Repair CD drive on Dell laptop?

The CD-RW/DVD-R drive on my Dell laptop is no longer working - it died several months ago. I bought an external USB CD-RW/DVD-R drive, which works fine for reading and burning CDs, but I can’t get my laptop to boot off it even after setting the CMOS priorities to boot from USB first.

Is there somewhere in the Taipei area where I can get the original CD/DVD drive in my laptop fixed? Is there a Dell repair center here?

[quote=“Chris”]The CD-RW/DVD-R drive on my Dell laptop is no longer working - it died several months ago. I bought an external USB CD-RW/DVD-R drive, which works fine for reading and burning CDs, but I can’t get my laptop to boot off it even after setting the CMOS priorities to boot from USB first.

Is there somewhere in the Taipei area where I can get the original CD/DVD drive in my laptop fixed? Is there a Dell repair center here?[/quote]

Probably easiest to get a price for a new drive based on your model. I’d doubt they would repair it, but I may be wrong…

How would I go about doing that? If it were a desktop, I could replace it easily. Laptops are a totally different ball of wax…

Where is the local Dell service center?

[quote=“Chris”]How would I go about doing that? If it were a desktop, I could replace it easily. Laptops are a totally different ball of wax…

Where is the local Dell service center?[/quote]

Not as hard as you might think. A lot of those drives can be pulled out.
I know a shop that sells laptop drives. I’m sure they could probably swap it out from you. Might be a good idea, since you can also make sure it’s compatible, etc.

Chris, you might be surprised to find it is easier than replacing a desktop Drive. Usually they are modular designed so the bay can be used for other things such as a battery or floppy or another HDD.

Stu’s recommendation is the best one, get it done by the palce that sells the drives, as testing it is a good idea before you hand over the $$$

Many thanks indeed, guys. I just PM’d irishstu for the shop address.

Here you go Chris.
The shop is on a little street a little off the beaten track (It’s the one in green on the map).
Now that I’ve done the map. I think it is upside down (with regards North/South). I hope you can make sense of it.

Stu,

In Singapore I used to be MR Sim Lim Square, but I have yet to check out this Taipei market you speak of so fondly.
Do you do guided tours?

Thanks! That’s right in the neighborhood of Taipei’s computer ghetto - Guanghua Market. I’ll go check it out!

Chris

OK, so here’s the deal:

I went to the store Irishstu recommended, and they told me they didn;t have CD-ROM drives for notebooks. I called Irishstu and he recommedned a few other places. They all said I shouldl contact Dell, and each place gave me a different phone number. One of the phone numbers worked, but only today during office hours (so much for Dell’s supposed unparalleled customer service, one of the reasons I bought a Dell in the first place).

The Dell technician tells me that my model is not sold in Taiwan, and that I would have to go to Hong Kong or Manila. Wonderful.

Does anyone know what my next step should be? (I already have an external CD-RW/DVD-R drive, but I can’t boot off it.)

[quote=“Chris”]OK, so here’s the deal:

I went to the store Irishstu recommended, and they told me they didn;t have CD-ROM drives for notebooks. I called Irishstu and he recommedned a few other places. They all said I shouldl contact Dell, and each place gave me a different phone number. One of the phone numbers worked, but only today during office hours (so much for Dell’s supposed unparalleled customer service, one of the reasons I bought a Dell in the first place).

The Dell technician tells me that my model is not sold in Taiwan, and that I would have to go to Hong Kong or Manila. Wonderful.

Does anyone know what my next step should be? (I already have an external CD-RW/DVD-R drive, but I can’t boot off it.)[/quote]

Sorry about that, Chris. They definitely USED to have laptop cd/dvd drives in the window. :blush:

I still think you have the option of buying a generic laptop cd/dvd drive and swapping yours out (forget about having to buy Dell stuff. As you can see, they’re not the “be all and end all”.

HOWEVER!!! Are you 100% sure that it’s a physical problem and not a software thing?

Can you maybe post the model number, btw? We might be able to find more info about booting from that external disk.

I’m pretty sure it’s a hardware problem with my CD-ROM, but I’m not 100% positive. The problems started last summer when my CD-ROM drive started making funny noises as it attempted to read the drives. At first it succeeded most of the time; a month later it succeeded half of the time; a month later it didn’t work at all. It won’t even attempt to read now.

I can post all the info when I get home tonight.

[quote=“Chris”]I’m pretty sure it’s a hardware problem with my CD-ROM, but I’m not 100% positive. The problems started last summer when my CD-ROM drive started making funny noises as it attempted to read the drives. At first it succeeded most of the time; a month later it succeeded half of the time; a month later it didn’t work at all. It won’t even attempt to read now.

I can post all the info when I get home tonight.[/quote]

Certainly sounds like a hardware problem. OK, look forward to hearing the rest of the info.

The only issue with the below procedure, is the front face plate on your drive. The main reason that most of those vendors may have been reluctant to replace your drive, is because most faceplates are different. Therefore, you may not have the same look when you finish replacing the drive.

NOTE: The following procedure will void your warranties

If you

OK, the model is a Dell Inspiron 1150.

You may be interested in this (if you can get someone to post it across):
Link
(you’ll need to check with the guy that it’s compatible)
Regardless, you can see what the drive looks like when you pull it out. They all look more or less the same.

I’ll keep looking for more info though.

HOLD THE PRESS!!!

I just read this:
reviews.cnet.com/Dell_Inspiron_1 … 25072.html
It says that the cd/dvd drive cannot be swapped out on your particular model. Strange, cos that link I gave you was for a guy who had previously sold a drive specifically for that laptop.

Anyway… maybe we can find a way to boot from USB…

OK Chris. I suggest updating your BIOS, as that might correct your boot from USB problem.
You can download the file you need from here

If you can still boot from the floppy, then download and run the first one. It’s the easiest way.

Thanks… I’ll check it out…too busy now…Thanks again!

Uh… I don’t have a floppy drive on my computer.

I do have an external USB floppy drive, though…

Update

I managed to boot from my USB floppy drive, and successfully updatd my BIOS.

I’ll report back later when I make more progress.