Hard drive does not load disks


The hardrive does not read the discs or won't load them?


This question was answered on January 17, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.


" How to Troubleshoot Disc-Reading Issues

" Error Messages That May Be Caused by Disc-Reading Issues

" Troubleshoot Error Messages

" Examine the Disc

" Clean the Disc

" Test the Disc in a Different Drive

" Clean the Drive

" Test Disc Read with Copy or Xcopy

" Quit Unnecessary Software

" Switch the Drive Controller to DMA Mode

" How to Troubleshoot DVD Error Messages


This article describes how you can troubleshoot issues reading CD-ROM or DVD-ROM optical discs This article also discusses how to troubleshoot common issues with CD-R and CD-RW devices The steps in this article apply to compact disc (CD-ROM) drives, compact disc recordable (CD-R) drives, compact disc re-writable (CD-RW) drives, and digital video disc (DVD) drives

If a problem occurs when you try to write data to a CD-R or CD-RW, or if your drive is not recognized as a recording device, view the following article about how to troubleshoot write issues For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

324129 HOW TO: Troubleshoot Issues That Occur When You Write Data to a CD-R or CD-RW Optical Disc in Windows XP

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How to Troubleshoot Disc-Reading Issues

Error Messages That May Be Caused by Disc-Reading Issues

When you use discs, disc-reading problems may occur when you try to open a file, start a program from disc, or switch discs while using programs that require multiple discs, or when a program tries to read data from another area on the disc You may receive a variety of error messages indicating problems reading the disc or copying specific files, including error messages similar to the following:

application name is not a valid win32 application


A device attached to the system is not functioning


A required file kernl32.dll was not found


Not enough memory to run this application


Cannot find the file(s) needed to start this application


Error Reading From File [Installer Error 1305]


Unable to find Setup.exe




Unable to read drive drive letter:


Insufficient Memory

Problems reading from a disc may also produce the following symptoms: " The disc label does not appear in Windows Explorer

" The contents of the disc will not display in Windows Explorer

" When you insert the disk in the drive or read a disc, the computer stops responding

" The disc does not eject from the drive

" Reading from the disc takes an exceptionally long time

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Troubleshoot Error Messages

To troubleshoot error messages, note the specific error message, and then search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about this message.

To view the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://support.microsoft.com If the error message that you receive refers to a file name, note the name of the file Try to copy the file to your hard disk in Windows Explorer If you receive a different error message when you copy the file, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about the new error message

If you cannot find a Knowledge Base article about your disc read error message, try the following methods to troubleshoot the problem.

After each method, test your whether the disc can be read from To do this, open or copy the file in question If the error or symptom does not refer to a specific file, run the program from the disk to test whether the method of troubleshooting was successful.

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Examine the Disc

Remove the disc from the drive, and then examine the disc for damage such as warping or large scratches If the disc is damaged, contact the manufacturer about a replacement CD.

If you experience problems with a DVD disc, make sure that you insert the DVD into a DVD drive not a CD-ROM drive

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Clean the Disc

To clean the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, use a disc cleaning kit, or gently wipe the silver side of the disc with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth Do not use paper cloth as this can scratch the disc Wipe the disc from the center, outward Do not use a circular motion as this can scratch the disc

If this does not resolve the issue, clean the disc by using a water-dampened cloth or a commercial CD cleaning solution or DVD cleaning solution Dry the disc thoroughly before you put it into the drive

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Test the Disc in a Different Drive

If your computer has multiple CD-ROM drives, CD-R drives, CD/RW drives, or DVD drives, test the disc in the other drive For DVDs, make sure that the drive has a DVD logo on the front If the disc works in another drive, the original drive may not be properly reading the disc Please seek help from your computer manufacturer or disc drive manufacturer

If the disc is clean and does not work in another drive, it is probably damaged and has to be replaced

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Clean the Drive

You can clean the disc drive by using a CD-ROM drive cleaning disc or DVD drive cleaning disc; these cleaning discs are available in most computer or home electronics stores Before you purchase a drive cleaning disc, try to troubleshoot the issue by following the remaining steps in this article

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Test Disc Read with Copy or Xcopy

Copy and Xcopy are command-line utilities that typically uncover a disc-reading issue If Copy and Xcopy complete successfully, the issue is unlikely to be a problem with reading the disc A failure to copy may indicate drive problems or system problems; in that case, do more troubleshooting.

To use Copy and Xcopy to test disc-reading, follow these steps: 1 Click Start, and then click Run

2 In the Open dialog box, type cmd, and then press ENTER

3 At the command prompt, type one of the following commands: To copy a folder:

copy <I>discdrive</I>:\<I>foldername</I> <I>drive</I>:\psstest /V

To copy the whole disk:

xcopy <I>discdrive</I>:\*.* <I>drive</I>:\psstest /V /E

NOTE: discdrive is the drive letter of the CD-ROM or DVD drive, foldername is the name of the folder containing files that you have to have to access on the disk, and drive is the letter of your system hard disk.

4 Press ENTER

5 If you are prompted with the question whether psstest specifies a file name or directory name, press F

6 If you are prompted to overwrite, press A

NOTE: When you use /V with Copy or Xcopy, the copied files are verified This takes longer but it makes sure that the files were copied correctly.

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Quit Unnecessary Software

Software on your computer may interfere with reading the disc For example, this may occur with antivirus software, firewall software, or anti-crash software If you start your computer without unnecessary software, the computer may be able to read from the disc Follow the steps in the following article: For additional information on how to start Microsoft Windows XP without unnecessary software, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

310353 How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP

After you have performed a clean boot of Windows XP, quit any remaining programs To do so, follow these steps: 1 Quit all programs that are running

2 Right-click each icon in the notification area, and then click Exit.NOTE: The notification area is located at the far right of the taskbar, near the clock Some programs that are listed in the notification area do not have an Exit command on the shortcut menu, and you may have to click Quit, Close, or Disable, depending on the commands available for that program.

3 Press CTRL ALT DEL In the Windows Security dialog box, click Task Manager

4 In Windows Task Manager, click Applications

5 No programs should appear under the Task list If any programs appear, click the program name, and then click End Task

6 Repeat step 5 until the Task list is empty

7 Quit Windows Task Manager

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Switch the Drive Controller to DMA Mode

Switch the CD-ROM drive or DVD drive to DMA mode from PIO; this may resolve the issue For additional information about how to switch your computer's drive controller to DMA mode, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

310751 Device Settings Are Hard to Find in Windows XP

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How to Troubleshoot DVD Error Messages

" When you try to play a DVD movie, you may receive the following error message:

DVD Player

Analog copy protection violation: Windows cannot play this copy-protected disc because it cannot verify that the video outputs on your DVD and/or VGA cards support copy protection

This error message may occur if one of the following conditions is true: " Your DVD or video adapter driver does not fully support the capabilities of the adapter To resolve this issue, install an updated driver

" Your hardware does not support copy protection To work around this issue, unplug any cables that are connected to the video outputs on your computer

" The video adapter driver does not properly support copy protection for Windows Server 2003 Contact the manufacturer of the video card for information about the availability of an updated driver that supports copy protection in Windows Server 2003

" Your video adapter documentation states that it supports DVD but you cannot play DVD movies.

Many video adapters help to decode DVDs but that does not mean they can fully decode a DVD movie Obtain a hardware decoder or software decoder or obtain an updated driver for your video adapter

" You want to play back a DVD movie through your USB speakers, but the computer does not have a sound card.

Hardware and software decoders typically need a sound card to play back DVD movies

" When you try to play a DVD movie, you may receive the following error message:

DVD Player

While setting up DVD-Video playback, it was found that * Video cannot be shown on the computer monitor because of one of the following reasons:

A) Low video memory Please try using lower display resolution and/or colors.

B) Another application is currently using the necessary display resources Please ensure that no such application is running.

C) The display adapter is incompatible with the DVD decoder Please try to obtain a display driver update.

Do you want to continue?

Yes No

If you receive this error message, you can try to lower the color depth, resolution, and refresh rate of your display driver This error message may also occur if Microsoft NetMeeting is started or if the NetMeeting icon is on your taskbar NetMeeting and DVD playback both use the overlay mixer Only one program at a time can gain access to the overlay mixer

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For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

314096 How to Troubleshoot CD-ROM Drive Problems in Windows XP

308012 Resources for Troubleshooting DVD Problems in Windows XP

306318 Troubleshooting DVD Playback in Windows Media Player for XP

306319 How to Troubleshoot Audio CD Creation in Windows Media Player

315350 Incorrect Function Err Msg When Accessing CD-ROM Drive

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Posted by cristina of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on January 17, 2005