|State the model of your Acer. |
On most laptops the specific model is on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, usually on the bottom.
On some laptops, the optical drive is in a module you can plug in or unplug - if that's your situation, make sure it's pushed in all the way - you'll probably have to reboot the computer after doing that if you were in Windows when you did that.
If that doesn't apply, or if it does but that doesn't help...
- the laser lens may be too dirty -
eject the drive's tray and (when there's no disk on it) if you can then see the laser lens on the tray, clean the laser lens with a tissue or a soft cloth.
If you can't see the laser lens, use a laser lens cleaning CD in the drive. If you don't have one, many places that sell computer cds and dvds or parts have them, and some "dollar" stores have them for a buck or two.
- if that doesn't help, optical drives do not last forever, and none of them have had a warranty of longer than one year for a long, long time.
The most common thing that has happened when the mboard and Windows can no longer recognize any disk in the drive is the sleeve bearings in the drive's motor have worn to the point there is so much friction produced when the motor tries to spin that the motor can no longer achieve spinning at 1X, the original audio CD speed, or, eventually, the motor will no longer spin at all.
If the drive no longer spins a disk that's obvious - you'll hear nothing when you insert a disk that indicates it's spinning.
If a drive is spinning a disk too slowly, or if it tries to spin a disk then quits doing that when it can't get to the 1X speed that's harder to determine.
Usually there's no indication in Device Manager there's anything wrong with the drive when the motor doesn't spin or spins too slowly. If there is a yellow ! or a red X beside the drive, on a laptop, that probably indicates the drives circuit board is damaged, and/or one or more lasers or the circuits on the board for them is burnt out, which is rather rare in comparison to the problem of the motor not spinning properly.
The drive is definately malfunctioning if you insert a disk it was designed to read if...
- the led on the front of it comes on and stays on for a lot longer than usual when you first insert a disk, or it comes on and then blinks on and off for a long while when you first insert a disk (you probably have a motor bearing problem, or the laser(s) or the circuits for the laser(s) are burnt out)
- the led does not light up at all when you first insert a disk (the board for it is damaged )
The mboard's bios does not require any of the software on the hard drive in order to be able to detect a bootable disk. If the boot order settings are correct in the mboard's bios Setup (set so the bios will detect a bootable disk in an optical drive), the bios should detect a bootable CD or DVD while booting early in the boot sequence, and you should see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar when it does detect it, or if the hard drive has no operating system on it, or for a few disks, the computer will auto boot from the bootable disk.
If that doesn't happen, the drive is malfunctioning.
You don't necessarily have to buy a replacement drive from Acer or the same drive model - there are lots of new generic drives available on the web and some are better than what you presently have - they just need to be compatible with installing them in your Acer model.