Monday, 12 January 2015

Where's My DVD Drive Gone?

As I can no longer start my Windows Vista Laptop, it was saying a missing 'bootmgr' and could not fix it using online guides, and the EOS on USB doesn't work as well, I decided to try to burn EOS on a disc and try to boot from there. Burning an ISO file is easy as long as you have the program and hardware to do it.

.. see related post

I do not have a problem about the program, win32 disk imager,  which is free to download. You can also use any other ISO burner software that you can find to sites like c/net, softpedia and similar sites. Then I run into a big problem, the program can not detect my drive! I suspected a dirty DVD disc as it was been kept in the drawer for years, but it still could not detect it after a few wipes. The windows explorer can not detect the drive as well. The following steps was done in the hope to restore the drive.

Using built in windows trouble shooter

Windows troubleshooter (access it at start (win7 and earlier, )>then by typing 'troubleshooting' at the search box)  found the problem. The trouble shooter came up with this error message.

There is a problem with the driver for TSSTcorp DVD+-RW SN-208BB. The driver needs to be reinstalled. 
InformationalDevice information 
Name: TSSTcorp DVD+-RW SN-208BB 
Error code: 19 '

I tried to update but a dialogue says that the best driver is already installed.

Uninstalling and reinstalling

Windows is able to detect any new peripheral that's connected to the system and automatically detects program that can run the hardware. So I tried to uninstall the device at the device manager(control panel>device manager) by right clicking the drive. The reboot after uninstalling should detect not only the hardware but also the driver for the device. This also failed

Online help from forums

Then Google pointed me out to fixes like deleting some values and creating some registry entries. I did,  but nothing worked. I also tried  system restore, uninstalling the drive itself, hoping that windows will detect the uninstalled hardware and install it properly with the required driver. None of them is successful. Be careful if you do this. Make sure to backup the registry first by hitting 'file' and 'export'. It is also best to create a folder where to keep the backup for easier access.

Searched the solution with specific hardware name.

As I could not see any solution for my drive, I tried to search it with google using the specific name of the drive that the troubleshooter provided earlier, with the search entry of  ' TSSTcorp DVD+-RW SN-208BB' not detected'. This is more helpful as it searches problems and solution to a specific item instead of a fix in general.  The forum post  told me to download a driver installer from this site.

The post also said to remove GEARAspiWDM from the registry if I do not have an application that uses it like iTunes. So I did just download and install it. After that, the DVD drive appeared as nothing happened. A big thank you to auggy at

Last words.

With the created disk, I was able to revive my old Vista with a new operating system, the elementaryOS. On the next post, I will discuss the interesting  'problems' encountered in resuscitating my old machine!

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