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CD/DVD suspciously stops working

Main question: is there anything I could have done software-wise to kill my CD/DVD-ROM. My laptop CD/DVD has stopped reading.

I put it a Windows ME boot disk. It finds the drive and boots with the drivers. Put it a CD. Type CD f: from command prompt. Fine. Type dir and get abort, retry, etc.

I put in Norton Ghost emergency boot disk. It can see the drive, but says no disk in it.

I put it Boot-it ng. It can see the drive but can't read it.

I can't boot with any bootable CD's. Bios is set to start with CD 1st.

Light comes on when I put disk in and it spins. It tries repeatedly to read.

Was working fine today until I decided to use boot-it NG to blow away an extended partition that contained windows 2000 operating system. I created a primary partition in it's place and used Norton Ghost to move an image of the partition onto that newly created primary partition.

Needless to say, it won't boot. I get "couldn't find NTLDR" I'm sure the boot.ini is all messed up since I re-adjusted things.. I can go into norton ghost or boot from ME disk and see that all the files are there in the right place and on the right drive letters. I've been playing with the MBR, etc. and sliding things around. I finally gave up and decided to just re-install Windows on that partition until I realized that the CD won't read.

Could I have done something at such a low system level that I killed it? Seems almost impossible that the laser could have died at the precise moment that I was messing around with the system. It would just be too much of a coincidence.

I've been thinking I should keep trying to alter the boot.ini to see if I got Windows to boot, if the CD would come back to life. I can't think of a utility on a floppy I could use to access it, however.

This might be too much for this forum. Is there another newgroup you might suggest I post my question?

I've been searching for an answer. Closest I found was this:
"I have a similar problem with an HP omnibook xp1000s where I deleted XP home partition (CSmile using PartitionMagic in order to re-install from scratch. When I loaded the XP bootable installation cd, I got the message "couldn't find NTLDR". Before going through the PartitionMagic process, I could boot from CD without a hitch.

I then restored an earlier XP version using DriveImage from diskettes. I had no trouble booting into that restored installation from hard disk. Using PartitionMagic I noticed that the first three zones on the hard disk, from left to right, were as follows :

Empty Space of 7.8MB
Type 84 zone (hidden) occupying 47.1MB
Partition C of my restored XP

Should something be going into that empty space? Should I use FixMBR or will that destroy the whole boot setup?"
Try a new CD-ROM drive, if that solves the problem, then the old one was bad.
If that does not solve the problem, then it is a software problem.
Good idea, but it's an old laptop. Not worth the expense of replacing the drive, I'm afraid... I wonder if there's anyway to peek to see if the laser is coming on...
I suppose I would suggest some type of diagnostic software. (the stuff I use costs $299, so I can't give any suggestions)
Have you tried more than one disk? (sounds like a stupid question, but might as well ask...)
I have tried more than one disk. Thanks.
are you sure the optical drive is being designated drive f or could it be designated d or e? are you using the correct optical drive driver in the boot disk? is the cdrom you burned able to be read on other optical drives? the optical drive may be bad, swap it to a different computer to see if it works...
What a mess. This morning I had a laptop. Now I have a paperweight. Yes, I'm sure it's F drive. The boot disk says: Your CD-ROM is the F drive plain as day. Three different problems can mount the disk, but can't use it. Thanks for the thought. It's a laptop, so I can't swap out drives. It's several years old and not worth buying a new one.

What a strange time to die right when I didn't have an operating system installed.

The laptop doesn't have a built in nic card, so I can't go that route. I don't think the bios can boot from the usb port. Maybe. There are very few operating systems I know of that can install from a floppy that could access a pcmcia card nic card long enough for me to copy the install files to the hard disk. Hmmm....

I guess I could try to create an extended partition and put it back the way it was. I don't know how to do that with boot it ng, however. I'd probably be better off doing more consulting work and buying a new laptop with the time I'd spend. Smile
Kyle Katarn
I can't tell you exactly where to get it, but I had this problem once, and I was able to find a one-floppy system that let you use a PXE network card in PCMCIA. Like I said, I don't know where to get it, but it does exist. There are also programs that can test your CD-Rom drive. I know you said that a new drive would be too expensive, but have you tried Ebay? If it was a common model it's quite likely that you could find either the drive or a parts laptop for little or nothing.
To risk suggesting something that you may have already tried: see if you can use a penlight to see well enough in the CD drive to clean off the laser with a long q-tip. If the glass on top of the laser is dirty enough, it won't work.
Your cleaning idea is worth a try. It's a laptop, so the laser lens should be easy to find.

I managed to download Damn Small Linux (DSL), burn the iso onto a CD, load that into another computer and then create a boot on a usb drive. The laptop wouldn't boot from it, so I downloaded a usb startup disk. The two together loaded linux which could see my pcmcia NIC card and I was able to hook into the internet

Now I need to learn enough linux to figure out how to connect to another computer on my network and move the install files for Windows 2000 onto a partition on laptop. I'm assuming there is some way I can point the 4 disk windows 2000 install boot disks to either the network or the hard drive for the files. If, not I have have a new linux machine and will have to figure out how to get my wireless card to work with it.

Someone suggested eBay for computer laptop parts. I couldn't find anything except power supplies and batteries, but will try again.

Thanks for all the help.

I ended up finding a DVD/CD cleaner and it fixed my CD-ROM/DVD drive on my laptop. It was actually just a regular audio CD with a little brush attached to the bottom of it that looked like an eyelash. The instructions said to put it in and run for 30 seconds. It worked!!

Okay to close this thread now.
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