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Drive Cannot Read Discs (Windows 8)

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 8.
Use the steps in this document to troubleshoot problems with CD and DVD drives reading discs.
NOTE:Cannot play movies. If your computer was upgraded to Window 8, there may not be a software application capable of playing DVD or Blu-ray movies installed on your computer. Windows 8 does not come with a software decoder for DVD and Blu-ray movie playback. To watch movies, purchase and install DVD and Blu-ray movie playback software that is compatible with Windows 8.
NOTE: If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Before you begin troubleshooting your CD/DVD drive

If your CD/DVD drive can read some types of discs but not discs that were purchased from a store, or those from a music or software company, skip this section and start troubleshooting at Step 1 .
If the drive can read many types of discs but cannot read discs that were burned on another computer, read the following:
  • First, make sure the disc is able to play back from the computer that was used to burn it. If that computer cannot play it, something is wrong with the disc or the other computer's burn capabilities.
  • Make sure the disc type is compatible with both the computer burning the disc and the computer playing the disc (CD-R, DVD+R, etc...) See the HP support document Choosing Compatible Media for Your Optical Drive .
  • Make sure the disc burning session was closed after the disc was finished. See the help section in the disc burning software that was used to burn the disc.
  • Try burning the disc at a lower speed. Even though the disc type may be compatible with a 16x burn rate, the playback may be much less compatible in other drives. Try burning the disc at 4x before playing it from other computers.
  • Make sure that you have tried burning and playing from three different brands of blank discs before troubleshooting the drive.
After you have checked all of these items, if the drive is still incapable of reading discs that were burned from another computer, skip to Step 5 .

Step 1: Checking if the drive is in Device Manager

If the CD/DVD drive of your computer cannot read discs, make sure that the device is listed in Device Manager. To check that the drive is in Device Manager, follow these steps:
  1. On the Windows 8 Start screen, type Device manager to open the Search charm, and then select Device Manager from the search results list.
    Figure 1: Search
    Search results with Device Manager selected
  2. Double-click DVD/CD-ROM drives to expand the category.
    Figure 2: DVD/CD-ROM drives in Device Manager
     Device Manager window showing location of DVD/CD-ROM drives
  3. If a name for a CD/DVD drive does not appear, or it is listed with errors, close Device Manager and use the HP support document CD/DVD Drive Is Not Detected (Windows 8) .
    If the CD/DVD drive is listed, make sure AutoPlay is enabled.

Step 2: Making sure AutoPlay is set in Windows 8

If AutoPlay is set to take no action when discs are inserted, or if AutoPlay is not enabled, nothing may happen when a disc is inserted. Even though you may want to open discs through File Explorer or other software means, use the following steps to make sure AutoPlay is enabled so that discs can be more easily tested in future steps:
  1. On the Windows 8 Start screen, type autoplay and then select AutoPlay from the search results.
    Figure 3: Search
    Search results with AutoPlay selected
  2. Make sure Use AutoPlay for all media and devices is selected. If not, select it.
    Figure 4: Use AutoPlay for all media and devices
     Autoplay window, Use AutoPlay for all media and devices selected
  3. Click the drop-down menus and select Ask me every time next to every DVD, Blu-ray and CD item, and then click Save.
    Figure 5: Ask me every time
     AutoPlay window, Ask me every time

Step 3: Checking the discs

Poorly manufactured discs often make it impossible for CD/DVD drives to read the discs. Plastic discs can be easily scratched and the data on the disc can be destroyed if left in the sun. Discs damaged by sun must be replaced. If a disc is scratched, try to clean or repair the disc. Most home electronics stores offer repair and cleaning kits for discs at minimal cost.
CAUTION: When using disc repair kits, allow extra drying time beyond that required by the manufacturer. If the liquid from the repair kit has not dried thoroughly, the liquid may come off of the disc when the disc spins up. This can damage the optics inside the drive and make matters much worse.
Use the following steps to help determine if discs or the drive need further attention:
  1. Insert a software CD (like a game or business software) into the CD/DVD drive and note what happens.
    • If an AutoPlay window opens, the drive is able to read the disc. The data stored on the disc may still be bad, but an AutoPlay window proves that the drive can read data on the disc.
    • If nothing happens or the computer stops responding, the laser is unable to read the initial startup information on the disc. Press the eject button to retrieve the disc and unlock the computer.
  2. Try more software CDs to get an idea for how the drive is functioning. Insert at least three more software discs in the same manner. Use discs that are in good condition and are known to work in other drives. Note what happens.
    • If any discs fail to open, set the failed discs aside.
    • If all discs pass, the drive can read the startup data on the discs and the drive is good. Bad data, scratches, or smudges on discs are preventing the drive from reading the data. Repair or replace the bad discs.
  3. Repeat these steps using music CDs and DVDs (if your computer has a DVD drive). Use discs from different manufacturers and recording labels. This can help determine if the drive has a problem reading certain types of disc formats.
  4. Once you have tested several types of discs, try using the failed discs in another drive in another computer to see if they can be read.
    • If the discs fail in another drive on another computer, the discs are probably bad.
    • If the discs can be read in the other computer, continue using these steps to troubleshoot the drive.

Step 4: Reading a disc from a command prompt in Windows 8

If your computer cannot read discs, confirm that the drive can read discs from a command prompt. Use the following steps to test the discs and the drive from a command prompt:
  1. At the Start screen, type Command Prompt and then select Command Prompt Command Prompt in the search results.
    Figure 6: Search results
    Search results with Command Prompt selected
  2. Type diskpart at the command prompt and press Enter.
    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Figure 7: Command Prompt: diskpart
    Command Prompt window with diskpart entered
  3. Insert a disc that contains files into the drive that is having the problem. Use a type of disc that is not being recognized in the drive. Good discs to use are game or software discs that were purchased from a store. Do not use music CDs. If the DVD drive can read CDs but not DVDs, insert a DVD movie.
  4. Wait about 20 seconds for the disc to achieve full spin velocity.
  5. Type list volume at the command prompt.
  6. Press the Enter key and look at the list.
    Under the Ltr column, find and remember the drive letter next to the CD/DVD drive that contains the disc.
    List VolumeVolume window
  7. Type Exit and press the Enter key to return to the command prompt.
  8. Make sure you type the correct drive letter for the drive that contains the disc, followed by a colon (:). For example, if the drive letter was listed as E in the diskpart list, you would type the following:
    G:
    Figure 9: Drive letter
    Drive letter entry in Command Prompt
  9. Press the Enter key, and then type the following at the new command prompt:
    dir
    Figure 10: Drive directory command
    Command Prompt window with drive letter and
  10. Press the Enter key. A list of files and folders should display on the screen.
  11. Do one of the following tasks depending on what is shown on the screen:
    • If a list of filenames and folders is shown on the screen, the disc data is recognized by the drive. The issue is not likely related to the drive or the disc. It is probably related to the software configuration in Windows. Continue to Step 5: Reinstall the drive in Device Manager.
    • If the message "device is not ready" is shown, or the screen fails to update after 30 seconds, the disc or the drive may be bad. Repeat these steps with a few other discs of the same type to make sure the problem is not related to the disc. If other discs of the same type cannot be read, skip to Step 8 to test the drive to see if the drive has truly failed.

Step 5: Reinstalling the CD/DVD drive in Device Manager in Windows 8

Use the following steps to remove and reinstall the drive name in Device Manager:
  1. Remove any discs that may be in the drive.
  2. On the Windows 8 Start screen, type Device Manager to open the Search charm and then select Device Manager from the search results.
    Figure 11: Search results
    Search results with Device Manager selected
  3. Double-click DVD/CD-ROM drives.
  4. Right-click the drive name and select Uninstall.
    Figure 12: Uninstall DVD/CD-ROM drive in Device Manager
     Device Manager window, uninstall DVD/CD-ROM drive
  5. Click Yes or OK to remove the drive listing, and then close Device Manager.
  6. Press the Windows + I key.
  7. Click Power, and select Restart.
    Figure 13: Restart
    Power, Restart
    Wait for the computer to restart and boot into Windows.
  8. When Windows opens, the drive is automatically configured, and the listing is restored in Device Manager.
  9. When done, use the CD or DVD drive again to see if it can read discs. If it works, you are done. If it does not work, use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

Step 6: Using the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter in Windows 8

Windows 8 includes a troubleshooter that checks hardware, such as CD or DVD drives, for problems. Follow these steps to use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to check for problems:
  1. On the Start screen, type Find and Fix Problems to open the Search charm, and then select Find and Fix Problems in the search results.
    Figure 14: Search results
    Search results with Find and Fix Problems selected
  2. Under Hardware and Sound, click Configure a device.
    Figure 15: Configure a device
     Troubleshooting window, Configure a device selected
    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Windows checks for problems. If the troubleshooter detects problems, follow the instructions to fix the problem.
    If the drive is still missing after using the troubleshooter, use Microsoft System Restore.

Step 7: Using Microsoft System Restore

If the computer still cannot read the disc, use System Restore to go back to a time when the drive was known to be functioning. For more information about using System Restore, refer to the HP support document Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows 8) .
When finished, use the CD/DVD drive again to see if it can read discs. If it works, you are done. If it does not, test the CD/DVD hardware for failure.

Step 8: Testing for CD/DVD drive hardware failure

The laser alignment and the hardware that supports it must retain a high degree of accuracy. As the CD/DVD drive in your computer ages, it is affected by vibration, dust, mechanical wear, and other factors. If the computer still cannot burn discs after performing the other steps in this document, test the drive for hardware failure. For more information about testing for CD/DVD drive hardware failures, refer to one of the following HP support documents:
If the drive fails the test, replace the drive or have the computer serviced.

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