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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:43 pm 
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Location: Scotland, UK
Hi folks,

I just found this forum after trawling online for info on Toughbooks (Thanks for the registration approval, Robert 8) ). I recently came into possession of a CF73 ( Serial underneath is I *think* U38TXBE) Toughbook which didn't boot. I tried using a Windows XP disc to boot it up but the optical drive didn't seem to work. It has power to it and makes a sort of 'initializing' sound when the laptop is first switched on plus the light on it flashes if you put a disc in it. However it won't show up in Windows despite having tried the common Registry tweaks that are out there to get it to do so. I've also just noticed that in the BIOS it says 'Primary Master - 60Gb' which I presume is the HDD but where it says 'Secondary Master' it shows 'None'. I ended up booting from a USB stick and throwing a copy of W7 Home Premium on there, getting some of the drivers to work like WLAN, Audio and Chipset took a lot of detective work but I got there in the end. :D

So all is good, everything works as it should - except the optical drive. I've removed it and re-seated it and it clicks solidly into place and as I said, seems to spin up and has power going to it but it plain refuses to show up in the BIOS or Windows. During the re-install of the OS, when applying Windows Updates at one point I'm sure it actually did show up under 'My Computer' as some sort of generic DVD drive but then after restarting the PC to apply further updates, when it rebooted the DVD drive icon had vanished again. No idea why and previous to it vanishing I'm unsure whether it actually appeared in the BIOS or not.

So, would appreciate some advice on what to try next. Is there anything I can do to get it working, could it be a loose connection inside on the motherboard or something?

Many thanks in advance for any info! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:17 pm 
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Location: Scotland, UK
Also, apologies if I should have posted this in the CF73 section of the boards. Wasn't sure if this issue with optical drives not showing up affects other models so rather than pigeon hole it I thought I'd post in the generic Toughbook section. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:31 pm 
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I have moved the thread for you..

My guess it's on it's way out. I had one like that in my CF-51. Had a mind of it's own and only worked half the time. I finally dropped in another one and all is good now :)

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CF-19 MK1 /2 Emissive Keyboard * CF-28 MK3
CF-30 MK2 , Intel SSD, 4GB , GPS, W7 Ultimate , Bluetooth, Emissive Keyboard
CF-51 MK3LL Core 2 Duo T7600 Mod , W7, 4GB Ram, 160GB 7200RPM HDD, Finger Print Reader
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CF-52 MK4 i5‑2540M 2.60GHz, ATI Discrete Graphics, Intel 120GB SSD, 16GB,W7 Pro 64bit
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:54 am
Posts: 13
Location: Scotland, UK
Thanks guys. Is there a particular or specific model of DVD ROM drive I need to buy to replace this apparently faulty one? Or can I fit any slimline laptop drive? I assume the original drive will be an IDE type?

I'm sure I have a couple of old defunct laptops in the attic in a box which may have old style IDE slimline drives fitted, assuming they were working would they be compatible with a CF-73? Or is that a 'How long is a piece of string' type question? :)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:58 am 
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yes IDE.

Generally they need to be set to "master" You can't really tell if they are master or cable select until you try them.
Since you have a box of them. Grab a mini screwdriver to swap the DVD caddy and start trying them.

Model number looks similar to this....CF-73YCVASBM

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:53 am 
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Location: Scotland, UK
Thanks Shawn. I had a look at the slimline drives I had spare but they don't appear to fit, they have a different looking slot attachment. So I had a look around online and found the following drive for sale, used but in full working order and a 30 day no quibble warranty:-

Panasonic ToughBook CF-73 CD-R RW DVD-ROM IDE ODD Optical Drive T0944YA

I assume that will fit OK? Has a different looking model number to the one you mentioned though.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:14 pm 
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The model number example I posted is for the whole notebook, not the drive.

The CF 73 DVD drive has a plastic shell on it. The shell comes off with tiny screws. You can then put the shell on your other drive from your old laptops. I put a BluRay drive in mine.

Image
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:54 pm 
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Location: Scotland, UK
Cool, thanks for the pics and info!

I don't suppose you know how to take the laptop apart so I can get into check the connection between the DVD drive and motherboard? I've removed all the screws I can see underneath the laptop as well as the carry handle and I've also popped the keyboard off in case there were any screws under there running through the laptop from top to bottom but something is still holding it all tight together. Seems like the front edge of the laptop (touchpad edge) is still solid. Can't see any more screws to remove though and I'm reluctant to force it. Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Get me the full model number for the notebook....CF-73????????

First page of BIOS or sticker on base...BIOS number is better.

This should help

http://tim.id.au/laptops/panasonic/CF-73E3KVXxM.pdf

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:54 am
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Location: Scotland, UK
Thanks, from the BIOS its a CF-73U3STXBE

Serial # 5EKCA75969

I've managed to remove the caddy from the DVD drive and the old DVD drive I had does indeed fit in there once the caddy is unscrewed. However upon slotting it into the laptop its still detecting nothing on the Secondary Master channel in the BIOS and nothing is visible optical drive wise when Windows boots.


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