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CD-RW strange occurance Hard drive?

By schurrtd ·
I have had electrical problems that has caused frequent power outages lasting for less than 10 seconds. We believe the problem is fixed however, I believe it has caused permanent damage to my PC. It is a Dell Dimension 4600. In the beginning, when we had these outages the CD-RW drive would fail (solid green light). We would shutdown, open the case, switch the power supply end to an open one, reboot, and the drive would be fine. I got a UPS to prevent the damage to my PC, too late, and also my problem wiped that too. Now the PC looses the CD-RW whenever the PC is powered down, even properly through Windows. Any ideas? Could the beginnings of hard drive failure cause this to happen? Why would different ends work and not just unplugging and replugging?
I'm just stumped and dell isn't helping much. Of course I don't have warranty anymore so...you know. *shrug*

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by TheChas In reply to CD-RW strange occurance H ...

Switching to a different power supply lead should make NO difference to any drive.

It is possible that there is a bad crimp or wire in the power cable assembly.

Using a volt-meter, you can check this by measuring the voltage on a jack that is after the CD drive when the drive is not working.
There are 2 ground lines, and a 5 volt and 12 volt power line.
If either voltage reads more than 1 volt low, the problem is in the power cable itself.

The easiest fix, would be to replace the power supply.

I suspect that the problem with the CD-RW drive is an intermittent internal connection.
The process of changing the power connector jarred the drive and allowed the internal connection to connect.

At the cost of CD-RW drives these days, I would just replace the drive.
I've picked up drives for under $20 at office supply stores. Many on-line PC parts sellers have cheap CD-RW drives.


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by OTL In reply to CD-RW strange occurance H ...

Quick test; when it fail unplug the replug the same power connector, if it works then replace the CD-RW as removing all power restores it. Or use one of the failed power connectors with the HD and if it fails replace power supply.

Chas answer of checking voltage would be good for a continuous problem, intermittent problems are very hard to determine and repair. If voltage were +-1volt then you should have continuous failure.

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by ozi Eagle In reply to CD-RW strange occurance H ...


I've had problems similar to yours in the past and found that the power connector sockets had spread. The fix was to gently push aninstrument screw driver down one side so that the socket was squeezed closed a bit more. This restored reliable connection to the HDD pins.

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by schurrtd In reply to CD-RW strange occurance H ...

In investigating this problem further with continued diagnostics on my PC, I am becoming very sure the key is the power supply. I am going to replace it. Definitely before replacing anything else. Diagnostics is telling me my hard drive has failed. It hasn't failed yet, but it is developing bad sectors. Electricity can do some mean things, so I'll replace it before I put anymore equipment in here. Thanks for your help. All of you. I'll let you know if the power replacement takes care of it. Because likely, I'll be asking again if it doesn't. :)

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