What the heck is wrong with my DVD ROM drive?

Last night my Sony 500AX DVD burner had trouble with the drawer opening and closing. I shut down the computer and removed the drive, popped the cover and discovered that the lower retaining ring had worked its way loose. I replaced it and reinstalled the drive.

I burned a few CDs and then it stopped working. When I go to burn a CD, I get the “Please insert a disc in Drive E:” message. Now it won’t recognize any media (blank CDs, music CDs, DVDs, etc).

The power indicator light comes on when the computer powers up and the Device Manager sees the drive. The drive responds to the “eject” command from Explorer.

I double checked the connections and everything is tightly connected. I even switched the master/slave connections with the standard DVDROM drive. I also “removed” the drive from the Device Manager and when the computer rebooted, it was back in the Device list, but the computer did not do the “found new hardware” thing.

The drive is only about 4 months old.

Any clues?

I had a problem with my DVD-ROM drive a while back that sounds similar. It’s possible that the repair you made actually caused a slight misalignment, causing things to not read properly.