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Old 04-22-2007, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CD-R drive constantly malfunctioning/breaking down

Hello, I do apologize for posting here without being knowledgeable about hardware. I am just a lay person who has a problem and seeking your expert advice, so please do forgive me for my relatively elementary question.

My problem is that for some reason, my computer setup constantly causes my CD-R/CD-RW drives to break down. I go through one of them in 2 to 3 months. I would buy a new one, install it and it would work perfectly, but then 3 months later it would be busted. Sometimes it would not be able to read CDs anymore, or only able to do so sporadically. Sometimes it would not be able to write files to CD, or would fail many times before I manage to write one disc. I have gone through about 5 or 6 of these drives of different brands, buying a new one every few months.

I have taken these CD-R/Rw drives to other computers and they do indeed not work anymore, not just on my current computer, and indeed is the hardware that broke down, not software configuration.

I can only think of two reasons for this. 1) The computer is at a desk next to a window, and I do not know if at certain times of day, perhaps sunlight would hit it causing some component in the drive to go bad over time. To be honest, I am not sure. THe Computer case is closed and the window only overlaps the front half of it. And the window has a curtain, albeit a satin, thin, semi-transparent wedding gown type material. 2) It seems that the breakdown usually occurs when I have an important project to do and need to burn a disc urgently, so perhaps it is payback for something I did in a past life :P.

What are the common causes of CD-R/Rw drives breaking down constantly? Could it be any of the reasons I suggested, (sunlight etc) or that the computer is set up in a wrong way?

By the way, it isn't the discs that are broken. When the drive is broke, I can not read and/or write to discs whether new or old. When I install a new drive, all the discs previously used works.

I can provide system specs but again, I am a layman in terms of hardware, and if you can let me know what I need to tell you and how I can find it, I will respond right away. Right now, I can tell you that the computer is PC platform, running Windows XP Home Version 2002 Service Pack 2. CPU is Intel(r) Pentium 4 2.4Ghz. 480MB Ram

I have only two drives in the computer, a hardisk and the CD-Rw drive. Both are connected to the primary IDE.

Please assist me in correcting this constant and money wasting problem. Thanks to all you experts.

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Old 04-24-2007, 05:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CD-R drive constantly malfunctioning/breaking down

What brand of optical drive are you using. Since it goes bad in just a few months, have you considered that the warranty could replace the drive for you? Do you do a lot of burning or reading of discs?

Sunlight will not cause a drive to go bad, but it can damage the actual CD or DVD.

One thing I would suggest is that you dont have both the hard drive and optical drive connected on the same cable or the same IDE channel. Things will opperate much better when the hard drive is on the master channel and the optical drive is on the secondary channel.
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