E.g. the chips used for a mboard bios are an old type that is not anywhere near as reliable when you flash them (change data on them)as the chips used these days for a USB flash drive, which is hundreds of times if not thousands of times more reliable!
.........

"ps - antec 380W"
"video - Radeon X1650 PRO 256 mb"

The Radeon X1650 PRO AGP chipset requires the system has a minimum 350 watt capacity power supply with an expected +12v amperage capacity to go along with that. Since the Antec 380 watt PSi s a good quality brand, you're probably fine, but if you upgrade the video card you will probably need a PS with more capacity.



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#23
September 12, 2009 at 20:43:22
Tubesandwires, Thanks again for your time and expertise. I'll try the uninstall / re-install tomorrow. It's sleepy time

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