Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Using the CDROM drive freezes Windows XP?

Windows usually hangs when a DVD or CD is loaded into the DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive, AND on startup hangs if there is a disc in any of the optical drives. Then I have to reboot system manually, eject the optical drive quickly and remove the disc in order for Windows to load successfully. After doing this I can insert the disc and it will be read successfully and autorun will execute.

Then when trying to install, for example a CDROM game, the install wizard will successfully launch and the software will start to install. Once you are prompted to insert disc 2, the tray opens and closes successfully, and as soon as the drive attempts to read the new disc (drive busy reading light starts flashing) the entire system locks up and Windows hangs. Pressing ctrl+alt+del buttons twice to restart does not work and I have to actually press the restart button to reboot the system.

My system configuration: Windows XP (SP1) 2.8 Ghz Intel CPU, 512 Mb ram, 300w PSU, PNY 6800GT graphics card, gigabyte motherboard, Aopen DVD-RW, Samsung CD-ROM. This problem occurs with or without Win XP SP1 loaded and I have installed the latest drivers for the DVD-ROM that I've downloaded from Aopen's website. Help!

This is a tough one! My first reaction was to assume that there's something physically wrong with the drive, but I asked a few PC hardware experts for their opinions too. Here's what I got back:

"I am guessing, but here's what I'd do: take off the...