I installed a new hard drive for my friend and afterwards his DVD drive stopped reading CD-Rs. He had previously backed up all his files to CD-Rs because he did not have enough hard drive space. Then he bought a new hard drive and was going to transfer the files back, but now can't read any of those discs. It can read pressed CDs however.
Previously, the DVD drive was connected via ATAPI using a 40pin cable and another (non-working) DVD drive was on the chain. Both drives were set for cable select. I removed the broken drive and mounted a new 250GB WD ATA HDD into the 5.25" drive bay by using a bracket. I connected the HDD to the IDE port (and the working DVD drive) using a new 40pin IDE cable. I set the DVD drive to slave and the HDD to master.
At first glance it seemed like everything was fine. It was not able to read the CD-R that was already in the drive but that disc was scratched. It was able to read a music CD so I figured it was fine.
The computer is an old Dell with Windows XP.
I considered that part of the issue could be that the DVD drive is now a slave, however the interior of the chassis does not allow for a hard drive to be installed anywhere else, does not support SATA and slaving the new HDD to the existing one would require a longer than spec IDE cable.