Want to protect your cyber security and still get fast solutions? Ask a secure question today.Go Premium


Help! Eratic CD-RW Drive

Posted on 2003-03-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Thank you all, in advance, for your assistance :)

I have an Iomega 12x10x32 CD-RW drive. I use the latest Roxio Easy CD Creator (6.0) software--mostly to drag-to-disc important files that I need to backup.

My system: brand new. It's an Athlon XP+ 2200, 256 MB DDR RAM, 60 MB ATA-100 Hard Drive. I use Windows XP.

The Iomega CD-RW runs in the "slave" position to an Iomega Zip 100 drive (the Zip 100 drive operates perfectly), I transferred these two drives from my previous pc. It's important to note that I did experience this same problem in my old pc, and that my old pc used the same setup (my hard drive running off one IDE connection, and my ZIP 100 as a master, and my CD-RW as a slave).

Here's what's occurring. For days on end I can drag and drop my files with no trouble at all. Then, suddenly, when I go to drag and drop I will get a screen message "This CD is Read Only." Now, eventually (by re-formatting the disk, or by doing this or that, I can once again drag-and-drop files. But then, inevitably, I will suddenly receive the "This CD is Read Only." screen message.

This morning, for instance. Last night I was able to drag and drop. This morning I turned the PC on, and I receive the "This CD is Read Only" message.

What could be wrong here? My CD-RW drive is supposed to be supported under Windows XP. Again, it works perfectly most of the time. But then there are "pockets" of difficulties during which I cannot write files to my disks at all!

Thank you for your help! :) This is so frustrating!

Marylyn27 :)  
Question by:marylyn27
  • 4
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 8197062
Well, first, drag and drop cd "packet burning" is a hack upon the original specification, and really shouldn't be depended uppon for casual file read/writes.  I've known people to use a CDRW just like a floppy and have barely any trouble, but I've also known people with just the opposite experience.  My opinion has always been to use the media as it was originally intended, and that is to set up a burning session and write a full disk.  If you want to run casual read/write operations use your Zip drive as it's fully capable and generally better suited to such operations.

One reason CDRW's sometimes don't work well for casual read/writes is some implementations of packet burning won't over-write a file.  What I mean by that is when you go to replace a file on a CDRW, instead of erasing the original file after writing the new one, all it'll do is tag on to the table of contents that the file has been replaced by a new version, which tells the OS to ignore the original, but it's still taking up space on the disk, and eventually "fill" up the disk even though it appears there should be plenty of space free.  By completely erasing the disk you wipe out the table of contents and all the old copies of the file, which somewhat sounds like the problems you're experiencing.  I've heard that some new drives get around this limitation, but this was from some less than savy computer users and I haven't cared to investigate further.

Author Comment

ID: 8198380
hi matguy. thank you for your response. you seem very technically knowledgeable.

i should have mentioned, i took my old Zip 100 drive (maybe 3 years old now?) and my old 12x10x32 ZipCD-RW drive and simply brought them over from my old system to my new one. I use them all a lot because I'm writing a book. I'm "paranoid" about losing/erasing the Word file, so I back it up (copy it to) multiple media (regular floppies, data-formatted CD-R and CD-RW's, and also to ZIP 100 media). i know it's overkill, but if I ever lost my data I don't know if I'd survive the trauma. :))

for a long while, using my old system (a first generation Pentium 166, Windows 98) i had no trouble. then, just as now with the new system, i'd begin to get erratic behavior from the CD-RW drive (or its media?). the very same disk i'd been writing to (backing up onto) for a week or two, or three, would suddenly not accept new writes. reading was/is almost never a problem. it's the writes that are a problem. i'm about ready to buy a new cd-rw if i continue to experience problems. this one is about 2 years old now. but, as you say, this may very well be pandemic--meaning, a problem with all drives.

frankly, i was hoping to hold onto this drive until the new DVD drives drop in price a bit.

what i may do now, first, is start all over again with my software. i mean re-load it all. for some reason Windows XP identified my Zip 100 drive as Drive "C", and my CD-RW as Drive D. This put my hard drive on Drive E. I've since learned Windows XP is known to identify ZIP drives as "C" when XP installs. It was a bug I wasn't aware of until too late. Anyway, it gives me an excuse to reload all my software, get my drives in the "right" order, and hopefully eliminate any software glitches that may be causing this thing.

the other possibility is media for the CD-RW. i noticed on the Iomega page they list certain media types (Fuji, Kodak, Imation, Ricoh, Mitsubishi, TDK, etc,) while i've always used Sony and Maxell, which are not on Iomega's list of "approved" media. Could this be it?

what a headache :))

thank you,


Accepted Solution

matguy earned 240 total points
ID: 8199928
It can be hard to say, but personally, I would still point a nervous finger at the RW packet writing scheme itself.

In other ideas, I understand the extreme need to keep incremental backups of your book.  Personally I would imagine a pack of 5 Zip disks would work well along with CDR's.  Use two dip disks one day (double copy of the day) and two the next day.  This way if there is an issue with a disk you're not out in the cold, and if there's an issue with the original file you still have yesterday's work in an emergency.  Each week do a CDR archive burn and one on the fith Zip disk.  You may want to keep the daily backups on you or something if you work on it at an office away from home, or in a good fireproof safe if you're a work at home guy.

Another idea is to get a good web host somewhere and upload your daily backups to a server offsite.
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!


Author Comment

ID: 8207176
matguy, and all!

hellllllllp! :))

Hellllllllllllllllp! :))

I purchased a new cd-rw drive today. i was so frustrated with the old one It's a Buslink 52x24x52 Internal, It was selling at Best Buy for $70, with a $30 Best Buy rebate and an additional $20 Buslink rebate, so total cost for a 52x24x52 drive was just $20. I figured, how could I go wrong?

It installed just fine. Since my old media were all slower, I purchased a 10 pack of Memorex 48x CD-R diskettes.

I uninstalled Roxio's CD-Creator 6.0 (the latest version of it), because the new drive came with Nero 5.0. So, stalled Nero.

After installing, I wanted to make sure the drive was reading fine. I tried all my important disks (Windows XP, Office, etc.) They all read fine. But--then came the "old" disks I'd created as data disks. Some read fine. Others did not.

I then decided to try creating a data disk using the new drive, the new software (Nero) and a new, fast (48x) cd-r. it created fine. i copied/burned (whatever the term) an important file to it. all seemed fine.

however continued attempts, following that, to read my old media (media created by my Iomega drive and CD-Creator 5 and 6) went poorly.

i decided to return to CD-Creator (the program I'd used to create those "old" data disks), hoping that might be the answer.

It wasn't. I'm still able to read all the "image" (iso) created disks, and all my important CD's (Windows XP, Office, Norton, etc.). I inserted the data CD i'd created previously, using the Nero software and the new Memorex 48x media, and which contained the important file. the drive and software seemed to "read" the file fine, but when i tried to "drag-and-drop" the same file to it (in other words, i tried to just overwrite the important file) the very same screen message i got with my old(!!!) drive came up on the screen: "Disk is read only." it prevented me from continuing.

so, here i am with a brand new cd, brand new media, and caught between new software (Nero) and old software (CD-Creator 6.0)--and, seemingly, stuck with the same problem. i'm about to test the rest of my old data disks to see if they can be read/written to. my guess is i'll get the same, spotty results.

by the way, before doing this i'd re-formatted my hard drive,. reinstalled windows xp and all updates. the operating system operates just fine.

why would a brand, new media (memorex 48x) just created as a data cd under nero on a brand new drive, when inserted in the same (new) drive using different (CD Creator 6) software, refuse to allow me to drag and drop? why would i get the same screen message i would get, periodically, using my old "bad" drive (i thought the laser was going bad on it)?

what could be going on here? is there something about Windows XP and drag and drop????

helllllllllp :))

marylyn :)

Author Comment

ID: 8214576
Matguy and any others:

First, I apologize for any confusion. It's just that this has been terribly frustrating and perplexing.

I think(???) I'm beginning to understand a pattern, though I'm unsure. Long story short: I ended up with a bunch of media "formatted" in different ways on different media. What I decided to do is to keep the new CD-RW drive (again, for $20 after rebates it's not much of a gamble). I then went back to Roxio's Easy CD-Creator 5.0, updated with the latest patches. It's the third-party program I'm most familiar with. The latest Roxio program (CD-Creator 6.0) seemed to cause me problems, as did Nero (which came with my new drive).

I then went put in all my media--original disks like Windows XP, Office, etc.--plus disks I'd burned from iso image files. I've never had any problem reading these disks, and they continue to read just fine. My problem has always been with CD-R's and some CD-RW disks formatted as data disks. I then placed each of these into my CD-RW drive. I quickly discovered that some had been formatted (in error) by Windows XP's own burning program (I'd not understood, till yesterday, that Windows XP even had such a program embedded within it). Other disks had (i'm learning terms, so please bear with me) that some of my CD-R data disks had been burned, in error, not asing UDF format (another term I've learned) but they'd been burned as iso format. Anyway, some disks I just threw away, but some I was able to "Scan" (using Easy CD-Creator's "Scan" utility) and reformat as Data disks.

I'm not sure I did the right thing. When you go to eject a data disk under Easy CD-Creator 5.0 a window pops up. It allows you to "format" (is that the term?) in various ways. One option is "close to read on any computer." the other is "read with UDF 1.5." i've allowed all my Data CD's now to "read with UDF 1.5." is this the correct/reasonable selection?

At the moment, I'm not having trouble dragging and dropping. but let's see.i'm not even closing the computer's case until i'm sure i continue to not have trouble with this drive and software setup.

thanks very much again for all your patience. :))

Author Comment

ID: 8231943
matguy, thank you. i hope i may call on you again for assistance. at the moment, a new drive combined with my old (familiar) software seems to have been the answer.

what had confused me was, Windows XP contains its own burning software. it's kind of primitive. because my new pc also entailed getting used to a new operating system (XP), i was confused when trying to burn. sometimes i'd burn from Windows XP, and at other times from a third-party program. i happened to find a new CD-RW (%2x24x52) at Best Buy for just $20 after $50 of rebates, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I also re-installed my "old" Easy Cd-Creator 5.0 (updated with latest patch). It's not the very latest (6.0 is latest), but it works and I'm comfortable with it at the moment.

i think i now have everything straight, thank goodness.

if i continue to have further problems, i'll post another question.

again, thank you...

Featured Post

Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Article by: Firmin
The 5 R's 1. Repair 2. Restore 3. Reinstall 4. Remote admin 5. Run away OK so I'm not the most skilled engineer around but I definitely have an abundance of experience: electronic repairs since I was 13 and PC and computer hardware repair…
How do you create a user-centered user experience on your website? And what are some things you should consider in the process?
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…
Want to learn how to record your desktop screen without having to use an outside camera. Click on this video and learn how to use the cool google extension called "Screencastify"! Step 1: Open a new google tab Step 2: Go to the left hand upper corn…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month13 days, 11 hours left to enroll

580 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question