View Full Version : Arrrrgh!! My CD drive has vanished!

13-05-2004, 15:18:36
Windows can't find my CD drive. I discovered this when I was supposed to be playing Rise of Nations with my brother and my father. Bit hard to put the CD in the drive if it can't find the CD.

Anyway. Helpful details and stuff. About a week ago I got a newer faster compuer from a friend who's moving to Scottland. I attempted to install Windows 98 on the hard disk that came with it, but no joy, the installer would get to saying it had a non-MSDOS partition taking up the whole disk and needed to be reconfigured, and then hang when I told it to go ahead and do it. Tried plugging the hard disk from old computer in, and several reboots and installed drivers (from the Win98 CD) later, everything was working fine. I could even see the 2nd disk, and format it from inside Windows, but still no joy when I then tried installing Windows from scratch onto it, so I figured I'd just leave it for the moment, I had a working much prettier gaming making computer, and my brother has promised to buy me a copy of Windows XP sometime soon, so I decided to leave the issue until then.

Since then I have played Neverwinter, so I know damn well the CD drive worked, and I installed the Anarchy Online trial onto the second hard disk and played it, so I know that worked.

The other day, when booting up I got some (blue screen) message saying something about how my IDE controller had one child device using 32 bit mode and one using compatibility mode, and this wasn't allowed, so it would reboot and make them both compatibility mode. Computer rebooted fine. I don't know if I tried to use the CD drive or the 2nd hard disk between then and trying to play RoN, but at the moment only the C drive is visible.

Pulling up the System Properties dialog and clicking on the Performance tab, I notice there are two messages in the list box thingy in the middle:

"Compatibility-mode paging reduces overall system performance."


"Drive C is using compatibility mode MS-DOS file system."

Furthermore, under Hard Disk Controllers in the Device Manager, it lists a Primary IDE Controller (single fifo) and a Secondary IDE Controller (single fifo), both of which with a little exclamation mark on their icon, and clicking on properties reports that "This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed (Code 10)." There was also a Standard Dual PCI IDE Controller listed under Hard Disk Controllers, which is reported as being fine.

Attempting to update the drivers for the Primary IDE Controller seemed to do something the first time, but now it always says the best drivers it can find are installed.

Now here's the part that really baffles me. When the computer says it's detecting IDE drives during boot up, before Windows is loaded, it reports finding both hard disks and the CD drive, and seems to detect them fine when I go into Setup too. I can even boot off the Windows 98 CD. But when Windows starts up, there is no D or E drive.

When I started, I had the new hard disk as the IDE primary master, the old hard disk (the one I'm booting off that has windows on it) as the primary slave, and the CD drive as the secondary slave (no secondary master). Screwing around with my comptuer to try to get it to work right, I now have the CD drive as the primary master, the windows hard disk as the primary slave, and the other hard disk as the secondary master. Makes no difference. I can still boot up off the Win98 CD if I want, and when I boot off the hard disk and get into Windows, the C drive is all that exists. Oh yeah, and it's also a different CD drive that I have connected now.

I'm really stumped. Does anyone have any idea what's going on here? :(

13-05-2004, 21:27:08
AcK!!!!!!! The giant squid have attacked your computer!!!!!! :eek:

As awful as it sounds, I'd start all over. Unplug it all...plug it back in, reformat and repartition and reinstall.

Did you check the bios settings? Is plug and play enabled? If so turn it off, if not turn it on. Sounds voodoo but sometimes...

13-05-2004, 21:27:56
Oh and HI BEN! *waves*

13-05-2004, 21:54:36
If you've lost your CD drive... it sounds like a driver issue. Did you recently install a driver update? I've lost hardware like that before... when I lost all USB on my notebook, it made it VERY hard to do anything with, as all it's input periphs are USB devices (keyboard, glide pad, etc).

If you have a rescue disk, I'd suggest trying that first.

If you don't, I'd suggest you unplug that bigger, faster, newer HD you have, and try sorting out your hardware again. It sounds like your Win98 is really having trouble dealing with it.

Just my idiotic suggestions...

13-05-2004, 23:51:10
Hi! *waves back* :)

Have already tried removing the big hard disk (though it's back in again now). And I downloaded drivers for the CD drive that was in there when I noticed this starting to happen, but it seems like the problem is a step above that. Only dirvers I'd installed BEFORE this happened (explicitly, rather than the big list of stuff Windows detetected the first time I booted it in the new computer) were the the nVidia drivers for the video card, and the drivers for the sound card (Hercules' driver installing webpage sucks bigtime, but I got it done). And as I said, I've had pretty hard confirmation that the CD drive and extra hard disk were accessible to Windows after that.

Checked BIOS settings, couldn't find anything that looked like it had changed or was relevent. It was fine with auto-detecting the 2 hard disks (got their sizes right at least), and knew there was a CD-ROM drive. Have not yet tried turning plug and play off.

I did also try deleting the IDE controller from device manager and rebooting to let it detect again and install drivers... just got back to the same situation.

Something's gone and buggered itself somewhere in my system, and it's either software that I SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIX DAMMIT, or a really weird spontaneous hardware failure, which I think would have to be in the motherboard, and the motherboard is only a few months old (yes I trust the people I bought the computer off).

Oh well. At least my computer is still working insofar as I'm posting this message. I can think of much more annoying ways for Windows to spontaneously forget about disk drives... maybe the lack of ability to play games other than Angband will make it easier to get all my project work done by Monday week.

No longer Trippin
14-05-2004, 02:56:48
How are the drives connected controller wise? If both the second drive (if it isn't a partition) and the CD drive are on one line and it goes bad, yet your OS is on the other controller, it isn't going to see anything on the bad one and may not even see it as bad. Try plugging both drives into the same controller (this will leave a drive out), but if you see the other drive, you know your motherboard or your IDE cable is the problem most likely.

14-05-2004, 03:18:45
Done that already. CD drive is now mater and bootable HD is now slave on the primary IDE cable. Other HD is secondary master. Previously the vanished hard disk was primary master and the CD drive was the secondary slave. I haven't actually moved the bootable HD, cause that would've involved moving jumpers. I'll do that when I get home from uni, but if the problem is that Windows can only see the primary slave drive, even though the bootup sequence can see them all, I'm not entirely sure what will happen if the bootup sequence tries to start up Windows off a drive it can see but Windows can't... maybe the universe will implode. :)

No longer Trippin
14-05-2004, 07:29:46
Sell it on ebay as a Compaq. That way since it doesn't work they can't sue for false advertising. :)

14-05-2004, 11:20:42
:lol: Trip, great idea!

Can you get your brother to buy you the copy of xp sooner? At least then you could figure out whether its a software issue.

14-05-2004, 11:48:42
your cd drive has disappeared?

what about the coffee cup holder, is that still there?

14-05-2004, 12:09:33
Since he only just bought me Hordes of the Underdark to celebrate having a computer that can run it, not really. :(]

Might try installing the copy of XP that came with my brother's computer for the 30 days you can use it without 'activating' it (don't want to try convincing Microsoft I'm my brother installing on a new computer he just bought, with the need to periodically connect to Windows Update it seems quite possible Microsoft can actually retract the activation for the other computer if I take it... explains a lot, that thought does...), just to see if it fixes anything.

And there are currently 2 coffee cup holders in this box. One of them comes out with the push of a button, the other one doesn't respond (only have 3 power cables you see).

14-05-2004, 12:15:35
I had one like that, only it was a short ribbon that messed it up. I've never come close to running out of power cables.

14-05-2004, 12:20:14
Hmm... only three power cables? Is it an undersized power supply you have there?

14-05-2004, 12:35:36
Maybe there's another one buried in there somewhere. I didn't find it (there's some other cables running through, designed to connect some ports on the front of the case to their real and natural position on the back, I believe).

14-05-2004, 12:37:09
That was the other fun part about this computer. The tower is huge! :)

... had to move the desk cause the computer doesn't fit under the drawer part anymore...

14-05-2004, 12:39:44
What is the wattage of the power supply?

14-05-2004, 13:11:16
Errr, I have no idea.

(That should be read: I'm too lazy to get up from my nice comfy chair and go look. And I should be working anyway. Reading Counterglow counts as work provided I also have Word open in the background, right?)

14-05-2004, 13:32:30
But of course... hard at work :D

Just curious. I'm not saying its your problem, but with power supplies size does matter. An undersized one can cause all sorts of odd problems

14-05-2004, 13:44:59
Truly? Well, given that the previous owner of the computer is even more of a computer geek than I am (he had Linux installed as the primary operating system) and seemed to know more about the computer innards than I do when he told me stuff I should know about this computer, I presume it would be an appropriate power supply. But I just went and looked, and it said "ATX-320" on the top of the power supply unit. That means it's 320W from what I can figure out?

14-05-2004, 14:05:53
Truly. Thats at the bottom of what I would consider enough...but it's probably okay. Was just a thought.

14-05-2004, 14:24:26
Yeah. Thoughts are good. I want my NWN-playing ability back. :(

14-05-2004, 16:06:36

Power supply info.

14-05-2004, 19:16:46
Well, you could always go buy an external CD drive, if you are just DESPERATE to play NWN and don't want to rebuild your entire system. ;)

Of course, your hardware could have just gone bad. It does happen on rare occasion.

Good luck!

No longer Trippin
15-05-2004, 04:47:14
Tom can go screw a duck IMO. Though it is hard to mess up a PSU explanation. :)

320W should be more than adequate unless you have an FX 5600 on up or a 9700 on up even if it is cheap. Check your BIOS HW monitor if you have one in it and check the line voltages. If any are more than 10% what they should be, that isn't good, 20% and your definantly having a problem or will have one.

Could be the ribbon, just I've never seen them GO bad, only come bad or become bad from being yanking out. I still think the drive is dead. Optical drives have notoriously low lifetimes. Toshiba makes some cheaper drives that last long in my experience - just as long if not longer than the "top" tier such as plextor.

15-05-2004, 05:17:02
But I've tried swapping to a different CD drive, and in any case as I mentioned I can boot up off the CD drive (at least as far as getting to the screen that asks if you want to boot off the hard drive or go to windows setup, with the Win98 CD in the drive), it's just invisible from inside Windows. Nor would a dodgy CD drive explain the same problem with the second hard disk (detected at power on, gone from inside Windows). The hard disk I *am* using is on the same ribbon as the CD drive, previously it was on the same ribbon as the other hard disk... in either setup the CD drive and the second hard disk were on different cables.

No longer Trippin
15-05-2004, 05:42:28
I'm a tad to tipsy to read that, but I'll pretend it is what I think it is in that you've covered everything and it's still shitty.

15-05-2004, 05:48:40
Everything I've thought of. :(

No longer Trippin
15-05-2004, 06:39:58
Have you tried either by itself instead of having to run both?

15-05-2004, 11:13:51
Umm a bios update? Yes, I'm just fishing here...

The Mad Monk
15-05-2004, 19:55:07
Bite the bullet and get ready to play with the jumpers.

Go online, get the installation instructions for all three drives.

Set both hard drives to master, and the CD drive to slave -- no fooling around with "cable select".

Hook the bootable drive and CD drive to the primary controller, and the other hard drive to the secondary controller. Make certain both masters are on the end connectors of their respective ribbons, not the middle connectors.

Boot up and see if that helps.

I know the modern systems are supposed to be able to be slapped together any way you want, but sometimes using the 'old reliable' setup solves problems like this.

The Mad Monk
15-05-2004, 20:03:10
Oh...as for your power cable woes...



16-05-2004, 06:30:32
Short version: everything now works

Medium length version: I installed Windows XP and everything now works

Long version: I installed the copy Windows XP that came with the computer in the living room, so I only get 30 days to use it without activating it. Hopefully brother'll've got me a copy of XP of my own by then. And I'll have to go through this all again, cause I don't quite trust Microsoft enough not to reformat and reinstall when I get the different copy of XP. But for now, computer works, and I have access to the old disk with all my old data. Yay.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. :)