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My laptop (HP NX9005, bought in 2003) will no longer read cds or DVDs in Windows XP or Ubuntu.

In Windows, the drive is displayed in My Computer, but when I click on the icon it displays an empty disc.

In Ubuntu, the drive is displayed in Computer, but when I click on the icon it gives me the error

Unable to mount location

No media in the drive

While the computer is on, in both operating systems, the status light on the drive continually blinks.

I have also tried setting the bios to boot from the CDRW/DVD drive by default, but goes straight to GRUB on the hard disk.

I have checked that the CDs and DVDs that I am testing the drive with work on another computer.

Are there any suggestions for trouble shooting the problem, before I accept that the drive is dead?

share|improve this question

If your computer can't read disks at the bios level, there isn't much else to check (though you could try a cleaning disk). Just get a new DVD drive, it's only like $30/$40 for laptop drives on newegg (linky) (as of Aug 5 2009).

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New drives might be cheap, but I think replacing the drive might be tricky. I've changed the hard disk and added RAM before, but the CDRW/DVDdrive seems to be built into the case. My quick google search didn't bring up any instructions for replacing the optical drive. – Alasdair Aug 5 '09 at 19:19
Some drive replacements are easier than installing USB memory, and some are impossible (I'm looking at you, Sony). Yours seems to be harder than most, but I found instructions here: You have to remove the keyboard, but you don't have to touch anything spooky. – Grant Aug 5 '09 at 19:49
Thanks for the link. – Alasdair Aug 5 '09 at 20:28

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