How to Fix a CD Drive that Won't Read Any Disc

by Stephen Lilley

No matter how well maintained you keep your computer equipment, occasionally it will start to give you troubles. Even the smallest amount of dust or dirt entering the drive's disc tray could prevent it from operating normally. Your computer's CD drive, in particular, can be a finicky little problem waiting to happen. Luckily, there are a variety of things you can try to fix a CD drive that has stopped reading any disc you put into it.


Buy a can of spray air. This is air compressed into a can that can be shot out through a nozzle. It can be beneficial for cleaning dirt and dust from hard to reach places, like the inside of CD drives. Gently spray a can of air to try to remove any dust or dirt that may be blocking your CD drive's laser lens and preventing discs from being read. Spray air can be purchased at any major electronics retailer.


Update your drivers. The software that allows your CD drive to work with your operating system is called a driver. Occasionally, manufacturers will release driver updates to fix known problems and issues with their devices. Go to the manufacturer's website for your brand of CD drive, search for the model and download and install any available driver updates. Doing so will fix a variety of problems.


Open your computer's case and make sure your CD drive hasn't come unplugged. There should be two plugs protruding from the back of your CD drive: one that goes to the computer's power source and the other that plugs into the motherboard. Remove the screws on the side of your computer's case to open it up and take a look inside. If either one of these plugs has become loose, it will cause your CD drive to stop reading all discs.


Make sure the discs you are trying to read with your CD drive are free of scratches and dirt. Any kind of obstruction on the data side of the disc will prevent the CD drive's laser lens from being able to access the files contained on it. Make sure these discs are free of smudges, dirt, dust and scratches before attempting to use them with your CD drive.

Items you will need

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.