How Do I Tell If My CD Drive Is Working?

by Kyle McBride

The CD-ROM drive on your computer is a device on which to play audio and data CDs. If there is a question about whether the device is working, you can check the drive operation to see if the device is physically working, you can check in your computer's system list to see if your computer sees the device installed, and you can check the device manager to see if your computer sees the device but is detecting a problem with it.

Check Operation

1

Press the button to open the CD-ROM drive. The drive should open to accept a CD.

2

Insert a CD into the CD-ROM drive tray. Press the button to close the tray. The tray should close.

3

Observe the front of the CD-ROM drive. The operation light should be lit or blinking, and you may be able to hear the drive mechanism spinning the CD.

4

Repeat the steps with another CD if there is doubt as to whether the CD itself is defective.

Check the Drive

1

Click "Start" on the taskbar.

2

Click "Computer" on the right side of the Start menu.

3

Look for your CD-ROM drive listed under "Devices." The CD-ROM drive may be drive "D" or drive "E," depending on your system.

Check Device Manager

1

Click "Start" on the taskbar.

2

Click "Control Panel."

3

Click "Hardware and Sound," then click "Device Manager for Vista." Double-click "Administrator Tools," double-click "Computer Management," then click "Device Manager for Windows XP."

4

Click the "+" next to DVD/CD-ROM drives.

5

Look for your CD-ROM drive in the list. If there is a yellow exclamation point next to your CD-ROM drive in the list, there is a problem with the device.

Tip

  • While looking for your CD-ROM, note that the description may be CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, or CD-R/RW depending on the device's write and rewrite capabilities.

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