What is wrong with my DVD drive?

James West November 16, 2012
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I was trying to watch a movie I checked out from the library last week. It was the new Spider-Man movie. The DVD drive on my laptop didn’t recognize it at all. I checked the disc and it was in perfect condition. I tried a different DVD (Community Season 3) and that one worked just fine.

This isn’t the only problem I’ve had. Last month the drive wasn’t recognized by my laptop for a couple of hours. Also on occasion the drive sounds like it’s trying to read a disc, even though there isn’t anything in it.

What is wrong with my DVD drive?

Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5055
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
AMD V120 processor
ATI Radeon HD 4200 Mobile series

  1. Paul Pruitt
    November 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I have a CD/DVD torubleshooter that includes links to many free apps that quickly fix CD/DVD issues with a push of a button:


  2. Dave Rimmer
    November 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    So how was this resolved.

  3. Abhay Pathak
    November 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    May be lens would have got damaged.

  4. Dave Rimmer
    November 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    So when you go to My Computer/DVD Drive. the DVD drive is showing fine, but the DVD disc is not showing in the drive. Can you right on the DVD drive to see if anything happens, if your DVD drive sees this as a bad disc it should freeze when you click on the disc in the drive, if this happens then there is nothing much you can do except watch in on another device. This just happens sometimes with DVDs it has happened to me, clicked on the disc in the drive froze my Pc so never used it again.

  5. Imesh Chandrasiri
    November 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    May be the DVD u rented is coded to another region. when the region is not the same, it'll not work!

    • James West
      November 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      not the region. both are region 1. besides, i got software that disables region coding.

    • James West
      November 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      let me expand on my question. The dvd i'm having trouble with plays fine on my 8 year old portable dvd player. This is the only time i've had this problem with my laptop. My dvd drive is set to Region 1 and the dvd was Region 1. It's like my laptop didn't even know the dvd was there.

  6. Rizzo Cow
    November 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I agree with everyone that has posted so far. It could be any number of things but the most common issues are already mentioned....bad driver...incorrect region on the dvd...or just a good ole' fashioned BAD dvd. My money is on the disc iteself or the drive itself going bad.
    Hope this helps

  7. Ray Randall
    November 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Some DVD drives have issues with burned disks of poor quality.
    Could be Driver/firmware issues. I would go to Toshiba support for your model and look for BIOS, Driver and Firmware patches
    It could also just be a hardware issue, if it is under warranty I would contact Toshiba support to get it swapped out. After doing step 1 of course.

    • James West
      November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      I would replace it, but this is the only time i've had this problem.

  8. Boni Oloff
    November 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Every DVD drive has its own limit to working normaly, Maybe you can consider to buy a new DVD Drive.

  9. ha14
    November 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    go to your device manager
    locate dvd player and click on it
    under general tab see if the device is working properly

    try this microsoft fix it for your dvd drive

    did you installed other software like nero?

  10. Erlis D.
    November 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Probably the DVD is defective! But it could be one of the reason the others said!
    Nero has an option to check all the drive writing/reading compatibilities!
    Check the one that is printed on the DVD (for example DVD-R), and see if your drive can read it! If yes, and still can't be played, uninstall the driver, and re-install it again! And if it still don't work, probably it's the DVD you have!

    • James West
      November 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      the dvd played just fine on my portable dvd player. My computer was acting like said dvd wasn't in the drive. This is the only dvd i've had trouble with.

      • Erlis D.
        November 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

        From some researches I did, the only option would be to open it from another computer, copy all the files and put them on another DVD! Probably it will work!
        If not, I suppose that the comment below that ha14 has done, might work! If that doesn't work for you, I don't know what to say!

  11. Alan Wade
    November 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    It is possible that you bought a region 1 DVD for a region 2 player etc. That will stop it from playing. If possible, try the disc in another machine this should prove or deny the region theory or as Aswin said it is just an un-supported format.
    Failing that, try a few ramdon discs and if you have a couple of CD/DVD's spare try a burn (with files or something) then play them back, this should test the theory of is the drive starting to break down, if so then its time for a new drive.

    • Erlis D.
      November 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Probably this is another reason for the problem! Since you mentioned it, I would suggest using a player on the computer, like Media Player Classic. It happened to me that it couldn't be played since it was playable only in Japan! And I used a player like vlc! But with the change of some option, it could be playable even with MPC!

      • James West
        November 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

        the problem isn't the software. The dvd isn't being recognized by the computer. And the problem isn't the region. both my computer and the dvd were Region 1

  12. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Aside of the reasons Aswin stated, there might be a problem with your driver. Mine was like that several months ago. Reinstalling the DVD driver solved the issue. Commonly you can find it in the manufacturer's website.

    • James West
      November 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      tried that. still won't read the dvd

  13. Aswin Kumar Nayakann
    November 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Your drive may not support the DVD becaus it may be of different type such as BlueRay or HDVD or may be something else..It is the reason why it doesnot recognize the DVD.

    • James West
      November 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      normal dvd. Played in my 8 year old portable dvd player but it won't play in my 2 year old laptop

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