Bios and Windows 10 sees optical drive, drive won't read any disks

A friend of mine gave me his older Dell XPS 17 L701X with optiarc dvdrwbd BC-5540H optical drive. He hasn't used the optical drive in years so he doesn't remember when it worked last. It worked when the OS was Windows 7. Bios sees it. I formatted the hard drive and did a fresh install of Windows 10, build 1809, from a thumb drive. Windows sees the drive. Device manager says it's working fine.

Troubleshooting can't find any problems.

Insert disk, nothing. Go to File Explorer->This PC->BD-Rom Drive, double click and the drive door opens; it will do this whether it has a disk in it or not. Of course a message comes up in File Explorer saying to insert a disk. Rinse and repeat with any disk from blue ray to a music cd.

Put a bootable disk in the drive, reboot, choose boot from optical drive, goes right on by and this particular bios stops and says no bootable disk to boot from.

Dev Manager tells me that the Windows 10 installed Driver is the best for this drive. I could find no driver newer than one from 2006 to try, so I'm ruling out the driver at this point. Especially since the drive doesn't seem to be reading disks outside the OS as well.

I can find no firmware for this model drive neither at Dell nor at the Optiarc site. It's like no one's ever heard of this model. So I can't find a way to update the firmware if that's the problem.

I happen to have a USB Blu-ray/DVDRW player, plugged that in and it works fine.

I'm guessing there is something amiss with the drive, just wonder if anyone knows a test I can run to find out if it's toast. I've exhausted all I can think of.
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Sounds very much like a dead drive, about the only thing I can think of that you haven't done is to connect it to a different machine and see if that makes a difference.
  2. Good thought. I'll try that. I don't need a drive in it, but I wanted to give the computer to a friend and I know she'd like the drive to work. Anyway...
  3. New optical drives are very inexpensive nowadays anyway, even well-known brands, so no sweat if you have to buy one.
  4. True. The portable usb Blu-Ray drive I plugged in cost around $25. It's an LG, a well-known brand name. It's, after all, become an antiquated technology. I've moved away from it as much as I can. But it does persist for many others since they built a giant rental and retail sales industry around it that will probably eventually die a slow and mournful death.
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