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So, I have a really strange hardware problem with a laptop optical drive where it can read any CD, but no DVD (I am sure this is not a region encoding issue, despite being a French-bought laptop).

The laptop in question is the Asus A6J. The laptop is using the most current BIOS version, and I updated the drive, the TSSTCorp L632D that originally shipped with the laptop with the most recent manufacturer firmware (when I was asked to troubleshoot, it was still the default I presume from Asus and was in the same state, that did not work of course).

It appears to have successfully flashed, so I am fairly certain that is not the issue.

No matter what I have tried, the drive will correctly read CD disks. Any DVD, regardless of region, content, etc. is never read.

In Windows or Linux or BSD, I do not see anything at all. Does anyone know how this could be possible? Does that mean there is a hardware disparity that the part able to read DVDs is broken and the CD reading components are functional?

The drive knows it is worthy of reading DVDs, according to Nero InfoTool. Thoughts?

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I know you said ANY dvd but... what happens when you put a blank one in and try to burn files onto it? –  NoCarrier Feb 4 '11 at 1:18
    
I did not try that, but that is only because I did not have one handy. Again, I want to know if this is a foregone conclusion hardware failure or I fscked something up. –  ajstein Feb 4 '11 at 1:50
    
Boot back into Linux, open a root terminal, enter 'tail -f /var/log/kern.log', and then try to view files on the DVD. The output of the command may give you some clues. –  ultrasawblade Feb 4 '11 at 2:20
    
@Ultrasawblade I guess that is a good point. I will try this over the weekend and let you know; it is not one of my own computers. –  ajstein Feb 4 '11 at 3:01
    
The last DVD-RW drive I had that did that wound up being a defective drive, lucky for me it was under warranty from Dell, about 8 months old. –  Moab Feb 4 '11 at 3:29
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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 4 '11 at 1:12

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Optical drives use different lasers to read DVDs vs. CDs. It's entirely possible for one part to break and not the other. That's almost certainly what happened to you -- the drive is (partially) broken. Buy a replacement drive, or RMA if under warranty.

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Inevitably had to face the facts. Thanks and sorry for the way late reply. –  ajstein Sep 19 '12 at 10:09
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