need help with CD-ROM

Emachines / T3516a
December 30, 2010 at 18:02:57
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 3.199 GHz / 383 MB
I have an emachines T3516A; running windows XP home. Recently, the tray to the CD-ROM would not open; checked device manager, and it does not show any drive for cd-rom; opened tray with paper clip, and computer would not read the cd. Is it dead? Should I download a CD-ROM drive? Which one? Any information to help a computer illiterate would be usefull.... tab "A" in slot "B" responses appreciated. Thanks.

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December 30, 2010 at 19:41:00
Start up the PC. Hit the 'pause/break' key to stop the boot process. Then see if the cdrom will open. If so, it must be some kind of software hangup. But more likely, it won't open. In that case it's bad and needs to be replaced.

And put more ram in that thing.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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January 4, 2011 at 14:17:19
OK, I guess the CD-ROM driver is bad on my emachine T3526A. So, I have to put a new one in. I have instructions on how to install the driver.... but, does anyone know if I can put a Pioneer DVD-R/RW in there, and if the original drive will work with it? I wear a dunce cap when trying to understand/do these things. Please HELP!!

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January 4, 2011 at 18:22:55
Drive and driver are two different things. The drive is a piece of hardware, in this case your optical device--cdrom, DVD, whatever. A driver is a file or collection of files that tell the OS how to use the hardware.

Your OS should have built-in driver support for optical devices so you shouldn't have any problem replacing it with a DVD-R/W. You will need to install DVD burner software for the drive as that's not included in driver support, although windows media player has some support for recording audio disks.

There shouldn't be any problem with having two optical devices as long as they're jumpered correctly but if the tray still won't open on the old drive there's no reason to have it in the computer.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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Related Solutions

January 4, 2011 at 19:23:12
When only the power connector is connected to it, when the computer is running....

- the drive's tray should open and close when you press the the button for that on the front of it
- the led on the front of it should light up briefly when you insert a disk and close the tray

The drive's board is fried if the led does not come on when you insert a disk and close the tray.

If the led stays on for a longer time when you insert a disk and close the tray, or blinks on and off for a while, the sleeve bearings in the motor are probably in bad shape and either the motor can't spin the disk at even 1X speed (the original audio CD speed) or the motor is seized and does not spin the disk at all. That's the most common reason an optical drive becomes un-usable.

There is a tiny drive belt just inside the drive near the front of most desktop drives - sometimes that belt breaks or stretches after the drive has been used a lot. If the tray won't open when you press the button, that may be the reason. You can see the drive belt or whether it's broken when there is no disk on the tray, when you insert a stiff wire through the hole in the front of the drive to unlatch the tray and look down through the holes in the tray as you move it back and forth. You can temporarily fix that by replacing the drive belt with a suitably sized rubber band - e.g. get yourself a bag of assorted sizes at a"dollar" store - but you may need to remove the drove and remove it's top cover to do that.

If the led lights up briefly when you insert a disk and close the tray
, when only the power connector is connected to it, when the computer is running...

- if it's an IDE drive, then your problem may be caused by an improper connection of the data cable, improper jumpering of the drive on the back of it, or your data cable may be damaged.

The stripe on one side of the data cable should be next to the power connector on the optical or hard drive, and on the pin one end of the IDE header on the mboard - that's usually marked with a 1 or with an arrowhead printed on the mboard.

If there are two drives on the same data cable, either one must be jumpered Master, the other Slave, or both must be jumpered Cable Select.

If one drive is a hard drive, some hard drive models - e.g. Western Digital ones - have two ways they can be jumpered as Master - e.g. Master, single, or similar, for when thedrive is by itself on adatacable, or Master, with Slave , or similar, for when there is another drive jumpered Slave on the same data cable - that must be correct for the situation.

Optical drives always have 6 pins on the back of them - 3 rows of two pins - and a jumper needs to be installed on two of the pins vertically to set it to Master, Slave, or Cable Select. If the markings near the pins are not obvious, then they're probably etched into the plastic there - use good lighting to see them - e.g. Master - MA, Slave - SL, and Cable Select - CS.

The jumper settings for hard drives are shown on the label on the top of the drive, or you can use the model number for the drive shown in Device Manager - Disk drives in Windows to search for the correct settings on the drive manufacturer's web site.

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 intermittent, 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.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.

- if it's a SATA drive -

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

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January 6, 2011 at 12:09:05
Magic and miracles!! After much arcane language and secretive gesticulating, I was able to replace the drive on my emachine, and the silly thing came to life!! Just wanted all of you to know I very deeply appreciate your responses and help. It never ceases to amaze me that some of you actually understand some of this. Thanks until next disaster.

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January 6, 2011 at 12:16:31
We're glad to hear you got it working !
Thanks for the thanks.

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