DVD Drive Won't Work

November 7, 2006 at 20:49:32
Specs: XP, P4 2.4GHz / 512MB
My dvd drive has stopped working. The system recognizes the drive, it shows up, it spins when a disk is inserted, but it does not seem to recognize that the disk is there. Looking at the drive in Windows shows 0 files. This happens no matter what type of disk I insert, cd, dvd, music cd.

Based on what I've tried so far it doesn't appear to be a hardware problem. I've tried updating the drivers, says they are up to date. I uninstalled and reinstalled the drive, no change. I installed a cd drive from my old computer, same result. I bought a new dvd drive, same result. Cable connections checked.

I also tried updating the IDE Channel driver, and uninstalling and reinstalling. I tried switching the drive so it was on IDE1 instead of IDE0. I tried the "modify registry and delete all Value Data from UpperFilters and LowerFilters" procedure. No change.

One thing that may or may not give a clue. If I leave a disk in the drive and then restart the computer, when it logs into Windows I can see the contents of the drive. I was even able to run the game on that disk. However when I switch disks, or open and close the drive with the same disk, the disk cannot be read.

No hardware or major software changes have been made recently. I have posted at a couple of other forums, no real help so far. Hopefully someone here has an idea that works or an explanation.

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November 7, 2006 at 21:05:33
The laser lens may need to be cleaned or the drive is heading south, luckily neither fix requires spending a lot of money.

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November 8, 2006 at 04:33:34
I had trouble with my DVD player not working and did not realize it for a long time as I don't play DVD's too often. I tried everything for many days including buying a new updated version of a DVD player software and DVD decoder. Nothing worked. I finally got a clue when I tried to play a DVD and got a message about Windows Media Player (I cannot remember what it was exactly) - however - I set a restore point, then I uninstalled Windows update KB917734, which was for the media player. BINGO!! Windows medial player played DVDs and the new software also. I don't know if this is your problem, but it worked for me.

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November 8, 2006 at 05:04:15
Did you set the rear jumper to Cable Select? Dell uses Cable Select.....
Also, are there any errors showing in Device Manager?

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November 8, 2006 at 05:20:58
Just thought of this too... Might want to clear the NVRAM; at this point it's worth a shot....Also consider checking in the BIOS to make sure that drive is set to "auto" mode.

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November 8, 2006 at 20:49:34
Problem is not with the drive, as I mentioned, I tried another used drive and a brand new one with no difference.

Problem is not with Media Player, problem is that the computer is not recognizing any files on the disk, unless the disk is in the drive before Windows is started. Seems that files are "loaded" outside of Windows, but once inside Windows it cannot process a disk.

No errors in Device Manager.

How does one "clear the NVRAM"?

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November 9, 2006 at 06:25:35
You didn't mention what model Dell you have so it's impossible to say with certainty. There are two ways to clear the NVRAM depending on the motherboard.
You'll probably want to zip over to the Dell User Forums. Click the proper tick-mark for your Dell model number, then use the search for "clearing NVRAM". There should be many posts about it.

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