CD / DVD Drive Not Showing in My Computer AND Drivers Gone

March 27, 2012 at 19:54:06
Specs: Windows Vista
I am running Windows Vista Home Premium on a Dell Inspiron E1705. My CD / DVD Drive hasn't been working for several weeks (not sure what happened). It isn't even showing up as an available drive when I click into "Computer". I look in Device Manager and my drive (the Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-5540 ATA Device) is there but it is under "Other Devices".

I have been able to go through the Add Hardware menu and it searches for available drivers online and fails. I actually have the driver installation CD but since the drive isn't working it is basically useless.

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March 28, 2012 at 05:15:05
Download the latest driver from your system manufacturer's website if it came with your system ("driver installation CD") or component mfg's site if not. Support>Downloads>Drivers&..... typically. Run the driver install, then if it does not show up immediately as working, delete it in device manager and either restart or 'detect hardware' to reinstall it properly with the new driver.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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March 28, 2012 at 08:02:47
Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?

Since the computer last worked properly all the time, has there been a power failure event that happened while the AC adapter was plugged in ?

Those things are the most frequent reasons something inside the laptop has been damaged.

Apparently Inspiron E1705 was first released in 2005.
Optical drives DO NOT work fine forever.
Usually what makes them useless first after they have been used a lot is the cheap sleeve bearings in their motor have worn such that the the friction in the bearings is too much and the drive's motor can no longer spin up to at least the original audio CD speed (1X) or the motor no longer spins at all.

It would NOT be unusual for an original optical drive on a laptop that is circa 7 years old to stop working properly.

Apparently your optical drive is an integral module, not an easily removable one that inserts in a drive bay other drives can be inserted in.
(You can have problems with a "swappable" drive if it's not inserted all the way into it's drive bay.)

Apparently your optical drive has a button on the front of it. Does the tray eject when you press that button when the computer is running ?
That should work even if you have Windows software problems.
If it doesn't, the board on the drive is damaged or defective, or the drive is physically damaged, or the mboard is damaged.

Your " Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-5540 ATA Device " DOES NOT require specific drivers to be installed for it. When Windows has detected the optical drive properly, Windows installs generic drivers that are built into it for the drive.

- if you have installed Windows from scratch, you MUST load the Intel main chipset drivers (INF Update Utility) for your model's main chipset, otherwise the optical drive may NOT be detected correctly.

In this case, Dell has the Intel (main) chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model.

You could try RIGHT clicking on the drive model's name in Device Manager, choose Uninstall, then Restarting Windows. Windows will re-install the generic drivers for the drive while it's loading if it detects the drive properly. However that probably won't help in this case.

If there's nothing else wrong with your Inspiron E1705, you can easily fix your problem by buying a new replacement optical drive on the web.


Dell Inspiron E1705 BD-RE Blu-Ray Drive Burner

Dell Inspiron E1705 CD DVD±RW Drive Burner

Dell™ Inspiron™ 9400/E1705

Owner's manual

E.g. Troubleshooting

Service manual

Optical drives
How to remove / install

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