Question about LG GSA-T20N DVD±RW Dual Layer Burner
Posted by Anonymous on
SOURCE: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4163B
*Tangent* After scouring the web looking for a solution to this
problem, and I bet you this must be the case and problem for many an
optical drive owner, regardless of brand or function (CD-ROM, DVD ROM,
CD Writer, DVD Writer, Combo CD Writer / DVD ROM) but after busting my
head trying to find the solution, some clever thinking solved the
problem, where published articles on the web did not:
LG DVD Writer (HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4163B) no longer recognizes discs and no longer burns DVDs or CDs
So you have a DVD burner that, for the longest time, properly burnt discs and aided you in archiving absolutely everything that has ever been important in your life, and now, all of a sudden on a whim, the drive no longer recognizes discs (when placing a disc with data on the tray and closing it, Windows Explorer changes the label of the drive from a DVD-RAM Drive to a CD Drive and any efforts to view the contents of the disc produce the mocking-error message "Please insert a disc into drive X:" Furthermore, in Nero Xpress, Nero Burning Rom or Nero SmartStart, the screen inviting you to set burn speed, set a disc volume label, toggle MultiSession Disc or toggle Finalize Disc has a nice bright lit illuminated "Burn" label button inviting you to proceed, but any attempts to place a blank CD-R / DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, whatever, into the disc tray and closing it fades out the "Burn" button and never illuminates it again unless the disc in the drive is ejected. This, of course, is irregardless of the disc access light blinking its friendly green accessing-goodness-message and coming to a stop as if everything was peachy upon first closing the disc tray.)
*Tangent* The few times this had occurred to me in the past (with completely different computers and computer configurations save the same DVD Burner drive) I would often start disabling and enabling drives in Windows Device Manager, and if that didn't work, deleting drive drivers in Windows Device Manager followed by rebooting and auto-reinstalling, and if that didn't work, disabling drives in the system's BIOS, and if that didn't work, fiddling with the power supply power leads and IDE interface ribbon cables and jumper settings (from master to slave to cable select) until finally the damn thing would kick in and start operating again. This time around though, nothing was working out. It had been two days of fiddling and the damn drive would not come back to me. I had even undone all the bindings of my drives in my PC case and tried the unit in other machines with the same result, and also tried it in a true MS-DOS environment using a CD ROM driver and MSCDEX with the same result. What this indicated to me was that, contrary to what many of the articles say online, that the problem is not software based like many would lead you to believe, but rather hardware based.
I read so many suggestions and not one of them sounded reasonable, considering that the drive had given me years and volumes of successful burns prior and I had already miraculously brought it back to life before: I was suggested everything from flashing the drive's CMOS to deleting lines in the system registry (regedit) to deleting and installing new ATAPI drivers to installing VERY suspect and dodgy executables that would miraculously fix things, to using different burn programs, to changing IDE Interface Ribbon Cables to changing entire power supplies, and my most hated suggestion of all, "the drive must be broken, but drive's are cheap these days anyway, just buy a new one." FOOLS! After careful elimination of possible causes, I ruled out anything that was software, operating system, or BIOS-slash-motherboard based. Sadly, unlike my pop, I know next to nothing about electronics, so my last hope was that it was a mechanical problem. Since the drive not being able to access standard discs with data on it was a clear indication of the problem, I booted in a MS-DOS environment using a Windows 98 Boot Disk, complete with CD-ROM support (these little f'ers are trusty when you get into trouble.) I called up the drive letter for my quote-unquote defective DVD Writer, placed the data disc in the drive, closed the tray, ran a simple DIR command and waited for the "device not ready" message. Once that came up (as expected), I ejected the disc tray, walked to my Grand Mother's sewing room, got a good ol sewing pin (no doubt created before the concept of home computers were even fathomable) closed the disc tray once again, ran the DIR command again, but this time, while the disc was trying to be accessed, I pushed the pin into the little emergency tray release hole, forcing the tray to eject just enough to grab onto with my fingernails. I then simply pressed the standard electronic disc eject button again, invoking a close of the tray, and low and behold, the directory contents of the disc came up. I didn't even have to run additional tests, I knew right then and there that the problem was a mechanical one with the closing of the drive (perhaps the gears were no longer coming into the proper position to place the motor hub onto the hole of the disc or the laser eye became stuck in a position that did not favour starting on the first track of the disc...who knows) Bottom line is, the thing now works as it always did, as intended.
QUICK SET OF STEPS TO REPRODUCE:
Pre-Requisits: Authentically pressed data disc that you do not care if it gets damaged (like an old outdated driver disc, AOL access disc, etc.) and a pin long and thin enough to get significant travel into the emergency release eject hole located below the disc tray (safety pins are a good choice, while thumbtacks and nails are not.)
1 - Boot PC with no disc in the troublesome drive
2 - Within operating system environment, open disc tray, place useless data disc on tray BUT DO NOT CLOSE TRAY
3 - Access a read function of the troublesome drive (in MS-DOS, navigate to the drive letter assigned, close tray with disc and type DIR or in Windows, double click My Computer, double click the troublesome drive's letter until the "please insert disc into drive X:" message comes up, and then close the tray with the disc
4 - While the disc is attempting to be accessed, in a straight manner and with pressure, push the pin into the emergency tray release eject hole until the tray pushes out physically
5 - Close the tray by means of the standard electronic eject button on the drive
-Video Game Junkie
Posted on Sep 22, 2008
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