CD-ROM is getting power but does not work

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope
Computer CD-ROM

A CD-ROM or other disc drive that is not working can be caused by a loose interface connection, drivers not loading properly, virus, or the drive or CD attempting to be read being dirty.


The most common cause of a CD-ROM drive to stop working is bad or corrupt drivers or a confliction between another running program. Often this issue is caused when your CD-ROM drivers are not loading properly into the computer or have been corrupted with other software.

Microsoft Windows users

MS-DOS and Windows 95 command line users

If you're trying to get a CD-ROM to work on a computer running MS-DOS or Windows 95, make sure the drivers are loading properly. See the CD-ROM driver information page for additional information on CD drivers.

Dirty CD or drive

CDs are read by a laser in the disc drive, and any dust or dirt can cause read errors. See the computer cleaning page for information on how to clean the CD-ROM drive and CDs.


An easy way to verify if a disc is dirty is to try another disc. If multiple discs are not able to read, it is still possible that the drive may be dirty, but the discs themselves are not dirty.

Loose or bad interface cable

Open the computer and verify all your connections are connected properly to the back of the CD-ROM drive. Although your CD-ROM may be getting power, the data cable may be loose causing it not to work.


Although not very common a Master Boot Record virus can also prevent CD-ROM drives from working properly. It is recommended that if you have a clean bootable floppy diskette that has CD-ROM support, boot from the diskette and try accessing the CD-ROM. If this does work from the bootable diskette, attempt to reinstall the CD-ROM drivers.

Bad drive

If you are still unable to get the CD-ROM to read any of the CDs and you have completed each of the above recommendations, it could be a possibility that your CD-ROM is bad.