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Thread: Drive problems

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Drive problems

    I don't remember posting in these forums before this but it may be that my memory has failed me...(What? - Again?!?!?!). I'm not at all certain that I am posting in the correct category either but allow me to tell you what is happening and perhaps one of you can either answer or direct me further. I do, of course, run Windows XP...the Pro version. I have an older model Dell XPS Gen2 system that is such a workhorse and has served me well for about 10 years give or take a year and do not plan on changing my system anytime soon. I am a senior citizen now and as poor as a church mouse, unfortunately! I am having a problem with ALL of my disc drives...I have four which consist of the old floppy, 2 CD drives and 1 DVD drive which I, myself installed. All drives worked at one time but I have not used them in quite some time either. All devices say they are working properly and nothing is highlighted as problematic in Device Driver. All my drivers are up to date, I believe. I don't know if my problem is with the system, the actual hardware, itself or with XP, the software I run. It does not seem that all drives can go south at once therefore I must assume none are "broken." Nothing loads and nothing plays. What drives disc drives outside of drivers I don't know and I cannot seem to find anything helpful on the net but the same old stuff...Go to...right click...My Computer, Hardware, Device Driver, Exclamation Points, Uninstall the drives...reboot...auto re-install, blah, blah, blah. I had a "C" drive replaced about 3 years ago and never checked the disc drives to see if they were working but then again...I have no idea if that replacement is in any way connected to my problem. I also don't know if this could lie in the BIOS. Can someone please direct me to a place where I can discover, at long last, what is wrong here? I would be most appreciative if you could help in any way.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I've compiled a list of sites that may prove useful to your troubleshooting efforts;

    I first recommend looking for errors in the event viewer, more info on how here*

    Top 10 DVD/CD Drive problems
    *How to test a computer CD-ROM and DVD drive for failures
    PC Troubleshooting the CD Rom / DVD Drive
    Basic floppy disk drive troubleshooting
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  4. #3
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    All drives worked at one time but I have not used them in quite some time either.
    It does not seem that all drives can go south at once
    I had a "C" drive replaced about 3 years ago and never checked the disc drives to see if they were working
    It has been at least 3 years since you used one of these drives, and probably longer than that, so they didn't have to all go bad art once. They could have gone bad one at a time over the last 5 to 10 years.

    Trouble shooting usually consists of swapping out parts that are suspected of not working with parts that are known to work, but you don't have any parts that are known to work.

    Removing the cables from your CD/DVD drives and reinstalling them is worth trying. sometimes that is enough to get something working, and it does not require known good parts to try it.

    Do you feel comfortable removing a known good CD drive from a working computer system, and swapping it with one of yours?

    Do you feel comfortable about removing one of the CD/DVD drives from your computer and installing it in another computer using power and data cables that are known to be good?

    Do you have access to another computer with a known good optical drive?

    Unless you can answer the above yes, you are probably going to have a problem trouble shooting this.

    Do you have friends?

  5. #4
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    There's also this MS Fixit which includes manual steps for the CD/DVD drive if you want to DIY http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321641 - not sure if this will cover the Floppy drive but it could be a common problem to the CD/DVD drive.

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    It is possible that the problems with these drives are related to the replacement of your C: drive. When the C: drive was replaced, perhaps some cables were touched and came loose as a result.

    You could start by opening the case and making sure that all cables are securely connected. In fact, it would be good to unplug each cable and then reconnect it, one cable at a time. The unplugging and reconnecting would clean the connectors a bit and may be all you need to do to fix the problem.

    I recently fixed a problem with a computer which wouldn't boot -- it would freeze part-way through the boot process. The solution: remove and reinstall the memory! Apparently, doing this cleaned the connectors. Some fixes are that easy.

    Make sure that you have powered down the computer and unplugged it, then let it sit for a minute, before doing any of this. Then touch your hands to some metal (to remove any static electricity from your hands) before touching any internal computer parts. And make sure that you don't touch the connectors on any parts.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-06-16 at 12:57.

  7. #6
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    I can relate - old and poor. Couple of dumb questions -
    1. Have you removed the side cover, unplugged and replugged the drive signal (wide) cables on the motherboard and the drives? (sometimes, over time the contacts oxidize and then you have a bad connection)
    2. Have you unplugged and replugged the drive power cables?
    3. Looked in the BIOS, to see if the BIOS sees the floppy drive and the CDROM, DVD drives? (If the BIOS doesn't see it - it won't work)
    4. If the BIOS sees the floppy, then - when the system boots do you hear the floppy drive seek? (on the older systems, the BIOS would tell the floppy to seek to track zero, just in case you wanted to boot from the floppy)
    You might catch the problem and if not, we will gain a little more information.

  8. #7
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    You guys have been really nice to reply to this crazy person with the bad drives and I so appreciate it. SO...I decided yesterday to purchase a new system...another Dell XPS which will be running 8.1. I know there is much to learn but there were other things happening as well to the system...some of them because I was still running XP and some from age. My monitor went off the deep end since I wrote the original post and I began to think about this whole thing. The system is about 8 - 10 years old and I'm running out of HD space as well. I maxed out the RAM in the beginning and that was getting a bit strange too. Everything pointed to new things...all around so the problem I am having with the drives has become moot! To those of you who wondered if I had opened the tower...yes I did and I checked and cleaned all the connections. Everything else looked OK to me. I'm not shy about opening these revered things up at all. I had put in the RAM, replaced a fan, installed a R/W DVD drive and generally cleaned up in there getting rid of dust and such! So thanks to each of you who replied to me. I hadn't wanted to replace this quite yet but I heard the PC Gods talking to me...harshly! I may have been old and poor but now I'm really B R O K E and a few days older too. C'est La Vie! Of course..any helpful comments on 8.1 will be appreciated too. I understand it takes some getting used to!
    Last edited by Kuklapolitan; 2014-06-19 at 14:56.

  9. #8
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    This should help to get you started http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/tutorial and you are a braver man than me - just glad I started off with Win 7 - and keeping it......

  10. #9
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    Windows 8.1 Help and Support files on your new computer contain some tips on navigating your way in 8.1. Also Microsoft has 8 or 8.1 free tutorials online. Just do a search for Windows 8.1 tutorial or similar phrase.

    If you're not comfortable with the new Windows there's a free add-on program called Classic Shell which restores the Start button and an XP-like Start menu, programs list, etc.

    A similar, slightly nicer program is Start8 which costs $4.99 for one computer. All users on the computer will have access to its Start menu, etc. This is the one i settled on for my Win 8.1 system after trying it free for 30 days.

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