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CDs & DVDs Won't Play Properly

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12 replies to this topic

#1
xmf

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CDs & DVDs Won't Play Properly
I've been playing DVDs on this laptop for years, it's an Inspiron 6400 w/ an nLited install of XP Pro. Out of the blue none of my discs will play properly and some of them are just about brand new. The disc drive itself was replaced by Dell earlier this year and has been working fine up until this point. I tried uninstalling/re-installing VLC but it made no difference. I also tried cleaning the lens with a damp microfiber cloth and blowing into the drive.

Best way I can describe the playback is the sound is clipping and video is stuttered.

Thank you


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#2
Tripredacus

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What about data discs? What happens if you boot a Live CD like Linux or WinPE?
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#3
Ponch

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Check the hardware with "CDCheck" (freeware/shareware) I think it shows speeds as well. If the readings are bad on most your (known good?) media, the drive is faulty (unless cables have not been properly fastened inside the case). If the readings are ok but your video/music won't play ok, you have a software problem. Could be malware related (->whole computeing experience slow) as well.

#4
xmf

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I checked a (pretty much new) CD with CDCheck and I got a 969 kB/s read rate (6x). I noticed much of the time during the check the disc was continually "spinning up" and stopping every few seconds. For the remaining few minutes of the check it was silent. During the spinning up the mouse cursor would jitter or stutter across the screen as I moved it, then return to normal when the spinning up abated. The drive in question is rated to a 24x (CD) read speed. One error was reported under "other", but I didn't see how to uncover more info about it. I'm not sure how to interpret these results.

I've worked very hard to keep this machine bloat and malware free. I have over 3gb's of RAM intstalled and a 1.66g dual core processor. I never experienced such problems before now. The only other app I had open during the test was Firefox (with nothing intensive like video, etc).

Edited by xmf, 17 September 2010 - 12:42 AM.


#5
Ponch

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I never experienced such problems before now.

Why was the drive replaced at first ? (similar problem ?) Sorry for suggesting a cable problem, I hadn't paid attention to the fact it's a laptop.

#6
puntoMX

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xmf, did you try what Tripredacus said?

If that works normal it would be your windows that has gone bad. If it's also too slow than I would replace the drive itself (cheap when you do it yourself and it's no big thing to do yourself at all).

#7
xmf

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xmf, did you try what Tripredacus said?

If that works normal it would be your windows that has gone bad. If it's also too slow than I would replace the drive itself (cheap when you do it yourself and it's no big thing to do yourself at all).


Puppy Live seemed to work fine, however, I couldn't try to play a CD in Linux as the tray was occupied by the Live CD. Back in XP I tried another CD and it was clipping like before but the drive wasn't spinning up or showing other signs of distress. This leads me to believe that the Linux test could still be inconclusive as to whether the drive is bad (or if it's XP).

#8
xmf

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I never experienced such problems before now.

Why was the drive replaced at first ? (similar problem ?) Sorry for suggesting a cable problem, I hadn't paid attention to the fact it's a laptop.


I honestly can't remember what was happening with the drive when it was replaced (I know, that's pretty bad) but I will try to find out.

Edited by xmf, 18 September 2010 - 01:06 AM.


#9
jaclaz

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Why was the drive replaced at first ? (similar problem ?) Sorry for suggesting a cable problem, I hadn't paid attention to the fact it's a laptop.

Actually, it's not like a laptop CD/DVD drive works "wireless"! ;).

Expecially since the CD has been replaced, it could well be the cable or a contact. :ph34r:

BUT from what the OP describes I would rather suspect a "botched" Windows install, or, to be more exact two different players/codecs/whatever attempting to access the CD/DVD at the same time (and YES, I have seen this happening and NO, I haven't the faintest idea HOW it could happen - I suspect a "queer" combination of autorun+file association - but really cannot say, as the user in his simplicity wiped disk and reinstalled from scratch before there was the time to understand WHAT caused the issue)

How much RAM has the PC?
You can try using a RAMdisk only kind of Linux like DSL:
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
that has such an option (though it supports audio cannot say if it supports video)
or a more "full" RAM release such as Wolvix:
http://wolvix.org/
that has a "copy2ram" "cheat code":
http://wiki.wolvix.org/CheatCodes

jaclaz

#10
puntoMX

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BUT from what the OP describes I would rather suspect a "botched" Windows install, or, to be more exact two different players/codecs/whatever attempting to access the CD/DVD at the same time (and YES, I have seen this happening and NO, I haven't the faintest idea HOW it could happen - I suspect a "queer" combination of autorun+file association - but really cannot say, as the user in his simplicity wiped disk and reinstalled from scratch before there was the time to understand WHAT caused the issue)

Indeed, that is what I was thinking too. If a live CD does boots up fine it must be Windows that has gone bad at some point.

#11
Ponch

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Actually, it's not like a laptop CD/DVD drive works "wireless"! ;).

Expecially since the CD has been replaced, it could well be the cable or a contact. :ph34r:

I never suggested "wireless". All of them I've seen are actually plugged with a connector a bit like batteries have, the other contact being fixed to the case or soldered to the motherboard. And a screw ensure they stay exactly in the place they are supposed to be so there is no chance at all of a bad contact, unless you put something between the two connectors in which case it never works.

#12
xmf

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I created a USB Linux flash drive so I could test CD capabilities and I encountered playback issues in Linux also. It would play fine for maybe 10-20sec. and then stop completely for a few seconds, the disc would spin up, and playing would then resume.

It must be the drive. I will try a cd-cleaner from the store next, I suppose (although I already tried water and microfiber on the lens). I don't know what else to do at this point. The drive was replaced earlier this year by Dell and the machine is no longer under warranty.

Edited by xmf, 21 September 2010 - 02:41 PM.


#13
dencorso

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If replacing it yourself is not an option, then consider taking it to a repair shop to have it replaced. When optical media drives go bad, there's little else to do, but replacing. Do try cleaning it first. If it's really broken, it cannot do any harm, and if it's just dirty, it'll solve your issue.




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