CD-ROM Drive

CD-ROM drive is a device, which plays CD-ROM and supports read and write operations on the CD-ROM. CD-ROM stands for Compact Disk – Read Only Memory. It can be either internal or external. CD-ROM drives are used in music players, Desktop PCs, Laptops, Servers etc. They are used for booting up PCs, CD installation etc.

External CD-ROM drive is connected to the system through USB port. The speeds of drives would be 24x, 52x etc. Higher speeds result in more noise, vibration etc. CD-ROM drive employs an infrared laser diode (780nm). Projecting laser beam onto the disc using opto-electronic tracking, which detects the reflection or scattering of the beam. Sony and Philips developed the CD technology in late 1970s.

Terms Related to CD-ROM Drive:

  • Access time : Average time the drive takes to retrieve data from CD-ROM.
  • Data transfer rate : The amount of data the drive can read and transfer it to the computer per Second.

Data on disc is a series of pits; the space between pits is lands. Projecting laser on reflective surface of the disc, the patterns i.e., the reflected light from pits and lands are read by a photo detector and are decoded by the processor thereby converting them as a useful data and transferred wherever it is necessary. If the speed of disc increases, then the transfer rate of data increases. There are three different kinds of speed ratings for CD-RW namely, writes-once, re-write and read only. Data storage and retrieval is faster in CD-ROMs than magnetic tapes.

CD-ROMs and other disc drives connect to computer through interfaces like IDE, parallel, SATA, PCMCIA (PC Card), SCSI, USB etc.

Problems caused by some of the factors to CD-ROM drives and the ways to overcome them:

  • Proper power supply to the CD-ROM drive through plugs is required. If plugs are unavailable, then splitter cables are the alternative. Failing to provide power supply creates problem.
  • IDE cables should be properly connected
  • Configure IDE device as either master or slave. Since each IDE controller has one master and one slave device, if already one device is connected to the IDE controller then, configure your device i.e., CD-ROM drive as slave device else as master device.
  • Enabling the secondary IDE controller in BIOS if the drive installed happens to be on a secondary IDE controller. (save the changes while exiting BIOS)
  • Drive type is set to “Auto” selection (in drive parameters)

Cleaning CD-ROM drive

Cleaning keeps the drive away from many of the problems. Hence, it is always advisable to clean the CD-ROM drive. Normally, dust enters through the air pockets around the CD tray. Dust covers the critical components and may decrease the performance. Cleaning with care is important as it contains very sensitive components. Laser lens cleaner is one of the solutions to clean the laser lens. Laser lens cleaner with liquid and laser lens cleaner-dry type, are the two types of laser lens cleaner.

Different manufacturers of CD-ROM drives

  • Sony: atapi_cd.sys
  • Samsung: sscdrom.sys
  • Toshiba: taisatap.sys, d011v109.sys
  • Panasonic: cr_atapi.sys, cdmke.sys, mtmcdd.sys, sbcd.sys, sgcdu.sys
  • Goldstar and LG Elecronics: gscdrom.sys

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