DVD Drive won't read DVD's

  Fred-K 15:20 25 Sep 2005

I have an MP5240A (Ricoh) installed in a PC which has worked perfectly well until yesterday (the problem may have occurred earlier, it's just that I only noticed it yesterday). It's now not able to read or even recognise DVD's inserted. It has no problem reading CD's. When a DVD is inserted initially the light goes on continuously but then starts to flash regularly. Using diagnostic software (SiSoft Sandra) with a DVD inserted just gives an error that it "cannot obtain drive information". Attempting to access the drive with a DVD using Windows explorer in it gives the error message: "G:\ is not accessible. The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error". Using Explorer with a CD inserted shows the contents without any problems. It seems that the system now only recognises the drive as a CD drive. I assume this means that there's nothing wrong with the connections.
Device Manager recognises it as an MP5240 and says it's working normally. I've uninstalled the driver from the properties pane and also uninstalled the drive itself from the main Device Manager pane. The PC doesn't even give me a chance to reboot, it immediately and automatically recognises the drive and reinstalls the driver.
Any idea what the problem might be?

  De Marcus™ 15:26 25 Sep 2005

Try uninstalling the ide channel the drive uses (primary or secondary) reboot, and allow windows to reinstall.

  DieSse 16:18 25 Sep 2005

Probably a fault in the drive - the CD reading uses a different laser and some circuits than the DVD part - so one can fail while the other part is still ok.

If it reads CDs ok, then the interface (IDE bits, inc cable) must be working ok.

  Stuartli 16:24 25 Sep 2005

As DieSse suggests, the DVD laser may well have gone to heaven leaving its CD cousin to bear the brunt of the action; if rebooting or checking connection doesn't cure it then this is the most likely cause.

DVD-ROM drives are almost stupidly cheap these days so a quick swap over of drives should see you back in action quickly.

  Fred-K 20:36 25 Sep 2005

Thanks for that. Looks like it's an ex-DVD RW drive now and it's a case of making PC World richer.
It's interesting that when a DVD is inserted in the drive, Explorer labels it a CD drive but when that's removed, it labels it as a DVD/CD-RW, which backs up the view that the DVD laser is kaput.

  dcu11 15:52 26 Sep 2005

Been inside many of these drives and never ever seen two lasers.

  Stuartli 16:54 26 Sep 2005

click here

Also, taken from click here:

"...the company that took the lead in the area of CD-R hardware compatibility was Sony Electronics. In July 1996, Sony announced two twin-laser CD-R-compatible DVD optical pickups, the KHS-180A, offering 635nm and 780nm wavelengths, and the KHS-18013, employing 650nm and 780nm wavelengths."

See section 2.4.3 in:

click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:02 26 Sep 2005

What you see is the objective lens cover, objective lenses for the CD and DVD lasers can be rotated into position as required by applying enough current of the appropriate polarity to the fine tracking coils..

  Fred-K 12:45 01 Oct 2005

Ricoh's tech support's view was it was kaput (I think the phone line directed me to their support centre in Germany). They were prepared to repair it but if it was out of warranty, a new one is much cheaper. Auf wiedersehn Ricoh, guten morgen NEC or LG.

  918 12:56 01 Oct 2005

Help please i'm on Windows XP what program would recommend for copying dvd to dvd

  Rogerfredo 14:53 01 Oct 2005

Before you squander your hard earned at PC World, try Novatech or SVP sites which sell NEC 3540 drives for about £30. (16x and dual layer capability).

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