Optical Drive Troubleshooting Guide
DISK DRIVES (HDD, CD/DVD, BLU-RAY) WIKI
This is intended to be a quick overview of the way I troubleshoot problems with an optical drive. At the same time, there will be some discussion that reflects my general approach to hardware troubleshooting. While you’ll find most of my participation on the hardware forums, there are many situations where optical drive problems are caused by software, either drivers or applications, that use these devices. In the disk drives forum, we try to answer all such questions. Only when it is clear that there is a more general operating system cause will we recommend people seek help in the software forums.
In the discussion, I distinguish symptoms from issues. What users report in the forum are symptoms. Our job is to determine the issue that is causing that symptom. When someone posts a message at the end of an existing thread such as, “I’m having the same problem,” I never assume they do. The same symptom may be the result of several different causes.
Here are the most commonly reported symptoms in the disk drives forum for optical drives:
a. The drive fails to read a disc, or one type of disc, or any disc.
b. The drive reads data discs fine, but will not play a movie disc (DVD or Blu-Ray).
c. The drive shows an error in device manager (code 10, 19 and 39, most commonly), or has disappeared from Windows altogether.
d. The drive reads data discs fine, but fails to burn a certain type of disc, or any disc at all.
e. The drive will not boot the system with a bootable disc in the drive.
f. The drive reads and writes fine, but is very noisy.
g. The drive will not eject a disc when the eject button is pushed or the eject command is run from Explorer.
h. When a disc is inserted into the drive, nothing happens.
i. The drive will not burn a disc in iTunes.
1. Determine if the problem is caused by a hardware or software issue;
If it is not readily apparent that the user has a software versus hardware problem, I will suggest performing the Dell diagnostics from the F12 partition. Here’s how to run the Dell diagnostics from the F12 partition.
1. Reboot your system. When you see the Dell logo, hit F12 to enter the boot menu.
2. Select Boot to utility partition or Diagnostics.
3. Select Test System.
4. Select Custom Test.
5. Use the arrow keys or mouse to select your CD/DVD drive.
6. Insert a CD, DVD, or BD disc (try them all).
7. Click Run Tests.
8. Write down any error messages.
2. If the problem is hardware;
2.1. Update the firmware (find these in downloads). This may fix a few drives (not many).
2.2. If the drive can read DVDs but not CDs, or CDs but not DVDs, replace it.
2.3. If the drive reads some CD/DVD/BR discs but not others, replace it. For example, the drive reads some some movie discs but not others.
2.4. If you cannot eject a disc already in the drive, try the eject command from within Explorer, try ejecting while in safe mode, or try ejecting while booted to the BIOS.
2.5. A new desktop drive is only $20-25. Most desktops have the option of adding a second drive, so for an intermittent problem, you can get a new drive and keep the old one.