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DVD Drive Not Reading


Roseann from Mebourne, Austrailia writes:

  “Hi Steve.  I’m writing from Melbourne Australia. I’m using (please don’t laugh) Vista Premium, which I have for the last 5 years. It has never given me any trouble up to now. I have been told that this is rare. My problem relates to the E: drive. It is present in My Computer. When I right click in this area, it tells me the device is working properly. However, when I place a DVD in the drive, it simply opens the drive again, and will not play the movie. I tried to perform a backup, and it asked me to insert a disk into the drive, when there was one already in it. I’ve had the ASUS Notebook since April 2008, and I’m thinking that it is just worn out (age related), not through overuse, as I use it rarely. Thoughts? I’m going stir crazy as I can’t even perform a backup. regards, Roseann”

Hi, Roseann!  Thanks for the great question.

First off, don’t worry about anyone laughing at you for using Vista.  I thought that it was a great program.  Somewhat superior to 7 and, in my opinion, VASTLY superior to 8.  And I can reassure you that the problem isn’t with Vista.  The downside to that is that it’s probably your drive.


Also, when you check to see if your device is working properly, it doesn’t diagnose the device so much as it diagnoses the driver for the device and how it’s interacting with Windows.  That’s all good.  The problem is that I don’t really have enough information to diagnose your problem.  What I can do, though, is make some recommendations. 

The first thing that you can do is to search the Worldstart archives for an article on uninstalling and reinstalling your hardware driver, and try that.  Failing that….

When you say that it will not “play the movie”, are you sure that the movie that your putting into your drive is a DVD and not a Blu-ray?  You’d be surprised the number of people who think that they can play Blu-ray movies in a DVD player or drive, which they can’t.  In order to play a Blu-ray or burn information (like a backup) on a Blu-ray disc, you have to have a Blu-ray drive.


If it’s not a Blu-ray disc that you’re trying to use, then I have to ask, when you say that it “opens the drive”, do you mean that it displays the contents of the drive, or simply shows the drive letter?  In other words, if it’s a disc full of music, does it show the songs, or does it just show “E:”?  If it shows the content of the drive, then I’m fuddled.  If it doesn’t, then that leads to two possibilities.  The easier possibility is that there is gunk (technical term) in the drive preventing it from working correctly.  If that’s the case, you can pop the drive tray open and blow it open with canned air.

 See if that works.  The harder (and more probable of the two with a drive that old) is that your drive is just broken and needs to be replaced. 

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer

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2 Responses to “DVD Drive Not Reading”

  1. Jo Bralley says:

    I have the same problem as Roseann with CD/DVD Rom drive. A Microsoft Tech went to the registry and got my original driver for 64 bit operating system as 32 bit update driver will not work. I put Windows 8.1 in and lost the original driver the Microsoft Tech had installed and now Microsoft or HP are unable to help and the E drive will open the drive but the disk spins. I am hoping now that I can find some one who can direct me to the registry and download my old driver which came with HP Win 7 and install to Win 8.1 The driver in device manager now is greyed out for roll-back.

  2. Lonnie Hobbs says:

    I have a similar problem and in my case and maybe hers, the thing that opens is the drive itself. In fact, it just pops open whether I am trying to use it or not, just push the drive in and it will pop open in a few minutes. The drive will still see a disc and open it.

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