[SOLVED] Dysfunctional DVD Drive

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[SOLVED] Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 07:10

Hi everyone!

I hadn't used the DVD drive of my laptop in a while and I just realised yesterday that I cannot read CDs/DVDs anymore. I am wondering if it is a hardware problem or a software problem. I don't know where to start, what should I do?

Thank you for your help!
Last edited by f.r3d on 2017-05-08 19:12, edited 3 times in total.
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check the logs

Postby pylkko » 2017-05-08 08:04

the answer to your question is almost always: "in the logs". If there indeed is a hardware problem, then there will likely be a "fail" message in dmesg or elsewhere right after you try to read a disc. Components with moving parts are often the first ones to fail. Optical drives are amongst the parts on old computers that fail and need repair/replacement.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 08:52

OK, so how do I do that ? I have never checked the system logs nor dmesg before.
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Re: Dysfunctional CD Drive

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-05-08 09:24

You need to make some effort on your part, to learn how to administer your system.
How to check the system logs on Debian 8

Some of the results are not very up to date , but this one :
https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/250273/where-do-i-find-boot-log-in-debian-8-to-debug-autostart-issues
I have never checked the system logs nor dmesg before

http://www.linuxnix.com/what-is-linuxunix-dmesg-command-and-how-to-use-it/
Or simply type :
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man dmesg

at the terminal command prompt.

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dmesg | less


The above command will print out the contents of dmesg and allow you to scroll through the output just as you did viewing a standard log with the less command.
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Re: Dysfunctional CD Drive

Postby dasein » 2017-05-08 13:27

f.r3d wrote:I hadn't used the CD drive of my laptop in a while and I just realised yesterday that I cannot read CDs anymore. I am wondering if it is a hardware problem or a software problem.

If it's truly a CD drive (and not a DVD drive), then hardware becomes a distinct possibility. What's worse, CD-era optical drives tend to have proprietary interfaces, which makes swapping out drives impractical.

And that's the core of what you need to do: vary either hardware OR software and see which one fails. If you have a USB optical drive, or can borrow one, use that to rule out hardware. Alternately, boot from a live medium using a totally non-Debian distro. You don't necessarily need a full desktop OS with every bell and whistle; just a minimal install and (optionally) a light DE/WM of your choice.

But before you start downloading .isos and all, there are a couple of things worth trying first...

- Look in your BIOS to verify that the drive is recognized at the hardware level
- Boot your machine and do a quick ls -l /dev/cd* at the CLI to verify that the drive is recognized by the OS
- if all your testing so far has been with data CDs, try a couple of commercially-burned music CDs

One last thought: given how inexpensive DVD drives are these days, you may decide that it's not worth your time to do a detailed differential diagnosis (particularly if your drive is a true CD drive). There's a wide array of external USB DVD drives available online for under $30USD.
Last edited by dasein on 2017-05-08 13:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 13:34

My bad, it is a DVD drive (I meant "CD" in a generic way). I will look into what you all sent me.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby eor2004 » 2017-05-08 16:07

In my experience laptop CD/DVD drives don't last very long, there's a high probability that is a hardware failure, the good news is that you can get some cheap internal or external drives from Amazon or eBay, just make sure that the seller has a very good feedback before buying.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby phenest » 2017-05-08 17:40

How do you know you can't play them? Have you tried and got errors? If so, can you post the errors here, and what program gave them. It could also give clues.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 17:52

OK so here is what I have tried so far. I booted on a live usb with Fedora and when I inserted a music cd, it didn't show up, nor with a software cd (with a windows software on it for a dictionary).
What I mean by "my DVD drive cannot read a CD/DVD" is that when I insert a CD/DVD on Debian, nothing happens. There is no pop up (on Gnome) asking me what to do and it does not show up in nautilus (even in /media). I hear the disc spinning, "erratically" I would say and then nothing, it just stops spinning.
The BIOS of my laptop is normal. Nothing that would hinder the normal functioning of the DVD drive. It even appears as a boot option.
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frederic@frederic-laptop:~$  ls -l /dev/cd*
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 3 mai    8 20:09 /dev/cdrom -> sr0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 3 mai    8 20:09 /dev/cdrw -> sr0

Code: Select all
frederic@frederic-laptop:~$  ls -l /dev/dvd*
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 3 mai    8 20:09 /dev/dvd -> sr0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 3 mai    8 20:09 /dev/dvdrw -> sr0
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby phenest » 2017-05-08 17:58

Lets first check to see if it's mounted. If it has, there should be contents visible in /media/cdrom/.

Also, post the output of /etc/fstab.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 18:04

When I insert a music cd /media/cdrom is empty.

Code: Select all
frederic@frederic-laptop:~$ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=b453ab8b-f85c-424e-bb37-a6011ac26bb7 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /home was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=c3a9b9ca-4a97-480e-b2c7-7ceb48c9cd11 /home           ext4    defaults        0       2
# swap was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=fc3d7e3f-160d-40a6-990e-24d6ae100fb0 none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/sr0        /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto     0       0
tmpfs      /tmp            tmpfs        defaults,size=4g           0    0
tmpfs    /var/cache/apt/archives    tmpfs    defaults,size=4g    0    0
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby dasein » 2017-05-08 18:25

f.r3d wrote:OK so here is what I have tried so far. I booted on a live usb with Fedora and when I inserted a music cd, it didn't show up, nor with a software cd (with a windows software on it for a dictionary).

Which leaves a strong but still rebuttable assumption of hardware failure. The fact that the drive is seen by both BIOS and OS strengthens that presumption.

A couple more things to try before ordering a new drive...

- Install wodim (if necessary) and post the output of
Code: Select all
wodim --devices

- Put a data disc in the drive and attempt to mount manually (as root)
Code: Select all
mount -t iso9660 /dev/sr0 /media/cdrom && ls -l /media/cdrom
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 18:33

Code: Select all
frederic@frederic-laptop:~$ wodim --devices
wodim: No such file or directory.
Cannot open SCSI driver!
For possible targets try 'wodim --devices' or 'wodim -scanbus'.
For possible transport specifiers try 'wodim dev=help'.
For IDE/ATAPI devices configuration, see the file README.ATAPI.setup from
the wodim documentation.


What kind of data drive ?
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby dasein » 2017-05-08 18:36

f.r3d wrote:What kind of data drive ?

Doesn't matter. That dictionary you used last time is fine.

But I'm definitely not optimistic :(

If the manual mount fails (and at this point, I'm assuming that it will), I am fresh out of ideas. So far, the drive has failed every test put to it, and I'm hard-pressed to think of a way it could be anything but hardware. Many inexpensive optical drive OEMs save on manufacturing costs by using crappy, low-powered lasers.
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Re: Dysfunctional DVD Drive

Postby f.r3d » 2017-05-08 18:53

Code: Select all
frederic@frederic-laptop:~$ sudo mount -t iso9660 /dev/sr0 /media/cdrom && ls -l /media/cdrom
[sudo] password for frederic:
mount: aucun support trouvé dans /dev/sr0


I think it is broken indeed...
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