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Old 11-25-2004, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DVD-ROM in CMOS question...

This is a long, complicated question, so please bear with me: My daughter's computer is having difficulty loading a particular game, and I've finally determined it's due to damage on the cd.

However, when it first became an issue, and what leads to this question, is that a box popped up saying "Cannot locate the CD-ROM" etc. This prompted me to go look for the hardware in Device Manager. (Her OS is Windows 98 SE, no updates or service packs installed because the machine isn't hooked up to the internet). When I opened Device Manager, I noticed either a yellow ? or ! (I don't remember which) over the Secondary Bus Master IDE Controller, and the CD-ROM slot was non-existant--it was just gone. So I rebooted, went into the BIOS and checked the Standard CMOS Setup. I don't remember if the Sec Master section was blank, or if it said CD-ROM. She actually has a Toshiba SD-M1202 DVD-ROM drive installed, so I did an auto-detect, and it (the Sec Master) switched to DVD-ROM. I saved the setup and exited, and the machine booted normally. I then went back into Device Manager, and the yellow whatever over the Secondary Bus Master IDE Controller was gone, and the CD-ROM slot had re-appeared and was showing the Toshiba installed. I re-inserted the cd, and her game started normally.

A couple days later, she tells me the "Cannot find the CD-ROM" box is back when she tried to load the game, so I automatically went back into the CMOS Setup and noticed the Sec Master had reset to CD-ROM. I auto-detected again, it switched back to DVD-ROM, I saved and exited. It's done it several more times, and each time I've checked the CMOS with the same results.

I've since determined that it probably doesn't matter, for a couple reasons. First, the Device Manager has never "lost" the drive again and the yellow whatever has never come back on the Secondary Master controller. Secondly, at machine startup before Windows loads, the dialog screen always shows the Secondary Master is the DVD-ROM, not CD-ROM. So I've discovered that even though the CMOS setup resets to CD-ROM, it doesn't seem to affect anything.

The strange part is, and as it turns out very coincidentally, that every time I reset it in Setup, when we'd re-insert the cd, the game would start normally. I now know that was just a series of flukes because today I just kept attempting to load the game, getting the "Cannot find..." box over and over, and on about the 5th or 6th time I tried it, the game would start, even after I got the "Cannot find..." box! I did this several more times, same results. So I gave the cd a good look, and it's got a bunch of scratches, so I'm assuming the drive is just having difficulty finding the startup file, and it actually has nothing to do with the CMOS Setup at all. BTW, this doesn't happen with any of her other games...this shoulda been my first clue!

Soooo, my question is (TaDa!!!), why does the CMOS show the Sec Master resetting to CD-ROM every time the machine is restarted? And why isn't it an issue? And am I going to get flamed for asking an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" question?

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2004, 03:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is partially broke, so you should try to fix it. win98 usually shows a dvd-rom drive as cd-rom in my computer. This is normal. Sounds to me that most likely one of your optical drives is failing. Probably the toshiba drive. If your DVD was scratched the worst thing that should happen is your OS will lock up for a long time trying to recognize the disc. I've seen Toshiba drives sporadically not showing up in device manager before they start dying. The fact that your other games still work might be irrelevant.

another thing to try is connect your toshiba drive to primary IDE controller (probably the same cable where the hard disk is connected to). Your secondary IDE controller might be failing.

another thing to try is take your disc to a professional repair shop and get it fixed. don't use consumer repair products like Disc Doctor, Dr.fixit, etc, they don't work.
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Old 11-25-2004, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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instead of auto detect in bios, select user and hit enter, so it would show up manually

see if that helps
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Old 11-25-2004, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks to both of you and I'll try everything you guys suggested. I didn't know that there was such a thing as a pro disc repair shop. How do they "fix" a scratched disc, anyway?
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Old 11-25-2004, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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by polishing it with there fancy $2000 machine that buffers it while spraying purified water on it. Usually it costs $3-4 dollars per disc. Check your local video game store.
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Old 11-25-2004, 05:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe the CMOS battery is getting weak, and isn't saving your settings after the power to the machine is turned "off".
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