CD-Rom only sees .cda Files

1fast4door used Ask the Experts™
The computer only sees .cda files, no matter what CD I put in the drive. A friend had a bad installation of MS office 2000 so I went over with my copy to uninstall and reinstall. The program uninstalled but would not boot up my copy so I figured that it was my disk or there was some of the old program lurking about so I left it and tried to get another copy. I found another copy and went back just recently and when I put in the disc it took forever to read, like at least 2 minutes and then opened there audio player so I went exploring. I went to my computer and saw that it was recognizing that the CD was 505mb, so I hit explore and all it came up with was a 44kb .cda (audio file?)and I knew for a fact that there were 3 different programs on the disk, and none were audio files so I used my extensive bag of tricks and ran scan disc, disc clean up, poked around msconfig, and the device manager like I knew something. Once all that was exhausted I was really lost (sorry aint it) I went into folder options to see if I could figure out what a .cda file was and if I could just re-associate the extension. The only .cda was associated with winamp. So I started trying more discs that were laying around, one other that I had burned for them and two free CompuServe discs with the same out come, long load times and showing the right size until you explore them and then you get a 44kb .cda file. The CDs that I burned for them are recognized in both my computers running windows 98, 98se. One culprit in my mind could be the real one player they just installed, I have yet to hear anything good about that program. but I really need help, is it just a matter of re-associate something or a hardware problem with the CD-ROM, how can I do further diagnosis?

All help will be greatly appreciated,
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The .cda file is a volume descriptor for an Audio CD (.cda stands for .Compact Disc Audio). If Windows thinks every CD you insert is an audio CD, and these discs are recognized properly in other drives, it more than likely means that your CD drive is starting to go bad (hardware problem). I have had CD drives go bad on me over the course of time and that's how it usually starts - everything is seen as an audio CD for a while, until finally, it won't read the disks at all.

To test this, boot to a DOS prompt (hold down CTRL key while computer is starting and then choose Command Prompt Only from the menu). Make sure that you have loaded DOS drivers for your CD drive in your startup files. This usually involves a DEVICE=***.SYS line in your config.sys file and a MSCDEX.EXE line in your autoexec.bat file. Try reading a known good disc in the drive from DOS, and if you get an error like "CD-ROM 101 Drive Not Ready" or simply see the wrong files on it, then the drive is probably bad and you would need to replace it.

Hope this helps.


They will also do that if the Laser lenze gets too dirty. Cure= take the rom drive apart and clead the lenze with rubbing alcohol and a Qtip, [carefully] I tried one of those cleaner disks on mine but it didn't work..
Hello all,
I am eecomputings, a Moderator at Experts-Exchange and also an Expert within this topic area. This question has been open a long time and needs to be closed.  What I am going to do is allow feedback from the questioner and Experts for the next 7 days.  If the questioner has not come back to award the points, I will either delete the question, or send it to the PAQs worth zero points, or award an answer based on the info I have been given. Experts, please recommend a resolution for this question.  I will monitor this question for the next 7 days and come back and evaluate.

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1fast4door hasn't returned to the site since last Nov. 30th. It seems to me that scottrma gave very good advice in his comment, so will award to him.

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