Broken External Disc Drive or Something Else?

  the-peoples-poet 21:21 07 Feb 2013


Was wondering if I could get some opinions/advice or maybe a solution to a problem that I have had recently.

I have an external hard drive (the internal ones are properly messed up and unrepairable) and when I go to burn data onto a disc, whether I use expensive paid softwre or something free, everything seems to be going along as normal, at the end I even get a 'disc created successfully' message. Yet, when I put the disc into the drive to check it, make sure everything has burned onto it properly, the disc shows up on the comp as being blank. I can even put the same disc back into the drive (the one that I have just used) and use it again to try burning the data onto it. When I put the disc into the DVD player, an error comes up saying 'disc not recognised' or 'disc cannot be played'.

I am considering spending money on a new external drive, but if there is something wrong within the computer somewhere else, will buying a new drive necessarily help? Everything else in the comp works perfectly (apart from the broken dives I mentioned) so I dont' know where to go next.

I can't afford at the moment to buy a whole new harddrive. Has anyone else had issues like this? Can anyone give me any advice?

My comp is a Dell Inspiron 530 running on Vista Service Pack 2.

Thank you.

  lotvic 23:12 07 Feb 2013

The info you supply is a tad confusing.

Are you booting up from an internal C: harddrive?

Is the harddrive partitioned?

How many separate internal Harddrives do you have?

What exactly do you mean by "I have an external hard drive (the internal ones are properly messed up and unrepairable)"

Why do you think that buying a new external drive will help?

If the burn process is not actually burning anything to a dvd, then it may be that the DVD RW drive is faulty (probably the laser burn head is broken/worn out)

Also which programs have you used to (try to) burn your dvd discs?

  the-peoples-poet 23:17 07 Feb 2013

It's not a hard drive, it's a DVD/CD burner drive that I have the problems with. I made a mistake and I am sorry for that, I mislabelled the names of the drives. It's not a hard drive, it's an external CD/DVD burner drive. Please forgive my ignorance.

  the-peoples-poet 23:18 07 Feb 2013

For 'hard drive' in the initial post, change that to external DVD burner drive. I am sorry for being stupid about this, Thanks.

  lotvic 00:03 08 Feb 2013

Ah, understood, the Hard drives are all okay, it is the internal DVD/CD RW burner drive(s) that don't work anymore. Can you tell us why/what is wrong with them? it may be that they just need the drivers reinstalling or lasers cleaning.

As for the (usb?) external DVD burner drive, it may have same prob, you can try a 'Cleaner CD' to clean the head Lots to try to fix it, google for 'cleaner CD clean the burner laser head'

and you're not stupid - sometimes it is difficult to find the right words to explain, we've all been there :)

  Ian in Northampton 08:35 08 Feb 2013

Is there an option somewhere in the software you're using to 'close the disc'? I forget the exact terminology, but software I've used gives you the option to tell the CD/DVD you've finished burning it - otherwise, it remains uncompleted, and you get the errors you describe.

  Ian in Northampton 09:11 08 Feb 2013

'finalise' is the word I was looking for...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:54 08 Feb 2013

What is wrong with the internal drives?

No CD/DVD or CD-ROM access is missing error Code 19, Code 31, Code 32, Code 39, or Code 41 Try this if the optical drives are not appearing in My Computer or Device Manager. (This is sometimes caused by the removal of Roxio or other writing software.) Download and save this file to your hard drive. Navigate to where you saved it and double click the file to extract the contents. Locate the EXE file you extracted and double click it. A confirmation dialog will appear when the script is done. You may need to reboot for the change to take effect. This utility is only intended for Windows® XP, but also appears to work for Vista and Windows 7. You may need Administrator level access to use this utility. If you do not have Administrator level access, the program will say it is finished, but will not have made any changes.

Similar fixes works for W7 Vista or XP

or manual fix Run regedit and navigate to registry key HKEYLOCALMACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\ {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. Highlight it and in the right pane, find the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values. Highlight each one in turn, right click and delete them. Close regedit and restart the computer. If in doubt make a restore point before making changes.

  the-peoples-poet 13:34 08 Feb 2013

lotvic - I tried reinstalling them and cleaning them, the internal ones, to no avail. The external one appears to still work, but the disc still appears blank.

Ian in Northampton - Both bits of software finalise the disc automatically, there is no option to select or deselect that function, it's automatic.

Fruit Bat /\0/\ - One day everything was fine, I went to use the drives the next day and they just stopped working, put a disc into them and it wouldn't appear on the comp. I disconnected the plugs, etc, opened up the hard drive and all the cables were still attached and unbroken, etc, so I ruled that out as an option. I don't know whether there was any numbered errors attached to that problem, I don't remember seeing any. As for that piece of software you mentioned, I have never heard of that before, I will give it a go and see where I get. As for the external burner drive, it appears to work as normal, but the disc just now shows up as being blank, even though I have just 'burned' something onto it. No software was included with the external burner, there is just two usb cables you attach to the comp hard drive and it just works like that, plug and play thing.

Thank you so so much to everyone who has taken the time to reply to me. You have no idea how much help you have been. :)

  the-peoples-poet 20:53 09 Feb 2013

Well, I tried all your suggestions, sadly, none of them worked. I did find out something different though, my knackered (nearly) old system was able to be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium from Windows Vista Home Basic. Even on only 1gb of RAM!

Before I spend money on an external drive, I am going to try a different brand of blank DVD, though I don't know why the ones I had stopped working. A pack of 50, 40+ of them were perfectly fine. Still, buying a pack of discs is cheaper to begin with than buying a new drive.

Thanks again, so much, for everything. You guys are geniuses! Long live the geek! :D xx

  lotvic 20:59 09 Feb 2013

If you think it's sorted (for now), you can close this thread by clicking on one of the big grey ticks at the right of any post and it will turn green. When page is refreshed the Thread will be marked 'Resolved' (to unresolve thread just click on the green tick and it will turn back to grey)

Don't forget to come back and start a new Thread if a different problem and you need any further advice.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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