View Full Version : Why does my CD Writer refuse to read CDs?

22-02-2004, 09:04 PM
Today I installed linux on my old machine. To do so, I installed an ancient 2.1gb 5.25" hard drive, directly under my CD Writer. There is about 2cm of clearance between each device. The CD Writer worked perfectly in the morning (well at least it could read CDs), but now it cannot.

Is it possible for CD Writers to "overheat", and not work? I have noticed that there is quite a bit of heat generated by the HDD, causing the bottom of the cd writer to get "quite warm" - estimate about 40-50 degrees. At the moment the cd writer cannot read any CDs ( I have tried using a factory-pressed CD, a CDR, and a CDRW disk, all of which worked in another computer), but the drive refuses to read them.

Usually when I insert a disk, the LED in the front of the drive will light up, flash, while it tries to detect the media. The writer does not do so anymore, as though it isn't even *trying* to read what's been put in it.

Could a dirty laser head be the problem? The burner is a BTC 4012 CDRW drive (40x12x48x), and was new as of this time last year. Is it possible that in the process of installing linux, that linux has interferred with it's firmware etc. and cause it not to work under WindowsXP?

Billy T
22-02-2004, 09:17 PM
For a quick answer on the overheating possibility, leave your computer off overnight and see if the CDs read when you turn it on.

Overheating can cause odd symptoms for any electronics.


Billy 8-{)

23-02-2004, 12:21 AM
It sounds to me as if the cd's cables may have loosened when you installed the harddrive. Give the power and ribbon cable a bit of a push to make sure they're seated properly.
To check if your OS sees the cd writer, double-click 'My Compter', if it doesn't show up, I suspect that that is your problem. It's too easy to do, been there, done that myself ;-)

23-02-2004, 07:19 AM
Hi buzzybee. The first thing I checked was the cables, and both are fine. I can know that because My Computer can see the drive, and right-clicking on the drive, I can tell it to "eject", and the writer responds accordingly.

I'm in a bit of a hurry now, but I'll check the computer this afternoon and see if the CDRW is still having issues.

23-02-2004, 03:32 PM
After leaving computer off overnight, it is still refusing to read CDs. It appears that the CD Writer itself cannot actually detect that there is a disk in the drive.

I tried in Linux, and it also can't read any CDs. Any ideas anyone?

I have a creepy feeling that somehow the heat has caused permananent damage to the writer.

23-02-2004, 04:01 PM
If there was that much heat sourced from the HDD, then I believe the HDD would have passed away as well.

As the light doesn't come on (and usually they will even with no disk in when the drive is closed) then its a major electronics failure or a power issue (they use +12v and +5v, are both present?)

23-02-2004, 06:58 PM

Try actually mounting the cd's?

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

23-02-2004, 08:34 PM

The LED does light up immediately after I insert the CD, but goes out about 1 second or so, and the CD doesn't sound like it's started spinning.

23-02-2004, 08:38 PM
The CDROM is mounted, and Linux is "trying" to read the CD, but the writer makes funny noises and doesn't read.