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Newbie needs help with disc drive

Level 7
I just bought this G73JH from a a buddy of mine. He formatted the system completely and got it to where it needs Windows to be activated. The computer works fine right now for going on the web, playing games, and such. However it will not read any discs. Any disc it does read, it thinks it's a blank disc that needs formatting or to be burned. I have a disc for Windows 7 Ultimate but I can't get it read and boot up the disc from restart. If I can get this to read discs then I can easily install Windows and stop it from constantly reminding me that "this copy of Windows may be counterfeit" . I love this computer and want to bring it back to optimal conditions and hopefully be able to upgrade some of the older parts.

My disc drive is an Hl-DT-ST DVDRAM GT32N ATA Device according to the device manager.

I've been scouring the web trying to find help but it's all a bit daunting seeing as I haven't messed with computers for anything but YouTube and general surfing since AOL and 56k modems. I figured what better place to ask than an ROG forum seeing that my laptop is an ROG rig. Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks:D

Level 13
Did you try cleaning the drive by means of a 'lens cleaning disc'? This will gently remove any dirt inside the DVD player mechanism.

Level 7
thank you so much for the response! i did happen to find my lens cleaning disc (I had only used it twice before) but i still have the same issue. i was thinking i need an update of some sort but when i update my driver from the device manager, it says it's up to date. i am completely stumped

Level 9
you can try a restart and boot from disc.
Cpu- FX 8350 / mobo- crosshair v formula z / Gpu- asus gtx 770 / Psu- corsair AX760 / cooling- Phanteks PH-TC14PE / SSD- samsung 840 evo 250 GB / HDD- 2x toshiba 1T / Ram- G Skill 2x8GB 2400 mhz / case- Zalman z11 / monitor- BenQ xl2411t.

Level 12
It sounds to me like your optical drive has failed as your symptoms mimic what mine did when it went.

One thing you can try before buying a new drive is removing your old one and re-seating it a couple of times to see if maybe the connector on the drive just isn't seated right. This is unlikely but worth a shot.

You can replace the drive with a variety of different types, for instance this blu ray burner from LG would work:

There are cheaper options available on Newegg if you don't desire a blu-ray burner. It just needs to be of the 'slim' variety. (Stuff that will work will look similar to the product I linked.)

Good luck!
MB: ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (Cooled by Corsair H100i w/ Noctua NF-F12 fans)
RAM: 64GB G.SKILL RipjawsZ 1600 (10-10-10-30)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X Hybrid
TV Tuners: 2 * Hauppauge HVR-1800
Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos 2

Level 13
I think the drive might indeed have died.

A cheap way of checking it is a small tool that is called a slimline/slim to USB connector.

For example:

Simply remove the internal player / connect it to any pc/laptop through the adapter to a usb port. If it doesn't work than you are sure it's dead.

A similar solution if you have a desktop dvd player lying around, is one of my favorite accessories : an IDE/SATA to USB connector, this allows you to connect any hdd/ssd/dvd player to any pc through usb!! Very handy and not that expensive.

Like this one :

Might come in handy!

Level 7
Thank you everyone for the help!! I honestly didn't think I would get so much help. I'll try what both Necrosan and Henkenator said. I was afraid my drive died. I'll probably go with a new drive if it doesn't work after re-seating it and trying out the connector. $6 for something I can use in the future is worth denying myself of a few Red Bulls. Might as well start upgrading.
Now that I have a bit of attention, could you suggest any processors, graphic cards, or ram upgrades? I'm still new to this but I want this rig to last as long as I can (I only got it for $200 and my buddy threw in a League of Legends account with quite a bit spent on it).
Right now I have an i7 q720 @ 1.60 GHz , a Radeon HD 5870, and 6 GB of RAM.
Should I even upgrade the processor or just overclock it? I know I can't just throw in a processor that's 55w (No clue what this means) since it's possibly a 45w. Is this even worth upgrading or should I just run it til the wheels (or cores 🙂 ) fall off?

Level 13
My experience with laptops is that in general upgrading the cpu and or graphic card is not that simple, if possible at all. Some manufacturers Change/adapt sockets making it almost impossible to upgrade. On top of that, your system would in theory gain little from a cpu upgrade as this is limited to the motherboard / cpu socket... Things to consider: dram could gain, most stock laptops ship with 1 dram stick, Plain adding of a dram stick does not always give top performance gain :reason : the sticks might have different "internal" specs. So my advice: get 2 identical sticks from same manufacturer/batch. 2x4Gb for example or 2x2Gb I personally love to replace the stock hard drives with an SSD, booting is so much faster and loading times for programs... That's it on upgrades... For the rest run it till it dies..

Level 7
I see. I was considering replacing my hard drive with an SSD drive then using a big external hard drive for everything. I'm not sure how much of a difference I would see in removing the (possible) 3 sticks of 2 GB RAM and replacing it with 2 8 GB sticks. Would this be worth it? I'm pretty I can use the SSD drive for my next rig when this one dies. I was able to make my own external using a toshiba hard drive and a sata to usb case. I dont trust toshiba after it started to die on me and still has about 500 GB of stuff I'd like to recover. Live and learn