Suspected failing Optical Drive

December 28, 2009 at 09:20:17
Specs: Ubuntu 9.10, AMD Athlon II X2 / 4GB DDR2 800MHz
Hi everyone,

I build a PC last friday, and so far I've been
having problems trying to get any OS to
install. So far I believe it's a optical drive issue.

This is an old IDE DVD writer. I'm also using a
200GB IDE hard drive and a a 500GB sata

I've tried to install Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10,
tried several different media, but every time I
tried I get errors about I/O and media errors. I
tried using the same DVDs on my laptop and
they work fine. Tried changing the IDE cable
with no luck either.

I ended up installing Ubuntu to my external
drive, from another computer.

Anyway, I've been noticing some odd behavior:

- During POST, it sometimes takes around 5
seconds in the "Detecting AHCI drives"
screen. If I unplug the DVD drive it takes
around a second. Not sure how they are

- I was trying to match the MD5 and SHA1
sum of an ISO, and every time I made the
test, I received a different result (this makes no
effing sense at all to me). I thought maybe I
had bad RAM, but I left memtest running
overnight with no errors at all.

You can actually hear some noise coming
from the optical drive, and this is why I'm
planning to get a new drive today, but I'm
wondering what else could be wrong.

Any ideas???


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December 28, 2009 at 10:38:01
i think you're right. different media in the same drive had problems, but the same media in different drives had no problems. This supports the problem being with your machine's hardware.

OS installations often fail with bad RAM, but you've tested that successfully.

you changed the IDE cable to remove it as a variable. you might as well also try connecting the IDE cable to a different IDE port on the motherboard, so you can rule that piece out as well.

yeah, i support your conclusion. nice troubleshooting!

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December 28, 2009 at 11:41:39
Thanks! This motherboard only has one IDE port (2 channels).
Haven't really tested the 200GB hdd that I have connected to that
same IDE port. But if the IDE port is bad, then I'll have to get a
sata optical drive either way.

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