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Top 10 DVD/CD Drive problems

Windows 95 was probably the first Windows product that had a CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) drive. Consumers found it amazing to listen to music on their computers, play intensely graphical games or watch videos and upload download Megabytes of data on to one CD disk. With the addition of DVD (Digital Video Disk) drives later, Media Center Editions became quite popular among PC users.

Users were able to copy, upload, download and create files, copy music and videos via the DVD drives that now could hold Gigabytes of data!. With the advent of MP3 players and ITunes, the music industry also joined in to capitalize on the media frenzy. Currently, all computers are equipped with CD players and many come with RW DVD players. The old standby, the floppy disk drive seems to be going out of style. Who needs a little disk that can store 1.44Mb of data anyway? The next generation will be all about Gigabytes and Terabytes!!

In the market today, we have CD Creators, DVD creators, VCD creators, Movie Maker software, Photo and DVD Slideshow applications, Video image converter software, DVD backup software, etc. There seems to be no lack of resources to help the consumer in achieving the goal of preserving, creating and sharing movies, music or memories.

There is nothing more frustrating that trying to create a music CD and having to discard CDs one after another because of disk creation problems. Even with the prices of DVDs reasonably low, no one wants to throw away unused DVDs just because the computer indicates that it is "not writable"! So how do we find out if the computer is wrong and we are throwing away perfectly good CDs/DVDs?

Let us look at some of the major problems users face when trying to create a CD or DVD. The solutions are given as a list. If the first one does not work, continue with the next. If all of the solutions for a particular problem do not work, it is time to ask for professional help.

Problem: Cannot read information on a CD or DVD.

a. Check all the cables, monitor, keyboard and mouse functionality.
b. Remove the disk and try to clean it with a commercial cleaning fluid or a clean damp cloth.
c. Try to clean the disk drive with a disk cleaning CD or DVD.
d. Try MS-DOS to copy the files from the CD or DVD.

i. Click on Start->Run->Cmd (to start MS-DOS)
ii. Type the command xcopy D:\*.* C:\cdcopy\*.* /v /e (D:\ is the CD/DVD disk drive and C:\ the hard disk drive.)
iii. Stop or Exit from all other applications that maybe taking up too much virtual memory or CPU.
iv. Restart the computer and try again.
v. Restart in safe mode.
vi. Switch the disk drive controller to DMA mode following
vii. For DVDs, unplug any cables that may be connected to the video outputs of the computer.
viii. Update the DVD driver with the latest version of software from the manufacturer's website.
ix. Check that the sound card is compatible with the computer and use a DVD decoder for the drive.
x. For DVDs, reduce the color depth, resolution and refresh rate using the Control Panel->Display options
xi. Exit Microsoft meeting if it is running on the computer.

DVD Rom Drive in a Dimension E521

Problem: Error message "Incorrect function" on accessing the CD or DVD drives.

a. Check your computer ( this problem is mainly seen on XP computers ) for the application Roxio Easy CD Creator
b. Verify that the version of this program is later than Release 5.0
c. If you have Roxio Easy CD Creator installed on your system, then get an update for it from the website:

Problem: CD or DVD drive errors cause Windows XP to crash.

a. Click Start->Run and then type EVENTVWR in the window. Click ok.
b. In the Event Viewer, click Application log
c. From the Application Error sources list, search for an event with an ID of 1005
d. Double click this event
e. Note the file name that will be listed in the description box. Note the file name and close the Event properties
f. Try to open the file again by double-clicking it. If all of the files on the CD/DVD do not open, then the CD/DVDs, the drives or drivers are damaged.

Problem: CD-ROM does not Autorun or "Autoplay" is missing from the shortcut menu.

a. Check that the file autorun.inf is on the CD in the main directory
b. Check that the "Auto Insert Notification" checkbox is selected in the CD-ROM settings of the Device Manager
c. Click Start->Run and type regedit to edit the registry. Click ok.
d. Locate the following key HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
e. In the registry window, find the NoDriveTypeAutoRun entry
f. In the Value Data box, add the correct binary value 0000 95 00 00 00 by right-clicking and modifying the entry
g. Click ok.
h. Exit the Registry Editor
i. Restart your computer.

Problem: XP - Cannot access the CD or DVD drive after an uninstall.

a. Start Registry editor as in Step 4
b. Locate MyComputer and then HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
c. Expand System->CurrentControlSet->Control->Class
d. Click the subkey {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}.
e. In the right pane, choose UpperFilters (ignore UpperFilters.back entry if present)
f. On the Edit menu, click Delete
g. Similarly delete the LowerFilters key in subkey {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}.
h. Exit Registry Editor
i. Restart the computer
j. If the CD recording program does not work, re-install it and try again.

Problem: CD-ROM problems in Windows 2000 and Windows NT.

a. Verify that the CD-ROM drive is listed on the Windows HCL list.
b. If your drive is a SCSI CD-ROM drive, verify that the SCSI controller is listed on the Windows HCL list.
c. Make sure that the CD-ROM is installed according to the manufacturer's rules.
d. Verify that the SCSI drive is installed according to Step 5 of
e. Verify that if its an IDE drive, its installed according to step 6 of
f. Determine that Windows recognizes the installed CD-ROM drive. Invoke the Windows Explorer to verify that a drive letter is assigned to the new drive
g. Try to see if you can view a directory on the drive
h. On a windows NT, if you cannot play a music CD, open Control Panel, double-click Devices and set the Cdaudio device startup to System
i. On Windows 2000, if you cannot play a music CD, open Control Panel, double-click Sounds and Multimedia. Click the Hardware tab and then verify that the CD drive and the audio codecs are listed.

Problem: Installation of programs/applications from CD or DVD doesn't work.

a. Clean disc with a commercial cleaning fluid or a clean damp cloth
b. Open an MS-DOS prompt and type dir /s after changing directory to the CD-ROM drive. If an error message appears, the drive cannot read the contents of the disk.
c. Disable the CD-ROM drive cache ( Millennium Edition or Windows 98)

i. Click Start->Settings->Control Panel
ii. Double-click on System icon and the Performance tab. Click on File System
iii. Click on the CD-ROM tab, then on the No Read-Ahead from the Optimize Access pattern for list.
iv. Use the small setting on the Supplemental Cache Size and click ok.

d. Turn off the CD AutoPlay in Windows ME and Windows 98.

i. Click Start->Settings->Click Panel. Double-click the System icon, then on the Device Manager tab
ii. Double-click on the + sign next to the CD-ROM and then the driver entry
iii. Click to clear the AutoInsertNotification on the Settings tab and then click ok to close the window.
iv. Restart the computer.

Problem: Cannot read CD from MS-DOS drive.

a. Assume that the MS-DOS system files are located in the C:\DOS directory (substitute otherwise)
b. Enter the following at the DOS prompt: edit C:\autoexec.bat
c. Edit the file to add the command lh c:\dos\mscdex.exe /s /d /idecd001
d. Save the file using the ALT-F and then S to save.
e. Press ALT-F and then press O, and type C:\config.sys
f. The config.sys file opens when you press Enter
g. Edit the config.sys file to add device=c:\dos\cdrom.sys /d:idecd001
h. Save the file, then exit the Edit program.
i. Restart MS-DOS.

Problem: Cannot install Microsoft Office program CD or DVD on Vista.

a. Clean the disk with a commercial cleaning fluid or a clean damp cloth and try again.
b. Click Start->Documents->Organize->New Folder. Name this new folder "Office Test"
c. Insert the CD/DVD. Click "Open Folder to View Files"
d. Copy the files from the CD/DVD drive and paste them into the "Office Test" folder
e. Insert another CD or DVD data disc into the drive.
f. Double click on the files or folders in the drive
g. Install the latest Windows Vista RCI from
h. Scan the hard disk for errors.

i. Exit all programs. Click Start->Computer->Right-click on the CD/DVD drive
ii. Click Properties->Tools tab. Click Check Now in the Error-checking area
iii. Select the Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for an attempt recovery of bad sectors
iv. Click Start and schedule the disk check if needed
v. Click the arrow next to the Lock button and then click Restart.

i. Defragment the hard disk. If the hard disk is badly fragmented, it may be impossible to install any programs.
i. Click the "Improve performance by defragmenting the hard disk" on Search Help topics and follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem.
j. If nothing else works, contact the manufacturer of the CD/DVD drive.

Problem: CD or DVD drive does not work after an upgrade to Vista Operating System.

a. Edit the registry by clicking on Start->regedit in the Search box
b. You may have to enter the administrator password if requested
c. Click on the following key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
d. Verify that the default data value in the registry subkey is DVD/CD-ROM and the class data value is CDROM
e. In the right pane, right-click UpperFilters and then click Delete. Click Yes to confirm.
f. In the right pane, right-click LowerFilters and then click Delete. Click Yes to confirm.
g. Restart the computer. If any CD recording programs refuse to work, you may have to re-install them

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