Opening CD drawer

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by phil.brady, Dec 16, 2006.

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  1. phil.brady

    phil.brady Registered Member

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    A question I feel stupid asking.
    In order to boot from bootable disk you clearly need to put the CD drive in the boot order in the Bios. On my ststem, that's entered with F12.

    However, starting from the powered off situation how do I get CD drawer open before I can insert the disk? I've manged by powering on, pressing the CD button, holding the drawer open against the spring then powering off.

    But how is the drawer opened? Is that button responded to directly by the CD electronics, or does it generate an interrupt for the operating system to respond to? If the latter, what if there is no operating system?

    Phil
     
  2. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Even if there is no OS, turning the computer ON will power up the MoBo and the Bios. You can then press the button to open the drawer to your CD-ROM and insert the Rescue Disk.

    Following is an easy to understand boot sequence:

    When a PC is turned on, it checks in with the BIOS. This is where the basic information about the computer exists, i.e. hard drive configuration data, time and date, plus many more weird and wonderful computer anatomical facts.
    When it discovers the hard disk (sometimes called the hard drive) and continues the boot sequence, it sends the heads of the hard drive, which are like a bunch of magnetic boxes mounted on arms kind of like the one on a record player, to the hard disk's platters. Think of platters as a bunch of plates on a spindle.
    A head reads the outside cylinder (called cylinder zero or track zero) on the platter. This cylinder is a donut ring of data, like a song on a record, though without the grooves that spiral inward. In the cylinder, it finds sector one (strangely there is no sector zero), which is a small area that contains data.
    The head reads the data there, which is where the Master Boot Record (or MBR) is always kept.
    The MBR tells the computer which partition to boot from. A partition is a distinct area of the disk that is assigned as drive "C". If the computer has a drive D, and perhaps drives E and F, then the hard drive is divided up into partitions. If it only has one partition, then the CD-ROM drive is assigned the drive letter D.
    The MBR is made up of computer code and data. It tells the computer about the partitions and tells it which partition is the "active" partition. Then the hard drive heads go to the active partition and looks for the Boot Record (or BR). The BR reports how many File Allocation Tables (FAT) there are (always two) and how big they are.
    The FAT is kind of a map that keeps track of all the files on a hard disk and their locations.
    The computer then reads the first FAT, skips over the second FAT and reads the root directory. This is where two hidden system files and a key file called "command.com" are kept. These take over the boot process. If the computer has Microsoft Windows on it then computer reads those next and then Windows is started.
    (Andy Walker in Cyberwalker.com)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2006
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It sounds to me that you're asking how to put the cd in the cd-rom drive and have it boot from it when the computer is off. I often have to resort to this as several of my computer boot too quickly to allow me to push the power button, open the cd tray, put the cd in, close the tray and have it boot from the cd. In these cases the BIOS has already checked the cd drive and didn't find a cd and so continues to boot from the hard drive.

    There are two ways I use to get around this. First, there is usually a small hole in the front of the cd/dvd drive. You take a paperclip and poke it in the hole. This releases the tray. Pull the tray out, put the cd in and power up. The second way is to push the "enter BIOS" key (F12 in your case) after powering up and let the computer enter the BIOS. This gives you time to put the cd in the tray. When you're ready, just reset, reboot or exit the bios without saving the changes.
     
  4. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    phil.brady When I first got TI, I wanted to test my rescue disk from a turned off computer to simulate the very thing you are asking. I wanted to make sure I could restore right from start. So I did one of the things that MudCrab suggested to you to open the CD/DVD door Ie: straighten out a paper clip and push it into the hole in the front of the CD/DVD tray. I found that when I booted this way, my external hard drive would hose up the Acronis loader and I couldn't use the rescue disk. As soon as I selected the "full" mode it would try to start up but it would just hang. I could see the external drive light showing red " spinning up" but nothing would happen.
    BecauseTI worked fine when I rebooted from windows, I decided to close Acronis loader, causing a reboot and there was my external drive.
    Now I know I can boot up and restore right from a "shut down".
    ( With a work around of course.)
     
  5. phil.brady

    phil.brady Registered Member

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    I tried the paperclip technique but it would not open the drawer when powered off. When running windows it wouldn't either - just lit the activity light. Wonder what that little hole is actually for?

    Entering the startup sequence (F2 - not F12 as I previously claimed), opening the drawer, loadig the CD then exit from startup does it.
    Thanks all.

    Phil
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Phil,

    How long was the paperclip? My goes in about 1.25 inches before the drawer opens. It's just a mechanical release (you feel it move as you push the clip in) and usually pushes the drawer open a little so you can grab it and pull it out the rest of the way. I think they call it an "emergency eject" option. For example, you could get a cd out if the drive died and wouldn't open any other way.

    Anyway, I'm glad you got it to work.
     
  7. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    My DVD burner has a rectangle shaped hole and my DVD rom has a round hole. It does take a bit of a hard push to open some CD/DVD players. My burner is pretty hard to open, I was getting a little nervous even though I knew it was the proper way to open it when powered down.
     
  8. phil.brady

    phil.brady Registered Member

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    Ah yes, that's it. I didn't lack the long paperclip (1.25" is about it), just the courage to use it!

    That paperclip is now in the tools briefcase!

    thanks
    Phil
     
  9. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Does anyone know how to get the tray to stay shut, once the paper clip trick has been applied? My CD tray keeps opening, as though to indicate that it needs to have the last CD inserted, but every CD I try still pops right back out.

    I tried unistalling the CD drive in Device Manager, but, perhaps as this is a SCSI drive, it reappears at the next boot up, and the tray remains open. I'm thinking that I'll need to disconnect it, so that it is no longer in the system, and then reconnect it again. Or find a magic paper clip that can make it close...o_O

    Of course, I realize that this is a hardware question, but, since the thread is alive, I thought someone might know the trick to shutting a haunted CD tray.
     
  10. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    Believe it or not but I have fixed this problem once before with the paper clip by pushing the mechanism back and forth. This sometimes loosens the gears.
    But, I was lucky, you probably have to invest in a new CD drive. Give it a try, play around with the clip for a while.
    Rebooting didn't fix it so it is probably a hardware problem.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Thanks, dbknox, and to another member who PMed me with more good advice. Turns out that by fiddling with the paper clip today I've solved it for good -- I can now close the tray manually and spring it open with the paper clip, but the motor simply whines while trying to open or close the tray, then eventually quits.

    Must be ready for the hardware graveyard. Though, I do wonder if I can disassemble it, find the loose gear, and coax another decade out of it ;)

    This should be added to the list of known hardware flaws...after all, it broke while trying to insert the ATI Boot Disc w/ the PC powered down...:rolleyes:
     
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