Otis F. Cooper

Article Summary:

Guidelines for troubleshooting your DVD Drive problems.

Troubleshoot Your DVD Drive

You really enjoy those dvd movies and games and the last thing you need or want to to experience problems with your dvd drive.

To prepare for the possibility of having your dvd drive leaving you out in the cold one morning, we will dicuss problems that may cause dvd failure as well as the procedures you should step to correct these problems.

As with all drives, be sure to double check the failure. If the dvd drive will not read the dvd, try running another dvd in the drive. Make sure the dvd has no scratches and is clean.

Visually inspect the drive if the drive is external and if the drive is enternal, check the computer. Check to see if the computer has good ventilation to help keep it cool. Here are the common dvd problems with their solutions.


For external drives that have no power, first check to see if anything or anyone has caused the power cord to become unplugged. Rule out the wall outlet by plugging in another device such as a radio and see if it plays.

If you’ve proven the wall outlet to be good, but you still don’t have power, check the surge protector for any signs of damage. If the surge protector is good, check the cord.

If you’re certain the surge protector or wall outlet is providing power, double check the cord by plugging it a few times. If no power is present, you will have to replace the cord or the drive itself.

Internal dvd drives receive their power from the connector from the power supply. Try another connector to the drive. if the internal dvd drive still does not receive power after using another connector, the drive is faulty.


You may experience the tray failing to open. Should this happen, press the button a couple times to see if it will open. If the tray fail to open, reboot your computer and try to open the tray.

When rebooting the system, notice the monitor to see if the drive is recognized by the computer. Some systems will not display installed hardware during bootup. If this is the case, you will have to access your BIOS to check if the dvd drive is being registered.

You can also try the manual eject button on the drive to get it to open. Use something very small but firm to press in the pinhole in front of the drive to open the tray.

Shut the computer off and unplug it. Use something like a long paperclip to insert in the pinhole to open the tray. The tray may open a couple inches and you can grab ti with your fingers to open it completely.


Be sure the operating system is recognizing the drive by clicking on My Computer. Windows XP will show "drives with removable storage". If your drive is present, highlight the drive, right click and select properties. Click on properties and you should see "this drive is working properly".

If you see another message such as "this drive is not working properly", you may be able to update the device driver. If the drive is not present in My computer,

Reboot the computer and access the cmos setup. In the cmos setup, the dvd drive should be present, the drive may not be properly installed or one of the cables have become disconnected.

If you check the drive cables and are certain they are connected correctly, it may be that the data cable is faulty and the drive controller may be at faulty. And we can’t overlook the fact that the drive itself may be bad.


Try another dvd since a dirty or scratched dvd may not play. If the new dvd fail to play as well, check to see if the operating system is recognizing the drive

Click on My Computer and highlight the dvd drive. Right click and select properties. The statement "This device is working properly" should be present. If not or you see another message, try to update the device driver.

In the My Computer screen, highlight the dvd drive, and select the Properties screen, select Drivers, and then select update device driver.

Another cause may be the Windows Registry is corrupt. You can use software utilities such as PC Bug Doctor to repair your registry. Download this free repair utility at http://www. pcbugdoctor. com/download. html.

To make a backup of your registry with Windows 98, just go to Start, select Run, enter scanregw and click OK. This will run Scanregw. exe.

Restore your registry in Windows 98 by typing scanreg / restore at the Dos Prompt. You can also use. Winrescue XP at http://www. superwin. com/index. htm is a neat little utility for backup and restore of Windows XP.

The dvd drive or writer is an awesome storage and data backup drive. Use it to the fullest to enjoy music, video, audio, and more. Understanding everything about this drive before something goes wrong.

Should your audio die on you, check the dvd to be sure it is not dirty or damaged. Look at the audio cable for signs of looseness. Inspect this cable to be sure it is inserted in the connector completely and that is is indeed inserted in the correct connector.

If you have a dvd drive, take the time to visit the support web site and download the latest device drivers or patches to keep your drive running at peak performance.

Otis F. Cooper is the author of the award winning PC Super Pack, the Computer Training By Video course. For hundreds more free PC repair tips,sign-up for his bi-monthly newsletter and learn computer repair at www.ultimate pc repair.com.

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