So far, I’ve still avoided installing the new Windows XP Service Pack 3. I know that a lot of people have installed it without any problems.
However, when there is a problem, it is not trivial! Recently, two subscribers wrote to tell me of their horror stories and ask for suggestions on solving them.
Delmer Tergarden wrote to say that he had installed Windows Service Pack SP3 and the drivers for both the CD and DVD drives stopped working. Even though he restored the system to its state just before back up, his CD and DVD drives still were not recognized by Windows. He wanted to know how to get the drives working again.
I wrote back to say:
I haven’t installed XP SP3 yet, to avoid running into any of the early-adapter problems like you did. That’s why I think Microsoft made a blunder in its choice to push SP3 as a high-importance update as its initial release. It really abuses our trust of the update system.
Start > Control Panel > Performance & Maintenance
> System > Hardware tab > Device Manager Button
Click on the + next to "DVD/CD-ROM Drives"
On each of them, right-click and try "Update driver".
See if they work. (Reboot is probably not necessary, but let’s do it)
If that doesn’t work, go to the same place.
Then, on CD ROM or on DVD, not both yet, right-click and try the “Uninstall”
When XP reboots, it should find the drive again and reinstall the driver for it — hopefully the original one.
Good luck. Let me know it this solves it or how you solve it.
Sadly, Delmer wrote back to say that this didn’t solve his problem…
Sorry, but neither worked. The strange thing is the backup was made with Acronis True Image just before I put on XP3. Everything was working then. After installing XP3, I tried to burn a CD and the program said "no burnable devices detected." I then when to Control Panel, My Computer and sure enough neither the CD/DVD drive or CD drive was listed. I then restored an earlier backup from Acronis; still no drives showing or available for burning. I restored one more time from the next earlier back; same thing. I am at my wit’s end as to what to do next. All I can think of doing is rebuilding the system from my Windows XP disk – and, reinstalling all my programs. What a chore. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
I began to wonder if something didn’t kill the two drives — or, if he had been inside the PC recently. I suggested that he open the case and make sure their cables were connected to drives and motherboard. Since cable connectors sometimes develop corrosion, I suggested that he unplug the cables and plug them back in again. Similarly, check the power cables to the drives — and unplug and replug them.
Take a bootable CD and see if you can boot from it.
Last choice, don’t do until the others, is reinstall — but you want to make sure the drives work before you do anything that’s going to destroy the installation.
Delmer wrote back to say that the CD drive was recognized by the computer and he could boot from it, and that he had restored the partition using Acronis True Image after booting from its rescue CD. So, that confirms that the drive was ok and recognized by the computer. Unfortunately, that didn’t solve the problem with the drives in Windows.
Delmer’s final solution was the ultimate solution —
Well, I finally bit the bullet; reinstalled Windows XP with SP2 from the beginning. As soon as it was installed I checked My Computer and the CD drive and CD/DVD drive were there. Finished installing my programs and I am now back to normal. Only have an image backup to do using Acronis True Image.
For now, at least, Delmer isn’t going to reinstall Windows XP Service Pack 3. One of these days, I’ll try it on one of my computers, but not yet…