Unable to boot from cd/dvd drive [SOLVED]

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Unable to boot from cd/dvd drive [SOLVED]

Postby joshua » Fri May 02, 2014 7:39 pm

I have a Dell latitude E4300 and am trying (well I have now)to put Mint onto it but it will not boot the dvd from the cd/dvd drive. It halfheartedly tries to spin up but after a while gives up and boots from the hard disc (win 7). I have tried several discs and distro's including gparted to no avail. However it will boot immediatly from a windows 8 disc. The only way I managed to do the install was from a usb memory stick which booted without problem. My boot sequence is usb, cd/dvd drive and hard drive last. Since then I have managed to boot from the cd/dvd drive by pressing F12 on start and selecting the cd/dvd drive manually and the only way I can get it to boot by doing that is to continually tap the F12 key after pressing enter. Is this normal for a Dell laptop? (not had a Dell before) or is a problem with the cd/dvd drive developing?
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Postby joshua » Thu May 29, 2014 5:36 pm

I have now managed to sort this out. I have tried all sorts of things. Burning to different makes of disc, different burning programmes, burning on different computers, different OS's, Partition magic, gparted and memtest86 all to no avail the only thing the drive would recognise as a bootable disc was a windows xp, 7 or 8 disc. Even putting the disc with windows booted up and trying to read it with the windows file manager it wouldn't do it. In the end I changed the dvd/cd drive and it works ok now. It also now boots the installed OS in half the time. I can't think why it should but there you are. I have never had a dvd/cd drive behave like this before. It just didn't want to read iso's for some reason.
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Postby nelz » Thu May 29, 2014 9:04 pm

Recordable discs have a lower reflectivity than pressed discs (re-writeables even lower). If the laser was failing in your drive or its lens was dirty, you could see this sort of behaviour.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby joshua » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:49 pm

Thanks for the information, I will give the old unit a clean and see if it works. I perhaps should have tried a disc from the magazine which I assume would be a pressed disc.
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Postby nelz » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:06 pm

Yes, a magazine disc is pressed and would most likely work if dirt is the problem. Using a cleaning disc may help in the short term, but the problem may also be caused, or compounded, by a failing laser. The drive may well be on its last legs.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby joshua » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:32 pm

Yes you are right, the laser must be on the way out as after a rigorous cleanse it will still only read pressed discs and not ones I have written.
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