Computer Question (I know so little....)

My brother recently handed down his old laptop to me, which is great. It’s a Compaq Presario 1700. The only thing he said that I had to do is remove Windows Millennium and replace it with 98. No problem, I know how to do that part. Swap out diskette drive, insert CD/DVD drive and… I cannot get the CD/DVD drive to read a disc. I know I’m swapping it correctly ( I checked manual) , and Windows is recognizing it (drive menu in “My Computer” changes from A drive to E drive). But put in a disc (I’ve tried CD, CD ROMS, Burned CD’s and DVD’s) and all it does is say "Please insert disc into E:drive.

Someone else I asked thinks that because the C drive is partitioned into a system recovery drive (D:drive) that this may be interfering with the CD drive operation.

I cannot ask my brother as he is in Iraq and rather incommunicado.

I’ll try anything before I have to hand it over to CompUSA.

Sounds to me like the CD ROM may be faulty if it won’t play anything.

Yes, probably a bad drive, but it might just be the connection. Have you pulled the drive and reseated it? While it’s out you could also check for bent pins, if Compaq uses that kind of connector. (Does anybody? I don’t know much about laptops.) If it’s still no good, you could try gently cleaning the contacts on the drive with an alcohol swab (the little sheets you can get from the drugstore, not the cotton-a-stick ones).

If it still doesn’t work, swap the drive with a good one. A Compaq dealer might have a spare lying around to try.

Good luck!

I don’t have much experience with Windows ME, but every other version of Windows is capable of recognizing and using an optical drive as E:\ when more than one hard drive or partition is installed. Thus, the partition shouldn’t be the problem.

I’ve also seen this error message appear when using CD-R/RW’s. If your Win98 disc is a recently burned CD-R/RW, it is possible that the burn went awry or that the particular brand of CD-R/RW doesn’t work well in your drive. See if the drive will recognize any retail CDs (even an audio CD would be fine for this check).

If it can’t recognize audio CD’s, or if your Win98 CD is already a retail version, then it’s possible that the laser has died (this happened to one of my old CD-RW drives just recently) or that the drive is faulty in some other way (perhaps the connector on the back has a mangled pin), as BurnMeUp said.

“Control Panel” ? ? ?

“Add/Remove Hardware” ? ? ?

Doe it have power to spin CD ?

Sure does. Sounds like it’s going to do something, normal CD drive sounds. But no dice when clicking on the E drive.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at? What program should I be adding or removing?

I suppose spingears is thinking that the machine doesn’t know how to read the drive. If so, you’d need to go to Control Panel, tell it to search for the drive, and then install the appropriate driver - from the CD. That problem seems unlikely, since you do see the drive, and laptops usually have the drivers right there anyway.

Another thing is that he existing copy of Windows might be corrupted. You could try restoring from the D: partition on the hard drive but you’d have to look up the procedure, either in the manual or on Compaq’s Web site.

It’s possible that the lens is dirty. Many computer stores carry cleaning discs which might help. If not then there is probably a more serious hardware problem with the drive.