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Thread: DVD Not Working

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    DVD Not Working

    I've got a six month old Dell with a DVD/CD burner that Belarc identifies as follows: HL-DT-ST DVD+-RW GWA4164B [CD-ROM drive].

    When I first got the machine, I played a DVD movie or two, so I know the thing was working back in the spring. Since then, I've only used the drive for music and data CDs and not had any occasion to deal with DVDs. Today I inserted a DVD data disc and the drive light blinks for about 30 seconds and stops. No autoplay or anything. Windows Explorer doesn't act as if there's even a disc in the drive and yields no error messages. I removed the disc and tried a movie with the same non-result. I removed the thing in device manager and let Windows MCE edition re-install on reboot. Still no luck. I tried reading several "regular" CDs and that seems to be working OK - the problem is the non-readability of DVD discs. I've searched The Lounge and found a bunch of posts similar to, but not quite matching this. I also went looking for Kelly's Korner but her "tweaks" page doesn't seem to be working.

    Oh boy, there's been a lot of "transactions" on this box in the past 6 or 7 months, including software/hardware installs, Windows updates, etc. so it's no telling where or when the problem started and I wasn't aware of it!

    Does anyone have a tip or two for where to go next?

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Al,
    It just dawned on me, you installed that new hard drive, you may have up set the apple cart with it, and changed the DVD driver and or connection.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Hi Al,

    My problem is reverse of yours. I have a Sony DVD/CD writer that reads and writes to DVDs. When I put a CD in, it will light up the drive, click two or three times and then stop. When I check the drive in Windows Explorer, it will show the drive letter but it keeps telling me that there isn't any media in the disk drive! I have tried deleting/reinstalling - upgrading firmware - swapping it from master/slave to slave/master since it shares a cable with an ordinary CD drive but I have had "no joy" with it yet. And I know it worked when I first installed it because I burned some home movies on CDs.

    Sony told me to try the following steps: 1. Go back to the last "known good".....not an option for me; 2. Check how the DVD/CD is installed - master or slave and are the jumpers correctly set; 3. Make sure I don't have two burners on the same cable; 4. Make sure all updates are installed for XP; 5. If you are still having issues please try the drive in PIO mode. To do this right click on my computer and then left click on properties, Choose hardware and then device manager. Click on the + in front of IDE/ATAPI
    controller. Double Click on secondary IDE and then choose advanced settings. Change both device 1 and 0 to PIO and then restart your computer. Try to read a CD; 6. Then if all this didn't work, they wanted me to run a drive test by inserting a CD and writing to it! Now how silly is that.

    I replied to Sony but I have not had any response to my last request. I think I'll have to call them to find out how they want to handle the failure of a 6 month old drive! But maybe something in this list might help you? Some of their suggestions made sense but some of them didn't. I will be very curious if you find a solution to your contrary drive!


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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Thanks for the comments and to Skitterbug also. I don't know what you mean by "connection" Dave, since the device is on the Primary IDE, master and functioning correctly as a CD drive. After removal and re-booting with no luck, I went back to device manager and let it look for updated drivers and it says there aren't any. I got out my Dell "drivers" CD and there's not a blessed thing on that disc about the CD/DVD device - everything but! Someplace on the Dell forums, I came across a link to a MS program for checking video "decoder" installation ( video decoder checkup utility ) so I tried that with no help. I'm in the process of continuing to read the Dell forums, where I've found a few "piece of junk" references to this drive and hints that Dell might replace it, if asked. You know how that goes, everyone who has a problem seems to label something, hardware or software, as junk! What's bothering me is that it "used to work." Of course, in these months there's been a lot of activity on my machine and I'm not about to throw that away for a problem DVD drive.

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Al,
    --------------------------------------------
    device is on the Primary IDE, master and functioning correctly as a CD drive.
    ---------------------------------------------

    Am I reading that right? Your burner is connected as the Primary MASTER, not your boot hard drive?
    I always thought that the boot drive should be the Primary Master and any other drives, be they HDs or CD drives should be the Primary Slave and or the Secondary Master or Slave.

    Have you tried to configure the CD as any of the other locations?
    BOB
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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Yeah, you read it right, Bob. Remember, this is a SATA machine and this model has two motherboard SATA connections. It ALSO has one IDE connector, capable of the usual primary and master. The CD/DVD drive is connected to the IDE chain, as it was when delivered. I haven't messed with it at all. All's I did was add the second SATA drive. In the BIOS, the descriptors they use are SATA 0 and 1 and PATA 0 and 1. I hope this little monkey-business on my part isn't what caused my problem, but I don't know: when I first got the machine, I did go in to the BIOS and change the boot order to what most of us like to use - CD/DVD, then floppy, finally (SATA) hard drive. I don't even remember what it was when shipped, but the machine doesn't have a floppy and I knew that I would have to boot from CD, if for no other reason than TrueImage emergency restore from CD. BTW, I have tested that process as you may remember from other posts and booting from the TI CD works just fine. The @#$%^&* thing just won't recognize that there's a <big>DVD</big> disc in the drive, pointing to either a hardware failure or a codec problem, which I've not yet figured out how to attack!

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    > pointing to either a hardware failure or a codec problem

    Have you tried reading a DATA DVD - these don't need a codec, just working DVD hardware, and a sensible device driver.

    StuartR

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Yes, a data DVD is what caused me to discover that I have this problem. Some time ago, I decided to spring for a copy of the Windows Vista release candidate beta. I got the DVD from MS about a week ago and after installing my second SATA (big) drive, I was gonna take a look at the Vista DVD. Bang, no go, disc won't read in my DVD drive. So, I dug out a DVD from an old TV show I have on hand (Archie Bunker - <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15> ) and it also doesn't work as it DID when I first got the Dell.

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Al,
    Has this DVD worked since you installed True Image, or any other Cd/DVD burning software?
    I know that Raxo Easy Creator (older version) will install a different driver, which may result in the lost of the DVD.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    I don't know the answer to that Dave, snce I don't know when it "stopped" working. Although a "trial version" of Roxio came with the Dell, I've never used it so I don't think I can blame this one on Roxio. Obviously, I do have TrueImage installed and I have Nero installed, but what would I do to overcome the problem? If I don't know where the heck the problem lies, it's kinda impossible to know what to do to work around it. Besides which, this shouldn't even BE a problem with a piece of hardware. Is DVD technology so weak or bad that a drive can quit working as a DVD, and still work as a CD?

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Al,

    If you have a weekend to spare then you could.
    <UL><LI>Take a TrueImage backup of your current configuration
    <LI>Restore the TrueImage backup that I'm prepared to bet you made the day you got this PC, before you made any changes to its configuration
    <LI>Test to see if the drive now works
    <UL><LI>If it still doesn't work then you you need to buy a new DVD drive
    <LI>If it now works then have a look in Device Manager and work out what driver it is using, and see if you can copy the driver files for later use[/list]<LI>Now restore the backup you took at the beginning[/list]StuartR

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Hi Al,

    Have you checked the properties of your DVD drive(s) to see if the Regions Parameter has been modified beyond the acceptable 5 changes?

    Cheers, Bob
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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Well, your idea is "almost" possible. Unfortunately, I only maintain 8-10 TI backups and don't have one of the virgin machine any more. I do have one from yesterday, so it's not like I'm not "protected" in a manner of speaking. The nearest thing I could do would be what I suspect Dell techs are gonna suggest and that's to restore the machine to factory delivered status. To my way of thinking, that's a cop out and if they suggest that I do so, I plan to refuse. There's no logical reason that I should throw away 7 or 8 months of legitimate work with this computer, just to make a tech's life easier and allow him to get off the phone. That would say that there's something involved in the conservative way I use this machine, like MS updates and so on, that causes the DVD capability of this drive to go belly up. I'm going to try to talk Dell into replacing the drive for me and I just haven't had time to call 'em yet.

    I've been all over their forums and other Googling and the only thing I can come up with is a possible firmware update for drive GWA4164B that, for some reason, was put out by HP. Several places refer to this drive as being manufactured by " LG " whoever that is.

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    Thanks, Bob. The properties of the drive still show 5 remaining as I've never changed the region setting.

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    Re: DVD Not Working

    LG is Lucky Goldstar, a Korean manufacturer of many items including computer components.

    Paul

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