I upgraded my Computer to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7 Professional, and I noticed that the optical drive (Pioneer BD-ROM BDC-202) started making a strange noise. This is what happened:

  1. I downloaded the image and burnt it into a DVD with that drive.

  2. I rebooted and started through the optical drive

  3. As soon as the installer started, the drive started making an intermittent bzzzt noise (On for 1 second, off for 3~4 seconds)

  4. The installation goes impossibly slow, and it gets stuck after I input my product key

  5. I reboot, and this time, I install directly from the desktop installer on Windows 7. While I'm doing this, the drive is not making any noises.

  6. After I successfully install Windows 8, I boot into it, and the drive starts making that noise again. I open the cover, and confirm that the noise does indeed come from the optical drive.

  7. I try to eject the drive, but it doesn't work with the hardware button. I eject it from the Windows explorer, and after several seconds, it ejects properly, but the noise continues, although much quieter.

  8. I close the drive with the hardware button, and it seems like it is stuck. It goes in very forcefully, and after some effort, it actually closes. The noise goes back up. Discs I insert are unreadable.

  9. I decide the drive miraculously broke down just as I was installing Windows 8. I curse my luck and decide I'd buy a new drive the next day.

  10. But then I reboot, go into the BIOS settings, and while I'm in there, the drive works perfectly. I boot into Windows 8, and the problem restarts.

  11. I reboot with the Windows 7 recovery disk, and recover using a disk image I made just before I started the install. I'm now back in Windows 7. (I recovered using the same drive, and no noise)

  12. I'm back in Windows 7. The noise no longer exists, the drive ejects and closes perfectly both with the hardware button and the software interface. CDs, DVDs and BDs read perfectly.

  13. What the huh?

So. I learned that an optical drive can actually become stuck and exhibit hardware problems completely via software.

I also learned that it is definitely a good idea to do a disk image backup before upgrading to Windows 8.

But I am at a loss, and come to you guys to ask what could have happened. Has somebody experienced and solved something similar?

  • 1
    Weird, never seen or even heard of such a thing (pun intended). Did you have any software (virtual drives etc.) installed in Windows 7 that might have been carried forward? If you can, I recommend you try again using a USB-based install, format the partition from within the installer and clean install. (If you can't create a USB now from the Upgrade Assistant, transfer the DVD contents using WinToFlash.) – Karan Nov 1 '12 at 17:38
  • @Karan I did the "Keep nothing" install, so I suppose it was kinda clean. Notice that I also had the same problem inside the DVD installer, which should be the same as a USB install. But to answer your question, no, I don't have virtual drives. – Jom Orgstrom Nov 1 '12 at 17:46
  • You probably have the wrong or buggy drivers for your optical disk. Since the drivers are in control of the hardware, they can definitely cause "hardware" problems. I have a HP printer/scanner which makes utterly different mechanical sounds, depending on whether the Windows or the Linux drivers are running it. – kreemoweet Nov 1 '12 at 19:08
  • @kreemoweet yeah, that's one of the things I learned. I didn't know the actual servos could be controlled via software, but they definitely can. It doesn't really solve my problem, because that is a clean install, and disc drives is not usually the stuff you get drivers for. I don't even think they have a driver for that at the maker's homepage. (gotta check that though) – Jom Orgstrom Nov 2 '12 at 2:14

On my Pioneer BD-ROM BDC-202BK Blu-Ray drive I solved it by updating the BIOS of my motherboard (ASUS Sabertooth P67 Rev.B3) to the latest available version.


Double-check that the upgrade media is 100% correct:

  • Use sha1sum to verify your ISO's checksum against the official ISO checksum.
  • Burn a new DVD of the Windows 8 installer. Consider using a nonWindows burning tool, such as one from Linux or Mac OS X (e.g. Disk Utility).

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