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Default DVD drive on the fritz. Looking for solutions..

December 17th, 2007, 17:07
My DVD drive has been acting funny lately. It's having trouble reading DVDs.

I don't think it's a dirty laser head, because some DVDs and all music CDs work just fine. But my Witcher DVD almost doesn't load anymore, and I also have problems with Need for Speed Pro Street. Both of those games are my newest ones. I also bought a movie the other day that will not play at all. It's not a bad disc, as it plays in my TV's DVD player. I'm no expert by any means, but it seems like the problem discs sometimes don't even spin when they are inserted. My movie playback software prompts me to "insert disc," and both games also do the same, even though the disc is in the drive.

BTW, this is a Lightscribe DVD RRW made by LG.
The driver is dated 2001, which is a little weird considering the PC is only 1 1/2 years old. I've checked and have not found a new driver for it.
I have updated the firmware to the newest version.

Just to be sure I am buying a laser head cleaner today and trying that, but I'm crossing my fingers.

It doesn't seem mechanical, since it plays some discs fine.

If I had to pinpoint the change, I'd say it happened when I installed The Witcher, just a few days before installing NFS Pro Street. I thought maybe it had something to do with copy protection software on the game discs so I installed the newest version of TAGES. No change.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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December 17th, 2007, 18:02
Do you have Linux on your PC? Boot from another OS and try to read the disks.
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December 17th, 2007, 19:24
Nope, no Linux. Just XP.

Another detail is that trying to activate an unrecognized disc via the "My Computer" window freezes explorer and I have to use task manager to get it unstuck again.
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December 17th, 2007, 22:39
What is the rest of your hardware? The reason I ask this cause I have a somewhat similar problem on my other computer.
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December 18th, 2007, 00:14
I had that problem on my old rig. I ended up trying unsuccessfully to upgrade the firmware (the upgrade for an 8660 drive doesn't recognize an 8660 drive ). After that, I punted and bought a new DVD drive. A few weeks after that was when I caught my rig killer bug, so it ended up being wasted money to some extent.
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December 18th, 2007, 03:15
@ Bartacus:
HP Pavilion
E6300 Core 2 Duo 1.87ghz
2 gig ram
Samsung 250gb Hard Drive
Western Digital 120gb External Hard Drive
Windows XP sp2 Media Center edition
1 Lightscribe DVD drive model HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GSA-H30L
Memory stick bay
7 USB ports
Linksys Wireless Network Adaptor
Rosewill 500w Power Supply
Soundblaster Audigy ZS
NVidia GeForce 8800 GTS
Additional cooling fan
Logitech 5.1 Surround system
Saitek Eclipse Backlight Keyboard
Logitech MS610 Cordless Laser Mouse
LG Flatron 19" Widescreen

…. Didn't know what hardware specs you were looking for exactly so I just covered the whole shebang!.. Oh and there's a HP printer attached too.

@ Dte: Well, that's probably what I will have to do too.

I bought a new can of gas duster today and that didn't help. Now I can only get a few CDs to play and most are not working. I just can't tell if it is a software thing or hardware. The light blinks on the disc drive and I now think it is spinning. Some music CDs start playing (through media player) just fine, while others trigger the program to start running but then freezes up totally. Sometimes after I put a disc in and my cursor icon changes to a "disc loading" symbol, it stays on that symbol permenantly until I reboot.

I always burn my albums to the hard drive so it's possible this has been a problem for a long time and I'm just now noticing. Like I said it was a problem with The Witcher disc, but until I started having trouble with more things I just assumed it was that one disc.

Arrgh, this is frustrating. Well, I'm gonna look for a no CD crack for the Witcher so I can keep playing and meanwhile start shopping for a new drive. If I can't find the crack then I'm gonna need a new drive immediately!
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December 18th, 2007, 05:55
Ah, screw it. I just bought a new Plextor drive from newegg. Rebates are a pain but it'll only cost $19.99 when it's all said and done.

In the meantime I got the No-DVD fix for The Witcher. It works like a charm, and even has a disable auto-save feature. How cool is that? Don't worry, I don't support piracy… I think everyone around here knows I bought the game on release day. But these no-cd patches are so darn handy I don't know why I don't use them more often.
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December 21st, 2007, 20:57
I had a similar problem - seemingly moved my PC too much.

In another forum I read that the laser might go out of the place just a little ut - which results in no more reading DVDs (and CDs).

I'm kind of astonished that no-one has ever made an idea for a business for that - recalibrating lasers in drives.
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December 21st, 2007, 21:43
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I had a similar problem - seemingly moved my PC too much.

In another forum I read that the laser might go out of the place just a little ut - which results in no more reading DVDs (and CDs).

I'm kind of astonished that no-one has ever made an idea for a business for that - recalibrating lasers in drives.
I'm pretty confident that wouldn't work. You can replace a drive for a few tens of euros/dollars; to make the repair cost-effective, you'd have to be able to offer it for 10 euros or less. Even if the drives were designed to be re-calibrated (which they aren't, AFAIK), that kind of money would barely cover the logistics and business support involved, never mind the actual work.

For comparison, recalibrating the focus mechanism on an auto-focus lens -- which is designed to allow that -- will typically cost the consumer between 50 and 100 euros/dollars. That's pretty close to the minimum cost of any repair operation, and would buy you 2-5 brand new drives.

The same economic logic holds for any mass-produced electronics: they're almost always cheaper to replace than service.
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December 22nd, 2007, 01:49
Yep, I discovered that years ago. When I asked a computer 'repair'/service guy about fixing something, he told me Yes, he could, but by the time he found the fault and fixed it, I could likely buy 2 replacements for the same price. It was and still is a No Brainer!!
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December 22nd, 2007, 05:17
Well curses. I can't believe I'm admitting to this, but I got my new drive in today and realized the moment I looked at the box - that I had purchased a CD drive by mistake. Yep, it's not a DVD drive. - I didn't even think they made plain-ole CD drives anymore! I was in a hurry when I bought it, and well….. guess I'll be paying some restocking fees next week and still won't have a working drive. ARRRGHH!!

In the meantime the new patch is available for TWitcher, but I can't load it yet or I'll lose my DVD bypass! ARRRGGHH!!
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December 22nd, 2007, 09:24
I would download all the software out there that removes copy-protection software from your PC. Starforce/securom/safedisk etc etc. Sometimes if they get corrupted they can stop your cd/dvd from being able to read/write certain disks.
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December 22nd, 2007, 22:48
I've recently reinstalled my beloved building sims by Impressions - Caesar III, Pharaoh, Zeus, The First Emperor …

Now, I thought, this is the very first time I wished I had a "program" that would allow me to play these games without having the CDs in the drive,

because I only have one drive and with all these games I'd need FOUR !

(Okay, I've got two drives, but one is a CD-burner, and the other one is my DVD drive that reads only CDs since a month ago.)


Besides, has anyone ever compiled a list of games that got their copy protection removed officially ?

I thought this would be handy, and perhaps even a buying decision for me (with older games).
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December 23rd, 2007, 00:12
even a Lightscribe drive is cheap these days. Just like troubleshooting which resister or capacitor is the problem its more often than not less expensive and time consuming to replace the thing outright. which reminds of something I need to post in the Pricewatch! thread…floppy drives for $15 at Circuit City.
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December 24th, 2007, 17:45
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
I would download all the software out there that removes copy-protection software from your PC. Starforce/securom/safedisk etc etc. Sometimes if they get corrupted they can stop your cd/dvd from being able to read/write certain disks.
Removing those things also removes your ability to play those games, correct? or am I misunderstanding?
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December 26th, 2007, 23:45
hmm if your games are not pirated… then you won't have problems from what i've heard
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December 27th, 2007, 00:20
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
Removing those things also removes your ability to play those games, correct? or am I misunderstanding?
In general, the right stuff will install itself when you try to launch whatever's using it. TAGES, for example, does.

And yes, this might be good advice - sometimes the old versions of copy-protection will linger around and mess up your drive. Of course, it's still a longshot (but worth a try).
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December 27th, 2007, 05:55
Well, I uninstalled Tages and Punkbuster. Those are the two most recent since I've started having problems, so I figured those would be the ones if any. Honestly I don't know what copy protections I have on the rest of the games currently installed. None of my games are pirated. Well, that didn't fix the problem anyway…
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October 14th, 2016, 07:55
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
My DVD drive has been acting funny lately. It's having trouble reading DVDs.

I don't think it's a dirty laser head, because some DVDs and all music CDs work just fine. But my Witcher DVD almost doesn't load anymore, and I also have problems with Need for Speed Pro Street. Both of those games are my newest ones. I also bought a movie the other day that will not play at all. It's not a bad disc, as it plays in my TV's Best DVD player 2017. I'm no expert by any means, but it seems like the problem discs sometimes don't even spin when they are inserted. My movie playback software prompts me to "insert disc," and both games also do the same, even though the disc is in the drive.

BTW, this is a Lightscribe DVD RRW made by LG.
The driver is dated 2001, which is a little weird considering the PC is only 1 1/2 years old. I've checked and have not found a new driver for it.
I have updated the firmware to the newest version.

Just to be sure I am buying a laser head cleaner today and trying that, but I'm crossing my fingers.

It doesn't seem mechanical, since it plays some discs fine.

If I had to pinpoint the change, I'd say it happened when I installed The Witcher, just a few days before installing NFS Pro Street. I thought maybe it had something to do with copy protection software on the game discs so I installed the newest version of TAGES. No change.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Can you share the link of the newest version with me because i also want to install it on my machine.
Last edited by Begather; November 30th, 2016 at 07:52.
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