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Disappearing CD Drive

By bob ·
I acquired an older Dell PC with a P3, 1 GHz processor. The CDRom kept disappearing. Sometimes it would be in "My Computer", and sometimes it wouldn't. I considered that it may be a BIOS problem and since the PC's warrantee had expired, Dell would be of no assistance. So, I bought a new board. I transferred everything to the new board and fired the PC up. Everything works fine, except the CDRom still disappears from time to time; usually at the most inopportune time.
What may be causing this and how do I overcome this situation?

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by Computer Geek In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

Have you looked at the cables? IDE or SCSI. Maybe they are not seeded properly. You can also take a look at the drivers for the hardware.

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by HB_BC In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

I've see spyware cause this problem before.

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by statykserver In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

Maybe your cd-rom is failing. If you bought a new board then that eliminates the controller, and when installing the components to the new board you surely checked that the cables were seated properly since you were having a problem with it before. Most motherboards come with new ide cables, have you tried changing the ribbon cable? I think it is the cd-rom, they are only around $30 so it is worth buying a new one especially since you need it.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

I agree with statykserver here I would be first looking at the CD ROM and I would be replacing it with a DVD ROM at the very least as they only cost a bit more but give you far more flexibility with no adverse side effects to read things from. Or even a DVD Burner these are now really cheap at under $100.00 AU and the media is extremely cheap as well so you would have a much more functional unit and as most DVD Burners come with their own Burning Software you really don't need to buy anything else.

There is one other thing to look at here as well the Power Supplied provided with these propriety systems quite often are just good enough but no more if it's possible I would replace the PS with something much bigger in power output so you have a large safety margin to work with. OF course this only applies if it has a standard PS box and not one of the strange shaped ones.

You could also check the Power Lead as well I've seen some mistreated Computers with rusty or corroded pins in the sockets that only make interment contact. Sometimes just unplugging the Power Lead and replacing it cures the problem and other times you need to tighten up the connectors in the Plugs so that they actually make contact. If you need to do this all you need do is to use a small screwdriver to slightly bend the connectors smaller in the socket but before you even consider doing this make sure that the Mains Lead is unplugged and it's been that way for several minutes to allow the capacitors to discharge or you could kill the Power Supply in the process of tightening the connectors.

In severe cases I've seen a few power leads pushed out of the socket or even a pin pull out of the drive admittedly that was on a HDD but it can happen to any drive if it isn't assembled properly, if you have a spare Power lead try that first.


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by jimm78i In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

This cause your Cd-rom had a problem. try use another Cd-Rom. see if it works fine. If ok, maybe your cd-Rom is damage, replace your Cd-rom

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by HereInOz In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

Does it always get found in the POST checks?

First replace the IDE cable - just a cheapy 40 wire thing from the local computer shop will do. I have seen several randomly disappearing CD drives cured with a new cable.

If that doesn't work, replace the CD drive with something that you know works. Just a question, we are running something later than, say, Windows 98, aren't we. Disappearing CD drives, due to dodgey drivers, was not unknown in Win 98

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by Bizzo In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

I had a similar problem with a Dell PC, I think it was a GX150, a small footprint desktop. The CD drive disappeared when I put a disk in.

My problem was the cable working loose. With those desktops nothing is screwed in, it's all just clips. The clips on the CD drive were a little loose, so when a cd was inserted sometimes the drive moved just enough for the cable to disconnect.

I got around it by wedging the drive in place. Not a very elegant solution, but cheap, cheerful and it worked.

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by bob In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

Thanks all!! Great Responses...
I used the new IDE cables that came with the new board.
WinXP provides OD drivers, does it not?
The PC is virtually clean of malware. I run spybot, adaware, and MS Antispyware Beta.
Did replace the Drive with a DVD drive. When it feels as if it wants to appear, it works fine.
The OD is always present on the boot screen. It just disappears in the "My Computer" and device manager when it makes it's exit.
And Yes, the OS is WinXP Pro.
Are there drivers for ODs that can be loaded into WinXP?

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by electricdragon In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

This probably wont help, but it happened to me once and drove me nuts trying to find the problem because normally one would not look there, but..
I see you have new IDE cable's, however, on the one I had it turned out to be a faulty power cable, (cheap power supply) try swapping your CD and HD power cables, if that turns out to be it, you'll know pretty quick.

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by bob In reply to Disappearing CD Drive

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