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Old 12-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dell Inspiron 1545 Combo Drive issues

Okay I am basically posting this to see if my conclusion was right. Here is the situation.

Got a Dell Insprion 1545 Laptop I am working on. Now the reason I am posting this here is cause it revolves directly around the DVD Multi Drive and not the laptop itself. So please dont report this saying it belongs some where else. It doesnt, this is a specific hardware issue.

Anyways. The laptop is about a year old. It would work just fine burning all types of media from CD's to DVD's and everything inbetween. About 2 months ago the machine stopped burning CD's but will still burn DVD's just fine. Looking at Windows Explorer you see it says DVD RW Drive and nothing more. It lost the functionality to burn CD's out of the blue? I got the unit and looked at it. Removed the drive from Windows via Device Manager, restarted the machine. Nothing. Removed the Upper and Lower Limits, nothing. I didnt have time to go further with it so they said it was fine that they would just take it back as is.

Now fast forward to this week. They got a nasty infection, Vista Security 2012, which I removed from the machine with ease. But that nagging drive issue still haunted me. So I resorted to some old school tactics. I backed up all the personal data on my external drive, restored the unit to factory settings. No luck. Still wont burn Cd's, but will still burn DVD's. Even after a factory reset. So I went further. Upgraded Windows to Windows 7 Home Premium from Windows Vista Home Premium. Easy. Made sure the upper and lower limits were still gone. Not a problem. Even found a firmware flash for the drive to make it Windows 7 compatible. Wicked! All for nothing.

So a restore and upgrade later the drive still wont work with CD's. My guess is the drive is damaged, maybe from overuse(?), and needs to be replaced in order to burn Cd's again. What say you hardware guru's? Am I near correct on this conclusion?
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron 1545 Combo Drive issues

Shouldn't this be in... Oh, never mind. :P

Did you try cleaning out the drive? Old remedy, take a Q-tip and brush it on the laser inside the casing. Normally can reach through CD tray.

If that didn't work, yeah, I'd say the drive is bad. Just get a cheap one off eBay.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron 1545 Combo Drive issues

Have to remember, this is a laptop with the combo drive. So that really wont do me any good at it is thin, and well the laser ejects with the tray.

No cleaning it doesnt do anything. Tried that as well. Even tried one of those disks with the laser lense cleaner on it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron 1545 Combo Drive issues

Well, desktop or no, just clean the laser.

Could be a bad laser in it. I'm not sure how it really works, but the part that burns CD's is shot. Different sensor or whatever it is.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron 1545 Combo Drive issues

Yes it does matter if it is a laptop, as your advise is clearly for a desktop where the CD Tray comes out and have the hole in the middle. That is not the same behavior as a laptop that has it included.

Plus as stated, already done. I wouldnt have gone through all the trouble of backing up, restoring, updating if it was as simple as a cleaning of the lense. Come on. I wouldnt be asking on a Tech Forum for the most simplistic and basic of answers. It should have been obvious by all the extreme work that I have done that something so basic would have been the first step. How many people would remove the upper and lower filters to see if that fixes the issue? How many even know of such things?

Give me a little credit MoM. I know a thing or 3.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron 1545 Combo Drive issues

I know you already cleaned it. That was a joke. Rather a desktop nor laptop, you can still clean the laser.

Wasn't this post originally to confirm your conclusion of it being bad?

Sometimes, the simplest thing you overlooked is the answer. I see it all the time, even I do it. Believe it or not, I'm not trying to be offensive.

Isn't there a different architecture to burn a CD and DVD? Whatever part that burns a CD is shot. Right?
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