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CD-ROM mystery: lost, found, lost.....

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mcvan, Feb 21, 2000.

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  1. mcvan

    mcvan Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2000
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    The problem: Tiberium Sun crashes the system on exit then the generic 50x cd-rom and the Creative 4/2/24x cd-writer both disappear from Win98SE. If left for some time -- usually hours -- the cd rom and writer are recognized again, and things seem to work fine. Play the game again, crash on close, then cd-drives disappear again. When I check on device manager, the cd drives are gone, and the dual fifo secondary controller in the hard disk controller section shows a problem which updating the driver does not resolve.

    The game, the cd-rom, the cd-writer, and the rest of the yr-old computer (Celeron 450 / 128sdram / ABIT BH5 / Quantum Fireball 18G / scsi scanner / external ZIP drive ) have worked fine for at least a months without this problem. It seems to have begun some days ago with an upgrade patch for the game, but I am not sure if that was the cause anymore.

    I have tried numerous fixes, none of which work except for simply leaving the system off for a while -- this is not a satisfactory solution, especially as the problem returns. I have not verified whether any other cd-rom will cause the crash -- haven't had a chance...

    Here are the fixes I have tried:
    1. Remove the Intel 82371 AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller -- system reboots, reinstalls this automatically, without any chnage in the problem.
    2. Switch in the boot menu between auto recognition and non-detection of secondary drives: no effect on anything.
    3. Completely uninstall the TS game: No impact on problem.
    4. Boot w/ and w/o cd -- no change.
    5. Remove drive asignment refs for both cd drives in registry: no change.
    6. Remove all reference to cd-writer drive in registry -- no change. (I have not dones this with the atapit drive yet.)

    I have not opened up the case yet as I really don't believe it is a hardware connection type of problem. Both disks open, close, blink and whir normally -- it's just that Windows98 does not recognize them.

    The problem I have was described by someone back in late Nov last year: played a game, crashed on close, then cd-rom simply disappeared. He turned off the system, came back in a while and everything was OK again.

    Please help me with this!!!
     
  2. mcvan

    mcvan Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2000
    Messages:
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    One other thing I did try was a full reinstall of win98se over the existing system -- worked with the usual little hiccups and adjustments, but no change in the status of my cd drives... Enough to drive you mad. Incidentally, the atapi cd drive showed up in safe mode; I tried removing it to try and force Win to detect and reinstall it as new hardware -- no go.

    HELP!!!
     
  3. LarryCore

    LarryCore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 1999
    Messages:
    5,223
    Have you run a full virus scan on your system lately?

    You may also want to try installing the DOS drivers for your CDROM in your CONFIG.SYS. Then, when this happens, Shutdown to DOS mode and run MSCDEX to see if you can get to the drive. If you cannot, it is a physical problem. If you can, it is a windows problem. That will help pin down where we need to look.
     
  4. mcvan

    mcvan Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2000
    Messages:
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    I just ran a virus check on my c-drive at your suggestion -- nothing untoward, but I will continue to scan all of the 27 g of storage in the system, just to be safe.

    Although I did not install DOS drivers, it seemed my MB BIOS could always see them, so I always thought it was some kind of WIN problem, not a physical one. Still, I pulled the cover off and tried to check all the cable connections -- they're all positive now; whether one might have been loose before is hard to tell because of the usual cable tangle and tight fit.

    Somewhere along the way, both cd-drives "came back" this afternoon. I can't pinpoint exactly when and after what (troubleshooting my system is not what I really live for). I was probably working on something else when this happened. Anyway, I actually ran a couple of exe files off cds and used the drives a number of times, so far without incident. This is progress -- in the last few days, one or two uses and the cd drives would disappear again.

    The fellow who had the same problem back in Nov in this forum emailed me back and said it kept happening to him for a while, the only solution being to turn the system off for a while. But he had to reformat his HD and reinstall windows for some other reason, and now the problem is gone. He never did find out why it was happening...

    I'll repost again in a day or two about the status of this peek-a-boo game. Thanks for your help so far.

     
  5. LarryCore

    LarryCore

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 1999
    Messages:
    5,223
    BIOS detecting the drive doesn't mean the drive works, no. It means the cable is probably connected all the way, and the drive ID is working. That's all it means.

    The problem is very likely in Windows, which is why installing the DOS drivers may help. At least to pin it down anyway - if they don't work either, it isn't windows.
     
  6. mcvan

    mcvan Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2000
    Messages:
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    Gotcha, Larry.

    Well, against all odds, my system remains stable 24 hours later. I still don't know what caused the problem, but it has not resurfaced -- yet.

    I keep my fingers crossed while scratching my head. I may be back...

     
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