DVD-RW drives can't read DVD-RW media!

Hello everyone, and good luck with this one!

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much details as possible.  I'm offering the maximum, 500 points to anyone that can solve this problem.  I'd offer more but 500 is the maximum.

For the past 2 months or so, I was unable to get my XP Pro or Win'2000 Pro to read dvd-rw media after writing to it with 2 different dvd-rw drives.  After finding a workaround for that, all dvd media I write to with Nero are successful but always fail the verification.  Read on for details and things I've tried so that you don't waste time suggesting something I have already tried...

Let me give you some history first.

I work in IT and have tried everything I could think of to try and fix this problem but it seems impossible now (short of getting a new pc).

I have a Pioneer A05/105 dvd-rw.  It worked perfectly for over a year but the last couple of months, all of a sudden it can't read dvd-rw media.  If I burn anything onto a dvd-rw disc and reinsert it in the burner, Windows Explorer will show there's nothing on it.  Yet I can insert the same disc into my dvd-rom and it reads all the files on it.  I can even play the dvd disc in my dvd player without a problem.

I tried formatting and reinstalling XP with SP1 but same thing.  SP2 did not correct the problem.  Thinking it's my Pioneer drive, I sent it in to Pioneer for warranty service and bought a Benq DVW1610 in the meantime.  Same problem!  I couldn't believe it.  This problem occurs with any dvd-rw media (which I've had no problems with before with my Pioneer drive).  Princo, Maxell, Verbatim, Memorex....none of these dvd-rw discs will read from any burner on my system now.

So I tried viewing the dvd-rw disc from DOS 6.22.  It reads it no problem.  I installed Win'2000 to dual boot with XP.  It reads it no problem too, HOWEVER, as soon as I install SP1 or the latest SP4 for Win'2000 the problem comes back.  I finally determined that cdfs.sys is the culprit because I extracted cdfs.sy_ from a Win'2000 Advanced Server cd (no service packs streamlined in it) and replaced it in Win'2000 Pro after I installed a service pack and rebooted.  Voila, I can read the dvd-rw media again.  I tried using the same cdfs.sys in XP and that too works.

So, problem solved but it's a workaround.  I can live with that but I'm wondering if it's related to my actual problem now.


I now can't write to any dvd-r or dvd-rw media.  I'm using Nero but have tried 6.0 and too.  Nero Burning Rom writes the files to the dvd-r usually without an error (usually), but after it does the verification it says it can't read 12 out of the 28 files that are written to it (28 total files, 12 identical).  Once it said the files are different rather than saying it can't read the files.  Seven straight coasters now after trying different things.

I tried exchanging the Benq dvd-rw 1610 for another 1610 thinking it might be the drive but same problem!  I tried everything short of getting a new pc.  Even a clean installation of XP or Win'2000 (I tried both), fails the file verification.  The files I'm copying are zips and rars.  I sfv'd them and they're CRC error free.  They also unzip without a problem on the hard drive.  Hard drive is SATA.  I tried changing the IDE cables too on the dvd-rw drive and even tried resetting my BIOS to default.  I even tried using a 420W power supply instead of my current 300W (which was always fine for a year now with my AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton core).

I'll recap for you guys so that there is no misunderstandings:

Files write to dvd media successfully but file verification fails after writing files to a DVD-R or DVD-RW disc.

I tried formatting and reinstalling XP or Win'2000 without any sound card drivers etc. so that there isn't some conflict.  I just installed Nero 6.0 (tried 6.3) and then did a write.  Failed 7 dvd-r discs in a row now.  I tried a simulation followed by a write and that goes through fine, until it verifies the files written to the cd.  I tried inserting the disc in my dvd-rom and copying the files but it can't read most of them.

I don't know of any other software I can try.  I have Roxio Easy Media Creator v7 (the newest one) but it won't let me open the dvd section.  It says Loading, then the window disappears and I'm back at the main Roxio menu.  I will be returning it to Roxio.  I can try other software (I don't know what else I can try though) that will write files to dvd but I want Nero to work as it's the best.  

So I don't know if this is a software or hardware problem.  And I scanned for viruses and spyware with the latest definition files to see if there's virus on one of the other partitions but it's all clean.

Who is Participating?
PAQed, with points refunded (500)

E-E Admin
I don't know if this will help you at all.. but I have experienced similar problems with Nero.. kind of similar..

I have XP Pro with 4 User logins for the wife and kids and Nero 6.3.. I can burn fine under my login, but if logged in as any other user the burn fails to write lead-out and fails verification..

As I said, I'm not sure if this will help you as I haven't solved this problem.. but it may be an inherent problem with Nero..
Find your IDE Controller in the list and the channel your burner is connected to
Right click on it and then properties, under the (transfer mode option) make sure DMA is selected and not PIO mode.

also check to see if you have any other media readers like a flash card reader or external storage devices and remove them while writing

update the firmware on the drive if they replaced your dvd drive they probably sent you one of the shelf thats probably been in stores since they were made so you probably find it has the older dvd  ROM
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Andrew_CzAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses.

The IDE controller is setup correctly.  I've already tried removing all my unnecessary storage devices which is just a dvd-rom but problem persists.  Firmware on both drives is up to date.

I'd be happy to hear other suggestions.
Hi Andrew_Cz  I respectfully appreciate your years of experience so you must be feeling stumped indeed
well here goes my suggestions, it could be some silly thing I hope, anyway i'll just post  all I can think of. :)
Up front when I create a vcd from an mpeg using NERO 6 Ultra Edition  I have found that I have to close
 ( finalise)  the vcd option before the burn as it will not write correctly if I leave that option open.
Do you really need the option to verify the burn if not just disable it. Make sure you disable the allow files to be added... Does it work after disabling this option to verify??
Also just thinking here can any other program ( like Nero as is the case)  read a zipped file and verify its contents?? I dont thank so only RAR or a Zip programs can verify the contents of a zipped file??? Yes - No!!!!! Not sure of course,
maybe only anti virus programs can scan and verify a zipped file.
Have you got all versions of WIN RAR BTW. Then you get the option to use the store and burn to 700 meg cd for very large files like movies  bin and cue ones.

Also Nero all versons will not burn 2 identical files so maybe they have incorperated this into the dvd as some anti copy..

Did Nero come bundlled with your pioneer? Is it a combo rom?
I have found if I brought a cd burner form an older machine over to a newer upgarde to xp or such the burner stops functioning so I believe it may have something to do with the bios too if Nero did not come bundlled with that burner. But you have checked that already..

If not try different configuration with your IDE connectors : As the one that is your master rom that is the one that you used to install xp with has to be the default rom as well. I know sounds strange. Gee I wonder if the Sata drives had anything to do with?? Have you tried your burner on another pc with xp sp1 but no Sata drives?? Did you use Sata drives in the days when  the Pioneer burner was working Okay?? I know that Nero is so particular to drives for some reason.

Do you have power dvd player installed? Of course you do,

Your wellcome to install this ffdshow at least it may help to have all known formats of movies recognised by your machine..
Are you attempting to copy a dvd direct from one cdrw rom to a dvd burner rom  there maybe a copywrite protect option. Or a region problem. Here's a thought if you have ever changed the region option more than twice you will render your Nero useless. Try copying the dvd to your hdd first then burn it from there.
What about speed I have found slow is best... like around 4.. The quality is better but hugely slow.

drivers of other CD burner programs
The following is a list of drivers which either belong to other CD burner programs or can cause problems. If you want to test to see if the problems with Nero no longer occur if the corresponding drivers are no longer there, then there are 2 possibilities:

Deinstall the attached program. Unfortunately in some cases the pertinent drivers are not also removed. Then the drivers have to be removed manually. The drivers can be found in the Windows\System\IOSUBSYS directory.
Rename the drivers. Do Please not change the name itself but the name extension, change .VXD , e.g.: to .VX_ Please bear in mind that drivers are also loaded with a file extension such as .VXD.OLD or .OLD.VXD. The drivers can be found in the Windows\System\IOSUBS directory.
The following is a list of the drivers: http://www.nero.com/en/helptool/139.htm

 try installing an asapi driver remember those good oldies, you can find one here>.0,85MB - ftp://ftp.pinnaclesys.de/driver/pc/InstantCDDVD/ASAPI.exe 

1,10MB - ftp://ftp.pinnaclesys.com/Steinberg/download/Downloads_PC/Hardware/CDR_Drivers/ASAPI.exe 

just a thought here>> I use winamp as one of my  media player for music tracks that is, and if I rightclick a music track and info sometimes it has an ID tag 1&2 and you can have 2 The second one creates I have found these are a read me file only and will be useless when burnt onto the cd.

Lol if you experience so many problems with this dvd copying  have you considered just copying the dvd to mpeg and then convert it to vcd instead?/
I create backups of my dvd using copy dvd which does a great job of converting it to mpeg then nero 6 converts it and burns the vcd  here is copy dvd  program..  option.http://www.dvdidle.com/

Some reading for ya  its really quite informative   FILE TYPES>>http://webfaq.org/file_types.htm
FAQ on binaries

If I think of any others I'll post back.
I hope these can shed some light for you. Regarsd M

Andrew_CzAuthor Commented:
Hi Merete,
Wow.  Great effort and I appreciate it very much.  Unfortunately, and believe it or not, I've already tried everything you mentioned.  Some I didn't try simply because they don't have anything to do with my problem, such as ffdshow.  I'm familiar with ffdshow as I used it all the time before when I watched divx movies on my pc.

The drives were tried in another computer with SP4 and the same problem.  This is what made me think it's the drives...but three drives  (2 of them brand new) don't work on two computers? Either that's terrible luck or all the media I tried are incompatible with these drives, all of a sudden.

Anyway, I've borrowed XP OEM from work and I'll give that a try.  Maybe there's a problem (all of a sudden) with my XP cd's.  It's a longshot but hey, sometimes when people win they win big.  I'm also going to try the LG4120B dvd-rw and return the Benq which I bought twice ((returned the 1st defective one (or so I thought) and bought the same model again)).  I'm only trying this not because it makes sense (although it is possible) but because I haven't yet tried it.

Thanks for your help.

I'll post back by tomorrow and let everyone know whether that worked or not.

yeah your wellcome I'll be interested to know if you find a solution, its very interesting indeed, good luck.

If you could remember what changes occured since Nero stopped providing all its functions..
Only other idea comes to mind is to disable all other unnecessary running programs virus scanners, spy watchers  do not attempt burning while online. Hmmm just a way off thought is the rar files the correct size for the cd, like its a 700 meg cd yes and these rar files are you just dragging them onto NERO Express to burn them off?? If there is some incorrect setting here of course Nero cannot verify it then as its kinda incomplete.
 I have burnt RAR bin and cue files ( using the store option with Win RAR from huge games and or movies using Daemon with no problems at all I have xp pro, but the difference between you and I apart from your experience lol, is that I dont have a dvd burner just a dvdrom and a cd burning rom that did not come bundlled with Nero so I had to buy the regestration key to activate the vcd plug-in for Nero burning rom Ultimate, but Nero Express has always worked just fine.
There is a difference between Nero burning rom and Nero Express.
Nero burning rom is used mainly for burning dvd or  creating vcd super vcd cd's. NERO Express is used for all other media formats like data, wma,  mp3, aac, copy entire disc  disc Image or saved project etc..
So on that note have you used Nero xpress to burn these RAR files??
 I cant say you have mentioned it. You Mention Nero only..
Are you burning these rar onto a blank dvd cd or a blank cdr not cdrw. Who knows try anything.
Sometimes after trying to solve an annoying problem after long periods the mind kinda gets lost in what has been done.
How many burning programs do you have installed could be a conflicting in there somewhere.

just been looking on the net and a lot of peole are having the same problem the only consistent being they're using Nero the only thing I could suggest is try a different recording software
Andrew_CzAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help guys.  Unfortunately, none of the suggestions posted were ones I haven't tried.  Believe me, in a couple of months of trying I think I've exhausted just about every possible solution that comes to mind.

Fortunately, I've found the solution.  I don't know if it's just coincidence but here's my solution...unfortunately it's in two parts so I don't know exactly which part solved the problem or if it were both parts.

I exchanged the (awful) Benq DW1610 drive with an LG 4120B drive.  I then reinstalled XP but this time I used an OEM version which I borrowed from work (I've already tried reinstalling XP Pro using my own cd's plus a friend's cd's).  Not only was I able to see everything on a dvd-rw as soon as I installed it (I didn't have to replace the cdfs.sys file with another version) but I was also able to record properly onto the same (various) media that the Benq couldn't.  It wasn't perfect as I still went through a few coasters but after installing the latest Nero ( I only had one coaster.  

*** This can now be closed and hopefully my points refunded.  Thanks! ***
yes if using Nero it requires certain dvd or cdr roms and will not work with others unless its bundlled with it,hense the asapi idea, so glad you solved was a lot of work for you but you did it in the end cheers mate, I really appreciate your post back and will remember your solution. Now go have some fun  ;)  Regards M
Andrew_CzAuthor Commented:
I don't think Nero matters in this case.  I believe Nero works with every drive but not all features may work.  See, when I had the Benq, after installing XP I didn't install a single program or driver.  It just wouldn't read any dvd-rw disc right from the start, period.

I agree.  I can finally do the things a dvd-rw drive was meant to be used for!  I will thank Benq  personally one of these days for wasting my time!
lol ;)
Andrew_CzAuthor Commented:

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