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Bug Operating Systems Software Windows Hardware

CD-ROMs Failing In Win2k & XP Boxes? 116

jptechnical writes "I have an interesting hardware/software development brewing. I have a friend with a computer shop down the way and he has had a rash of nearly a dozen Win2k & XP boxes come through with disabled or missing CD-ROM drives. They work in DOS, and are bootable, but are either disabled, not functioning or simply missing in Windows' device manager. Does anyone know of a virus that may be causing this? I cannot find any common vector from system build to software installed or anything. MS says reformat, but where's the fun in that? What resources aside from MSKB and google searching do slashdot readers use for troubleshooting strange problems?"
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CD-ROMs Failing In Win2k & XP Boxes?

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  • Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @05:52PM (#7622430) Homepage Journal
    Well, I can tell ya the the drives failing isn't a normal problem with Win2k or XP. (At my office, it'd be my job to fix it. Never ever ran across anything like that.)

    I do want to ask, though, have you tried them in safe mode? Have ya tried flushing the BIOS? Have you been able to rule out anything i.e. CD burning software?
    • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lcde ( 575627 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:04PM (#7622573) Homepage
      My parents computer was having this problem. It occured when I have the CDRom in Master Mode on the second IDE port with a slave HD.

      • Re:Hmm (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You offend me []
      • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

        by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:57PM (#7623056)
        > My parents computer was having this problem. It occured when I have the CDRom in Master Mode on the second IDE port with a slave HD.

        Ahem. In Soviet LA, it happened when you had your CDRom in Comrade Mode on the second IDE port with a Comrade HD.

      • --I'd say it would be better to have the HD as primary, and the cdrom as secondary. Is that how you fixed it?
        • Primary and Secondary denote the channel they are on, you mean HD as Master and CDROM as Slave.

          Fuck whatever L.A. says, I'm not going to start calling my hard drive primary drive on the primary controller when I can say it all in Primary Master.
        • by lcde ( 575627 )
          That sounds like a good idea :). I just disconnected the second hd since they weren't using it anyway.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kris_J ( 10111 ) * on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:34PM (#7622829) Homepage Journal
      Check for old versions of EasyCD and Windows XP Service Pack 1. That combination all but cripples a PC.

      As an aside, I installed Veritas' CD/DVD burning software (or possibly the packet writer software) that came with the company's new Sony USB2/Fireware DVD rewriter and st one point in the installation it said that it had to disable the built-in XP burning software, was that okay? Hell yes! Nicest thing a program has ever offered to do.

      • Cause it's sooo hard to go to the drive properties for your burner and uncheck the box that says 'use this device to burn cds' (or whatever, i've defenestrated the computer i use that had xp)
    • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

      I've seen Windows(up to XP Pro) suddenly forget that hardware exists. Why it does this, I don't know, but it's usually after lots of uptime on a non-often used device(like our CD Copier[not burner, mass copier]). I've also had it forget my NIC is there on boot(that was annoying).

      Rebooting or reinstalling the drivers generally tends to fix it. I've never had that problem out of Linux though, even with identical hardware(in the case of the NIC).

      • I've seen this too. There is something squirrely about Win XP. It has memory management problems, it appears. If one program fails, it will sometimes corrupt the memory space of another program, or the OS itself.

        (No offense to squirrels. They are cute, friendly animals. But, operating systems should not act like them.)
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @05:52PM (#7622435)
    If it works in "DOS" that means your computer can probably boot off one of these CD's. Try booting off a Linux CD. If it works, install a Linux partition. If the CD-ROM drive works under linux, erase the Windows partition and Voila!
    Working CD-ROM drive. (Also, improvement in speed and security).
  • illegal software (Score:5, Informative)

    by liquidice5 ( 570814 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @05:54PM (#7622473) Homepage
    i have had this problem with badly cracked versions of XP

    buy it, or find a corp version without a crack
  • You could be in serious trouble. There was such a virus [] - or at least it had the powers to do what you are experiencing.

    I got infected with this virus once. It caused uncontrollable cachinnation.

  • by kinnell ( 607819 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @05:55PM (#7622481)
    There are a couple of well known viruses which can cause this problem. Details here [] and here [].

  • I had this same problem with my plextor, reinstalled xp (dead hdd) and it's working again.
  • When I saw this I was wondering if it is a windows or a hardware problem. What happens for example if he boots using a Knoppix CD, can he see the CDROM then ?

    Being able to boot and work off MSDOS is just a basic confidence test and once you load up something a bit more meaty things sometimes start to go wrong. Some other thoughts:

    Bad batch of motherboards or IDE cables ?

    Bad batch of power supplies or very cheap PSUs that can't handle the load? I've seen REAL flaky things happen when a power supply goes b
    • I have found that the Knoppix CD can be an invaluable troubleshooting tool. I had a problem with my cd/dvd/cdr on my Toshiba laptop. Put in the knoppix CD and it would not boot correctly. Turns out that one of my IDE controllers had gone bad. Put it in for warantee repair and that fixed it. But then again I am with the other people on here install a stable OS.
  • I usually see this kind of thing when the motherboard drivers aren't loaded. have you tried updating the drivers (copy with DOS on the HDD!)

    Did these machines work then all of a sudden not, or DOA?
  • BIOS settings (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Drunken_Jackass ( 325938 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:01PM (#7622538) Homepage
    I'd bet that the BIOS isn't recognizing the CD Drive type and Windows 2K/Xp freaks out about it.

    Have him check to see if the BIOS is recognizing anything on that IDE chain. If not, set it to auto detect and that should do the trick.

  • by (H)elix1 ( 231155 ) <> on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:05PM (#7622581) Homepage Journal
    A couple years back I had a couple slot loading DVD's fail. The second seemed like a mechanical problem, so I opened it up and found a floppy disk, scraps of paper, and some thin plastic toys that belonged to my two year old. Same errata with my bride's drive. YMMV
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:05PM (#7622591)
    Q. What resources aside from MSKB and google searching do slashdot readers use for troubleshooting strange problems?"

    A. I just post a question to ask slashdot, and have all the geeks trying to avoid troubleshooting at their jobs do it for me.

  • Tips:

    When searching for a Microsoft document, don't use the Microsoft search engine. It's terrible. Use Google, with
    as part of the search parameters.

    I agree. It sounds like a virus.

    Certainly the first thing to do is to discover if the BIOS is seeing the drives, which it is if you can see the drive in DOS.

    If it's not a virus, suspect human involvement. Maybe someone ran the same program on all the computers. Such as a screen saver, for example. It would be very much like someone with no computer experience to run a screen save they got off the internet and to forget that they did it.
  • ...but use a linux cd

    I have a copy of "linux 9" I'll sell ya ;-)
  • Same Problem (Score:3, Informative)

    by emmetropia ( 527623 ) <> on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:14PM (#7622671)
    I had the same problem with a liteon dvd drive. It worked for months, and then one day, while ripping a cd (Diana Krall : Live in paris, if you want the exact cd) and halfway through the rip it failed. Windows still saw the cdrom, the BIOS picked it up, I could see it in linux, and use it in linux, and it was still bootable. However, whenever I tried to browse a cd in windows, it would say "Please insert a disk in drive D:" or whatever the error was. The way I fixed it was to pull the driver out of device manager, shut down the machine, take out the DVD drive, and throw in my girlfriends drive (some old burner). Windows started up, burner showed up, and worked fine. Did the same removal process witht he burner, re-installed the DVD drive, and everything worked again. I've had the same problem twice since then, and both times it was fixed the same way. I don't know if that helps or not, but it's what worked for me.
    • Maybe your drive just wasn't into jazz.
    • I had a similar problem on my wife's desktop yesterday. A little googling suggested the solution was to switch the XP CD-writing capability off, then on again. I did this in the properties dialog of the drive (told XP that it was not a CD burner, applied the change, then told it that it was a CD burner), and it worked fine after that.

      Now if only I could get my XP Pro box to Standby without hanging, then I'd be a happy clam.
  • My problem's intermittent though. My DVD drive occasionally doesn't get picked up by Windows XP on boot, but when I reboot, it's fine. The BIOS always sees it, as does Linux.

    I hate Windows.
    • Try going into your bios and checking for a setting called boot delay. It's often used for HD detection since the drive require more time (due to spin-up). Try turning this up a bit and doing a cold boot.

      Good Luck.

      Oh, and as far as the original topic. Never encoutered it in my cdr or dvdr drives. I would try the solution that some else has already mentioned. Remove the device from the hardware profile after succesful detection. Then shutdown. Unplug the IDE and power from it (check the jumpers of t
  • by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @06:20PM (#7622729) Homepage
    Open the device manager, uninstall your CD-ROM drive, the IDE controllers, and all the drivers under System devices. Then restart. Your OS will probably make you reboot a few times while it reinstalls things, but when everything is over you should have your CD back.
  • Sorry I don't have the details handy, but I had a similar problem once on win98. It turned out that *somehow* a registry bit had been turned on that hid the CDROM drive. It was easy to fix once I found the problem, but I still have no idea what caused it.
  • I hear that Mandrake Linux 9.2 [] suffers from this vulnerability too.
  • Resources? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by GuyMannDude ( 574364 )

    What resources aside from MSKB and google searching do slashdot readers use for troubleshooting strange problems?

    Why, "Ask Slashdot", of course! Hell, oftentimes people just skip the first two resources you listed and just go directly to option #3.


  • What resources aside from MSKB and google searching do slashdot readers use for troubleshooting strange problems?

    Try some online forums. I suggest [] and []. There are usually tons of helpful people on those boards. Just remember to help other users solve their problems as well.
  • Back around 1995 or 1996, the high school I attended got hit by the AntiEXE and AntiCMOS viruses (virii?). I don't remember which one it was, but one (if not both) of these caused the MS-DOS CD-ROM driver to fail to recognize the attached IDE CD-ROM drive on some (not all) of the computers. After removing the virus, the CD-ROM drives worked again.
  • ...I had my DVD drive on my XP box half crap out on me. For some reason it spontaneously stopped playing DVDs. I had just taken out a DVD that played fine, and put in another DVD and it wouldn't recognize that there was a disc in the drive. No other DVDs would play either. It would still recognize audio CDs and CD-ROMs. I did the usual stuff: reinstalled drivers and such. Eventually, I just did a firmware upgrade on the drive and it's been fine since.
  • It happened to me somewhat like described: I installed iTunes, and in the process of installing its drivers for burning, it ate my CDRW and CDROM drives. It seems that the driveres conflicted in some fashion, but i didn't stick around long enough to find out: i used the system restore point set just before iTunes was installed and went back to a working setup.
  • I also have an interesting issue, don't know if it is related. My parents have an EIDE cdrom and a SCSI scanner on an adaptec card. If I use a scanner first, then the CD drive will never activate, and windows complains that a device is not found. If I use a cd first, then a scanner will not work. Strangely, setting some cd option in cdex allows it to rip a cdrom anyway, but windows still does not see it.

  • After updating your definitions. That might be a good first step.

    You're welcome.
  • Filter Driver? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Commykilla ( 107585 )
    There could be some filter driver causing some havoc in the file IO stack. Does your IT group install any software (antivirus, CD burning, etc) that adds any filter drivers? Check out the %windir%\system32\drivers directory. If there are new .sys files that were added around the time the trouble started that may be your culprit.

  • Clearly... (Score:1, Troll)

    by Flwyd ( 607088 )
    It must be a DRM feature to prevent you from pirating music.
  • Underpowered (Score:3, Informative)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @07:55PM (#7623602) Journal
    Aside from the obvious software issues, I've had these while using inferior power supplies. When things start humming and more juice was being used, my removable drives would suddenly disappear.

    Upon a reboot, they would miraculously return, but quite often went away again after a heavy burning operation of something similar. Putting a decent Antec power supply in fixed things up... guess the drives weren't getting enough juice under the old one.
  • I've encountered a couple of issues where a removeable usb CD-Rom\DVD drive is not reinitialised when reattached to a Windows PC after having been used once and disconnected without rebooting the machine.

    Device manager shows the error code "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory. (Code 38)" The knowlege base solution to this problem is "Restart the computer" which is not very helpful.

    In the first instance I traced the pro
  • this sounds more like a joke of some kind.
  • Your friend should use this opportunity to make some money. He should test another CD-ROM in the system. If it shows up (different CD-ROMs have different firmware so it might work.) tell the customer they need a new CD-ROM and sell it to them. It's a though. Then take their old CD-ROM and sell it to linux and Windows NT/9X users.
  • I've seen the old school boot sector virus Anti-cmos cause the cdroms to not work proplery.... granted i havent seen that since windows 95 maybe 98...
  • I have a particular box that experiences this problem and I've been unable to figure it out. It tri-boots windows 98SE, Windows 2000 (has also ran Windows XP Professional in place of Win2k), and Debian Sid.

    This problem only shows up when I'm using win2k or winxp. I've replaced the drive, the power supply, reformatted, etc. but it keeps happening when I'm using windows 2k/xp. The ironic thing is that I have two optical drives in this computer and only the first one disappears.
  • Computer shop eh? I'm thinking dusty storage. I've had DVD drives crap out on me because the laser lens were dirty. Gave them a good wipe and everything was fine again.
  • I have a CD-RW drive in my XP box that acts peculiar. It will burn 1 session on a brand new CD through Windows (though it will say that it failed, it actually worked). However, the drive will not read any CD-R's in WinXP! It does not matter where they were burned or how, it acts as though the drive is empty.

    Very peculiar.
  • I saw quite a few reports of iTunes causing CDROMs to stop working. Search here [] in the iTunes for Windows forum for "cdrom device manager" to see some of the reports.
  • by kend1606 ( 729413 ) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @11:04AM (#7628493)
    Refer to Roxio knowledge base EEZ000005 even if Roxio software is not or has never been installed. Since their KB is rather hard to handle, the fix is: 1. Uninstall Roxio or any other CD burning software, Iomega Hotburn (Heartburn??), or others. This is only Roxio and Microsoft's suggestion. I have used this fix MANY times and it always helps even if I don't uninstall everything related to CD writing. Many times you can't since the original software may not be available. 2. In regedit, go to HKLM, System, CurrentControlSet, Control, Class and find the following key: {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} 3. Highlight this key and in the right-hand panel find the entries for Lowerfilters and Upperfilters. Right click each of these and delete them. 4. Restart the system and the D-ROMs. CD-RWs, or DVD-RWs should be back. 5. Reinstall any software that was removed in step 1. This is always a first step to recovering lost CD devices. Another step that we use is to boot to safe mode and go to Device Manager to find and delete left over ghost devices. Sometimes we'll find several old, previously deleted devices, particularly CD devices but often video cards, NICs etc that are no lnger present or you'll find duplicates, like 3 or 4 D-ROMs when only 1 is actually present. Most often with the CD problem, we "Uninstall" all CD drives from here and let Windows re-add them cleanly on the next startup. Of course, be sure to check cable connections especially is system has been moved or shipped by UPS, etc. We also find that CD drives act better if we jumper them for Master and Slave instead of Cable Detect. If you have 2 IDE channels and use SCSI hard drives we use the primary and secondary IDE channels to seperate the CD-drives even more. Regards, Ken
    • That worked for me...
      remove the dependencies of the folowing keys (but NOT the keys) after uninstall the apps... HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Cl ass\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BB FC1-08002BE10318}
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Contr olSet002\Control\Cl ass\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BB FC1-08002BE10318}
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Curre ntControlSet\Contro l\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11C E-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  • Chipset drivers. XP on reading errors will slow the drive down to compensate. Problem is some chipset drivers do not set the speed back, and this can cause similar problems to his. The most common result is very very slow performance on the device. Go the the control panel and under the IDE device and remove the device. Restart and windows will restore the device and the proper settings. To fix completely update the device drivers.
  • While I recognize that they work in dos... being as to the fact that these all seem confined to one geographic area... there might have been some sort of a weird ass power surge. Just my 3.14 cents.
  • i've seen this problem a bit to, WinXP has a spack if the harddrive is not master or if the cdrom is higher in the chain, set the hdd to /dev/hda and the cdrom to /dev/hdc.
    i first came across this problem when they installed the hdd /dev/hdd and the cdrom /dev/hdb.

    i also had a client that brought his system in because the cdrom wasn't working and it turn out to be that someone unpluged it and installed a crack version of XPpro but he said he knew nothing about that(maybe the pixies did it) so to stop this

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.