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Old 12-22-2014, 11:37 AM   #1
acraig
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Question My computer no longer boots live disks


A week ago, I realized that I could not boot live disks. At first, I thought that it was the optical drive not writing the disks correctly, but when I tried two live disks that I've used many times before nothing happened with those either.

I have CD/DVD drive listed first in my BIOS' boot order and I even tried selecting the optical drive in the menu when the computer started and it still does not boot a disk. Thankfully, my somewhat old hard drives are still chugging along but I need to be able to use a live disk, in case one or both die on me.

My question is, how can I know for sure what the problem is? Is there a way to test the optical drive (Samsung Super Writemaster - which has a bad rep)? Could it be my motherboard. It was bought new 2 years ago, and there are no other issues with it. Also, I have been able to create playable DVDs on my computer with the Optical drive that work perfectly on my Bluray player, yet I cannot play the movies or open a data disk in file manager on my computer. What does that mean?

I want to know that it's worth it to buy another burner, before shelling out the money when I'm already practically broke from Christmas gift purchases. Any suggestions on how to test the optical drive would be appreciated.
 
Old 12-22-2014, 11:53 AM   #2
pan64
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I do not think you can easily test it, but:
1. try another device in that box if that works with the same disk
2. try the device in another box using a definitely working/bootable disk

(so in short replace: box/reader/disk to check them)
 
Old 12-22-2014, 12:31 PM   #3
EDDY1
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Does it read disks at all?
Have yiu tried to see if you can view the contents of the disk from the drive in question.
Are you getting any warning messages in dmesg?
Maybe try cleaning the optical lense.
 
Old 12-22-2014, 01:46 PM   #4
John VV
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first WHAT operating system is on this "not working well" computer ?

If Mint14
that is UNSUPPORTED
install the current mint 17 ( it is the long term support )
or
downgrade to the LAST long term support
Mint 13


as to not booting a Live disk

see:EDDY1's post


also some times disks and drives just do not mix well
This was more of a issue in 2003 ,or there abouts.


also the laser lens on older hardware can get a bit dirty
they DO need cleaning from time to time , this depends on the environment

a 2 pack a day chain smoker will cause the lens to get dirty very fast

and dvd's to age
and some do not age well


burn a NEW Knoppix or SystemRescueCD
to a CD on NEW hardware ( if possible)

and test those
 
Old 12-22-2014, 11:44 PM   #5
acraig
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Thank you to everyone for your suggestions!

I should have updated my bio; that is old info. I have used Linux mint 13 Maya for almost 2 years now. Also I cleaned the optical drive twice since this problem began. The only other computer I own is a laptop, so I can't put the optical elsewhere. But I will try burning a disk in my laptop and test it in my desktop.

I actually hope that it's the optical drive, because it's the cheapest part to replace; however, I bought it less than 2 years ago, and it was fine until recently. The drawer started sticking after only 7 months - all Sony and Samsung optical drives I've used have had that issue - but otherwise it worked fine.

I was wondering if the problem could have been caused by one of the numerous security updates. There are so many, so often... And I recall not being able to watch a dvd on my computer after one that took place last month. I had to install "ubuntu-restricted-extras" before I could play a disk. At this point in time, I can no longer play dvds on any of the video player apps on my computer. I can still burn dvds that work on my blu ray, but not on my computer. I don't know what to think.
 
Old 12-23-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

You could try re-seating the cables for the drive. Both ends, one for the drive and the one attached to the motherboard. Do this with power off. Be sure to touch the frame before working on this. Problem could be as simple as this.
Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
Old 12-23-2014, 01:52 PM   #7
EDDY1
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Quote:
I should have updated my bio; that is old info. I have used Linux mint 13 Maya for almost 2 years now. Also I cleaned the optical drive twice since this problem began. The only other computer I own is a laptop, so I can't put the optical elsewhere. But I will try burning a disk in my laptop and test it in my desktop.
I had same problem with a dvd player for my tv, I tried to clean with the cleaning disk & solution, which didn't work. I had to take the machine aart & clean the lense manually with alcohol & a cue tip making sure that I got all of the cotton off, which did work.
 
Old 12-23-2014, 03:32 PM   #8
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

You can get special lint-less swabs from most good electronic supply houses. If you have some old linen then that works but make sure the wife states that the linen is scrap.

Last edited by onebuck; 12-25-2014 at 09:16 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 12-24-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
acraig
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I tried the newly burned disks (2) from my laptop and that didn't work, so I'm going to try re-seating the cables and if that doesn't work, I'm going to try manually cleaning the lens. I have those lens cleaning wipes for my glasses, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of these tricks gets it working again.

Thank you all for the suggestions!
 
Old 12-27-2014, 09:16 PM   #10
Fred Caro
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Does the system and the bios still recognise the drive?

Fred.
 
Old 12-29-2014, 04:44 PM   #11
acraig
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I have reseated the sata cable in a different controller, but nothing changed. I tried to open the optical drive case, but after removing the screws from the bottom (which are the only visible screws) it would not come apart. I've been searching the web for a diagram of the model I own, because there has to be a way to get it to open without damaging it. I'm going to try YouTube, someone may have made a video on how to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Caro View Post
Does the system and the bios still recognise the drive?

Fred.
Yes. It is still listed in the BIOS as the first booting device and the OS sees it as well. As I mentioned above, it can still burn disks that work great on my Blu ray player, but I cannot play them on my computer in the optical drive. I believe the lens does need to be cleaned manually, as EDDY1 suggested. I'm working on getting that done presently.
 
Old 12-29-2014, 06:46 PM   #12
vincix
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If, on the other hand, it's important that you boot a linux livecd, you know you always have the option of booting from a memory stick. And generally with Ubuntu (probably works on Mint too) this can accomplished very easily with dd. For instance:
Quote:
dd if=/home/user/Downloads/ubuntu.iso of=/dev/sdc
(be sure to unmount the memory stick beforehand)

Last edited by vincix; 12-29-2014 at 06:47 PM.
 
Old 12-29-2014, 06:57 PM   #13
EDDY1
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The plastic face has to be removed first before the metal case will come apart, there should a few tabs that protrude thru the metal. You may need to use a small screw driver to push each individual tab while applying pressure so that the other tabs dont reseat.
 
Old 01-01-2015, 12:15 AM   #14
acraig
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Thumbs up I got it open!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
The plastic face has to be removed first before the metal case will come apart, there should a few tabs that protrude thru the metal. You may need to use a small screw driver to push each individual tab while applying pressure so that the other tabs dont reseat.
Thank you Eddy1! That did the trick. I was able to clean the laser before I left this morning, but I didn't get a chance to test it till I got home this evening. I should also mention that Monday night I tried burning a new disk and none of the blank disks were recognized by the drive. I tried several blank disks and none were recognized in Brasero or K3B. The last time I burned a disk was one week before Christmas, and even though I could not play a disk or boot a live dvd it did burn correctly at that time, so I have no idea what changed. Anyway, I was hoping that cleaning the laser would fix this new problem too. I used a cotton swab dampened with a little isopropyl alcohol and followed up with a lens cleaning wipe (the kind I use on my glasses). No joy. The drive is still recognized, but there was still no ability to read disks and now I cannot burn them either. I tried booting disks, reading store bought dvds and music cds, but still nothing works. I think the laser may have just died. I am doing research on the longest lasting optical drive brands (will not be buying another Samsung) and hoping that I will be able to boot a live disk again, as well as all the rest, which is even more important to me. If a new optical drive doesn't fix the problem then I won't know what to think.

Thanks Vincix, but I don't like using flash drives for booting, because I change OS a bit too often. I use flash drives for storing things like work projects and movie downloads, and the last time I tried storing an OS on one, I could no longer use it for anything else. The OS worked just fine, but I could not reuse the flash drive, even after reformatting it.

I've got my fingers crossed that a new optical drive will fix everything and I can close this thread as solved.

Happy New Years to everyone! And thanks again! I appreciate the tips and advice.
 
Old 01-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #15
vincix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acraig View Post
Thank you Eddy1! That did the trick. I was able to clean the laser before I left this morning, but I didn't get a chance to test it till I got home this evening. I should also mention that Monday night I tried burning a new disk and none of the blank disks were recognized by the drive. I tried several blank disks and none were recognized in Brasero or K3B. The last time I burned a disk was one week before Christmas, and even though I could not play a disk or boot a live dvd it did burn correctly at that time, so I have no idea what changed. Anyway, I was hoping that cleaning the laser would fix this new problem too. I used a cotton swab dampened with a little isopropyl alcohol and followed up with a lens cleaning wipe (the kind I use on my glasses). No joy. The drive is still recognized, but there was still no ability to read disks and now I cannot burn them either. I tried booting disks, reading store bought dvds and music cds, but still nothing works. I think the laser may have just died. I am doing research on the longest lasting optical drive brands (will not be buying another Samsung) and hoping that I will be able to boot a live disk again, as well as all the rest, which is even more important to me. If a new optical drive doesn't fix the problem then I won't know what to think.

Thanks Vincix, but I don't like using flash drives for booting, because I change OS a bit too often. I use flash drives for storing things like work projects and movie downloads, and the last time I tried storing an OS on one, I could no longer use it for anything else. The OS worked just fine, but I could not reuse the flash drive, even after reformatting it.

I've got my fingers crossed that a new optical drive will fix everything and I can close this thread as solved.
Happy New Years to everyone! And thanks again! I appreciate the tips and advice.
Not that I'm trying to change your mind, or anything, but I've been using memory sticks a lot for this purpose and it's been working just fine. Lots of people use it without any problem. Memory sticks sometimes break, and in your case it might just have been a coincidence. You've got lots of flexibility using them for booting.
 
  


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