When I start up my computer Windows XP sees my DVD drive, but as time goes on, at some point, it no longer detects the drive. If I reboot my machine, then my drive is detected again for some amount of time until it disappears again.

What could be the culprit here? How do I fix it?

Oh yes, and if it makes a difference the drive is an internal SATA drive.

EDIT: Another thing, the DVD drive still has power, I can open and close the drive, but it just isn't recognized.

EDIT: As per David Spillett's suggestion I have checked the error log, and I found an event saying: The device (my DVD drive) disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal. Which seems to indicate that it might be a loose cable, When I have a chance, I will open up the computer and check the cables.

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    Maybe the DVD drive doesn't wake up from sleeping/standby etc? – Matthew Lock Sep 2 '09 at 4:12

Do you see any warning or error messages in the system logs? (right-click "my computer", select "manage", and in the utility that loads look in the "Event View" section under "System").

Unless there is some sort of message there that gives more clues, the only thing I can think of is that you hare a dodgey or lose power or data cable and at some point there is a disconnect which Windows sees as an attempt to hot-unplug the device. If the device doesn't support hot-plug then it will not reconnect properly until you restart your machine.

So check that all the cables for the drive are securely attached to the drive and the motherboard and power supply. Also, try swapping the cables for others (SATA data cables are easy to come by, and your power supply probably has spare SATA power connectors perhaps even on a separate line).

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  • thanks - currently my drive is there, so I'll haveto wait for it to disappear again and check – Moe Sep 1 '09 at 23:45
  • @Moe: You can check the event log without waiting for it to disappear. – bk1e Sep 2 '09 at 15:28
  • @bk1e - thanks for some reason, I was thinking that the event log would only have events listed that occurred since I started the computer - I found an event in the log - I have updated the question accordingly. – Moe Sep 3 '09 at 2:24
  • I'm going to accept this answer - I just wiped the machine and reinstalled the O/S, and the problem started happening again. So, I reconnected everything, so hopefully the problem is now fixed for good. – Moe Nov 8 '09 at 17:05

Do you have a desktop or a laptop?

On my laptop, the drive bay is a bit finicky and I have to reseat it occasionally when it doesn't detect.

On a desktop, the biggest thing that would cause it would be a loose cable. Or your BIOS is forgetful, I had that problem on a really old ~1998 P133 Acer with an ALi chipset. But I doubt that would occur anymore.

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  • It's a desktop. I built it myself, and most of the pieces (including the DVD drive) are less than a year old. I'll double check all of the connections at some point soon. – Moe Sep 2 '09 at 3:03

if you go to the device manager when the drive disappears, can you "scan for hardware changes" and have it detected?

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  • I'll give that a try. – Moe Sep 2 '09 at 18:33
  • I just tried it (2 months later) it didn't work. – Moe Nov 8 '09 at 16:43

I had something similar with audio drivers with a laptop once. It was a driver that would conflict and then would say I didn't have any audio deviced installed, which wasn't true as I got the Windows Startup sound and after 5 minutes the device would work.

I used Process Explorer from Sysinternals to see what DLL was doing this and disabled the dll and it worked fine after that.

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  • interesting, but I'm not quite sure how to apply that to my problem. – Moe Sep 3 '09 at 2:27

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