Tech Support: CD Drives

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My friends' computer(Gateway), came with a DVD Drive and CD-RW Drive. But after a while of use, the CD-Rw "quit" working. Which causes the DVD Drive to quit working also. But we unplugged the CD-RW and the DVD Drive worked fine. If you unplug the CD-RW and replug everything it works for a few minutes, but then the computer freezes and when you restart it's back to neither drive working, until you unconnect the CD-RW, then the DVD Drive works again. We replaced the large(wide) cable, I am not sure of the name of that type of cable.

Could you please inform me of what other possible errors it could be caused by?


::I just set the jumpers to the DVD as MASTER and the CDRW as Slave a few days ago, I did not work.

::Both Drives Get Power(Both Lights Are On)

::Also, since the cable works on the top drive, wouldn't it have to be seated on the motherboard correctly?

::Computer Specs
WINDOWS ME(The Buggist OS Alive)
128 MB RAM
Around a 1.8ghz Pentium 4

I came up with something else that could be the culprit, I don't know this cable's name, its small has 4 plugs in it. But if you unplug the one to the CD-RW and leave in the IDE the top one works, but if you have the small one plugged in it doesn't. Could that be a faulty cable?
Forgot To Add

The DVD only shows up when the CD-RW is not plugged in with the small cable.

The CD-RW only shows up if you just unplugged it and replugged it, and only for a few minutes. Then the computer freezes.
It sounds like you have a bad CDRW. It's shorting something out. (Or so it sounds to me)

Ummm, and how long is "a while of use"?
Hey Greg,

Sounds like a IRQ conflict or at least worth checking out. Right click on "My computer". Go to Properties. Click on Device Manager. With both drives plugged in, the conflicting drive should have a little x next to it. Click on it, then right click and go to properties. Then go to resources. I would bet that both drives are using the same IRQ. I don't remember how to change the IRQ, but if this is the case, I'm sure someone else can tell you how to change it.
I know the drive isn't bad, because I plugged it into my computer and it worked fine.

And the problem is, when the drive works for a few minutes, the comp freezes to fast to do anything, and when it doesn't work, it does not show up in the device manager.
MicroBell said:
Try seperating the drives. You should have 2 IDE ports on the board.....1 Primary...1 secondary. Hook the DVD set as slave onto the primary IDE (The one the HD is connected too) Leave the master on secondary IDE. The 4 pin cable your talking about...whats it hooked too on the motherboard? The Sound Card? Or is it the power connector...both have 4 pins.

I'll have to get back to you on this one, I'm not at his house right now anymore.
I have almost the exact same problem - Windows ME w/ CD-RW and DVD. The system operated fine for over 4 years, but now I am having unpredictable problems with drive access. The machine freezes up and the CD light comes on - the CPU will only accept a keystroke every few minutes. After hard power down and reboot the machine will often have trouble finding either drive.

Did you ever figure out what the source of the problem was? I am just about to start opening up the machine and checking the connections to see if something rattled lose over time, or if anything else is physically obvious. I expect some sort of hardware failure - but could this be due to software in any way?
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