Tech Windows Talk Optical drive issue

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Wheels-Of-Fire 1 month ago. This post has been viewed 102 times

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    Marc Berry
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    • @marc-knuckle
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    Hi all, bit of an odd issue

    i just bought an old cd from ebay and wanted to both play it via disc on my pc and rip it for my mp3. it plays fine in a standalone cd player i have so i know it is fine.

    so i put it into the drive on the pc, a plextor drive that although old is little used so excellent condition. nothing came on screen asking what to play. i looked in vlc and tried to ‘open disc’ but it wont find anything. i looked in windows file explorer and nothing is there for the optical drive. so i thought the drive was dead. however, i put a dvd in the drive and it plays fine and the drive shows in device manager fine. i uninstalled the drive and restarted. it didnt say it was reinstalling it but in device manager it is there fine and when i click update driver it says it is already up to date.

    any thoughts what is wrong or what i can do?

    thanks all, marc


    Alan Wood
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    • @alanrwood
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    Have you unticked “Show Empty Drives” in File Explorer/Folder Options/View


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    • @planeman
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    Could be that the laser for the CDs is kaput. There are different lasers for CD and DVD.


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    • @jukebox
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    Have had this problem several times. Try washing the CD in lukewarm water with a drop of washing up liquid added. Rinse well and make sure it’s dry before trying again!


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    • @sawboman
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    There was an issue years ago about the upper and lower ‘some things’ filters(?) in the registry. Have you tried a search for the issue as I vaguely remember this being a more frequent issue back in the days when they were more popular. I do also remember the question of drives failing one or other lasers though it might have been an issue of dust obscuring the laser’s ‘sight’.


    Marc Berry
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    • @marc-knuckle
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    thanks guys. tried all those and no good. i have tried my portable drive and windows shows it correctly so i think the drive is bad. i will order another.


    strange though that it will play a dvd without me being able to even see the drive in windows


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    • @grahamdearsley
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    Audio CDs are odd things as far as a computer is concerned. There is no file system as such and so no file system driver in Windows that i’m aware of. Windows leaves Audio CD playing and ripping upto player apps. The first time you insert a CD windows will ask what app you want to open it with but then thats fixed for that drive for all CDs unless you change it.

    A problem occurs if the association becomes corrupt or points to a faulty app. Windows will appear to ignore the disk.

    Fixing the problem can be as simple as just changing the file association for .cda files to Windows media player. WMP is the best choice for this problem.

    Corse your drive could just be stuffed so its worth inserting a CD ROM disk into it, if you have one, because they DO have a filing system (CDFS or UDF) so don’t have this problem.

    On a side note .cda files are not real tracks. CD playing programs create .cda files as an index to tracks on a real disk.

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