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No matter what disc I put in the DVD-ROM drive, I get:

The device is not ready.

When I put in the disc, it spins up and you can hear it reading the disc. I've tried a couple different discs so I doubt all of them are bad. In the Device Manager, I can see the DVD-ROM driver and it says the device is working properly, and there aren't any updated drivers.

What would be the next steps in determining the root cause of this problem (short of replacing the hardware completely)?

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  • Try another OS (like a Linux LiveCD).
  • Try the drive in another computer.
  • Try a new drive.

Often the laser in optical drives will become damaged or malfunction, causing the drive to appear and sound like it's working, but it can't actually read anything from the disks.

Optical drives break, often. The good news is, unless it's some weird OEM one, it will be a cheap part to replace.

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+1 - Thanks for the help! – Mike Christensen Dec 5 '11 at 18:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Figured it out!

There was actually two CD-ROM drivers on this computer. One called ALIHSJ 6NSDI351MN05 SCSI CdRom Device, which is mapped to D: and actually appears to be totally bogus. Though if I remove it, Windows just puts it right back in. Then there's hp DVD-ROM TS-H353C which appears to be for the actual physical drive in the computer. This for some silly reason gets mounted as Z:. I probably would have figured this out myself, but the My Computer link has been disabled, probably due to some insane domain policy.

Using Z: to access the drive works fine.

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cdrom called Scsi (on a system without scsi) could be A) a virtual drive , search for virtual cd or scsi devices in device manager. B) a Piece of hardware like USB hardware that mounts as a CD rom, even a flash drive with special encryption method on it, check by removing usb items to see if it goes away in device manager. C) a special security driver thing for some BS copy protection scheme type thing, Check device manager for protection scheme drivers. – Psycogeek Dec 13 '11 at 2:43

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