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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Kent, WA
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    BSOD & Missing Optical Drive - Motherboard or Driver problem

    I've a Dell laptop, only 2 1/2 years old, that was running Windows 7. A few months back it started having random BSOD and freezes. When it froze usually the mouse would still work but nothing else would respond except pushing and holding the power button. I could find no pattern to the BSOD. Scouring the Internet suggesting checking the Event Log which suggested, not conclusively, a driver problem. But not which driver. So I checked each and every driver and updated it to the latest version. No joy, still crashed.

    Finally a couple months ago I bit the bullet and did a full re-image, everything installed from scratch. It ran smoothly for 6 weeks, long enough for me to upgrade to Windows 10. Then my optical drive disappeared from both Windows Explorer and Device Manager. I tried all the Internet fixes with upperfilters and lowerfilters, etc. that I could find. Occasionally the drive would appear and then promptly disappear within a few minutes. And the BSOD's and freezes returned. I even replace the optical drive but that made absolutely no difference.

    I'm starting to lean toward this being a motherboard issue.

    Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    Gold Lounger wavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 172 Times in 159 Posts
    Reseat cables, try a different SATA port, different cables. While machine is POWERED down of course.


    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Thanked 462 Times in 431 Posts
    The random freezes and BSODs could be a motherboard issue, but it could also be a rogue driver which somehow has installed.

    To see if that is the problem, run MSCONFIG. I assume it is available in Windows 10, but I'm not sure. If it is available, go to the Services tab. Select "Hide all Microsoft Services". Then disable some of the services, to see if the problem goes away. If the problem persists, reenable those services, and disable some others.

    If you are able to eliminate the problem in this way, then run MSCONFIG again, and this time, you will reenable one or more services at a time, until you see which one is the culprit.

    As for your optical drive issues, this may be an incompatibility with Windows 10. Perhaps an external USB optical drive would work, but you'll have to try it and see. If you purchase an external USB optical drive from a local retailer, it should be easy to return it if that doesn't fix the problem.

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