How to Fix CD Drive Problems

by Contributor

Almost all newer generation computers come with CD and DVD drives installed in them. CD drives are capable of playing music discs, program installation disks and even burning music CDs and data disks. As you use your CD drive, you might occasionally encounter problems with it. Fortunately, most problems with a CD drive can be easily fixed.

Start by troubleshooting the obvious. Problems that appear to be CD drive problems are often actually problems with the CDs themselves. Make sure that you've inserted a CD, not a DVD, into the drive, and that it isn't scratched, dirty or warped. You can try inserting a different CD into the drive to help determine if the problem is with the CD or the drive. If a second CD will play without problems, the issue is most likely with the first CD and not with the CD drive.

Check the cables. The cables connecting the CD drive to the computer can work loose with repeated use of the computer. Make sure the cables are tightly connected and try the drive again.

Play the CD directly from the CD drive icon on your computer. Most CDs will play automatically when inserted into the computer, but sometimes they won't start automatically. The CD drive icon will play the CD if it's an issue with the auto play feature on the CD.

Make sure your driver is functioning properly. If your driver is corrupted or deleted, the CD drive won't be able to communicate with Windows. To check your driver status, right click the start button on the task bar and select "Explorer." Look to see if your CD drive has an exclamation mark next to it in the list. If it does have an exclamation mark, you'll need to reinstall the driver. The process for doing this varies depending on the version of Windows that you're running. If you're uncomfortable with reinstalling drivers, you should take your computer to a professional repair shop.

Take the drive to a professional repair shop or install a new drive if you're having hardware problems, such as problems with the drive opening and closing correctly.


  • check Keep in mind that many older CD drives won't play rewritable CDs. If you're using an older CD drive, make sure you're using a regular CD with it.

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