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I’m trying to fix a friend’s laptop. The DVD driver is corrupted, so the optical drive doesn’t even show up as an option in Windows Explorer.

Failed attempts so far…

  • Microsoft Update seems to think the driver is up-to-date and okay—even though Device Manager shows a problem with it. (The little yellow ! icon is visible.)
  • I tried uninstalling the driver and rebooting. This theoretically forces the automatic fetching & installation of the missing driver. It simply reinstalled the previous driver… along with the previous problem.
  • I also tried the vendor’s website (for both the laptop’s and optical drive’s manufacturers) with no luck.

  • Laptop: Toshiba Portégé R705

  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Optical Drive: MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ892ES

Questions

  • Does a safe, 3rd-party driver provider exist? (If so, where?)
  • Do you have any recommended procedures that aren’t listed in my previous attempts?
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why do you discount the idea that the Drive itself is out of order? –  Sathya Jan 3 '13 at 19:32
    
I haven’t. I just wanted to rule out the software drivers first, because I remembered that I used to be able to do that relatively quickly. Not so much, any more. :P In any case, you have a good point, and I appreciate the reminder. Will look into it. –  Zearin Jan 3 '13 at 19:34
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Want to find out of the drive works? Boot to a DVD. Better yet, boot to a linux LiveCD. If the system boots, and the drive continues to operate nominally, then you know it is a software issue within Windows. It could even be an upper/lower filter issue within Windows. support.microsoft.com/kb/314060 –  Bon Gart Jan 3 '13 at 19:51
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1 Answer

Fixed!

Turns out a simple BIOS update did the trick.

I don’t understand how the old BIOS—with which the drive previously worked—stopped working in the first place.

But eventually I found a utility called TOSHIBA SERVICE CENTER, which updates covers a few of Windows Update’s blind spots: Toshiba software, the BIOS, and a few others.

Thanks for your help, @Sathya, @Bon Gart! I hope your answers are useful to other readers. (Or, perhaps to me in the future. ☺)

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