• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 3822
  • Last Modified:

CD-RW Problems: CD's Become Unreadable

Thank you for your help :))

I have the following system: AMD 2200/ Windows XP/ 512 MB RAM. The PC works fine. I sweep it weekly for viruses with up-to-date virus files.

I have a 52x24x52 CD-RW drive. I use the very latest version of Roxio software to Drag and Drop files for back-up.

About 6 months ago I purchased some Memorex CD-RW disks: 700 MB "ultra-speed" (16x-24x). All worked fine. I backed-up some files onto 3 of them, then pretty much forgot about them. All were stored well.

Recently, the three stopped working. Shortly after I load them into the drive the PC locks up until I remove them. Once they're in the drive I can't access the Roxio software utilities to try to re-format them.

All other CD-RW's seem to work fine--including the two remaining Memorex CD-RW's I purchased.

Might anyone know what happened here? These CD-RW's seem so finicky. I had similar problems about a year ago, but thought I'd solved the issue when I bought a new CD-RW drive and got the latest Roxio software.

Thank you again for your help. :)

Marylyn
0
marylyn27
Asked:
marylyn27
  • 12
  • 10
  • 4
  • +3
2 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
here is some info on a more or less same topic :

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21188786.html
0
 
BillDLCommented:
A couple of possibilities here:

1. When you originally formatted the CD-RW disks, did you "enable data compression"?
If so, perhaps it needs a specific udf (universal disk format) "reader" to be installed to see the CD-RW disk.

From the Roxio Easy CD Creator help file:

>>>
"Once a CD has been formatted using compression, all data will be compressed on the CD. The compression ratio varies from approximately 1.5:1 to approximately 3:1, depending on the type of files you copy to the CD.  To read the CD, you must either have DirectCD (version.x)  installed or have the UDF Reader installed. When you make a CD using DirectCD, it automatically copies the UDF Reader for Windows to the CD. When you insert the CD a CD-Recorder, the reader will automatically ask if you want to install it. To write to the CD using other CD-Recorders in other computers, you must use DirectCD (version.x)".
<<<

From reading this, it would appear that it needs DirectCD to actually be loaded before it sees the CD-RW.  Direct CD is a "startup" program that can be disabled from running at startup by unticking its entry in the System Configuration Utility's "Startup" tab. (Start > Run > and type MSCONFIG > click "OK").

Is DirectCD running at startup on your computer?

2. You may used the "Fast Format" option when you originally formatted the 3 affected CD-RW disks, but used the FULL format for the other 2 ones.

From the Roxio Easy CD-Creator helpfile:

>>>
"Fast format is a special type of formatting supported only on some CD-RW drives. The option is available only if your drive supports it. Fast format allows you to start using the CD in 3 to 7 minutes, while the remaining formatting is done in the background. Background formatting takes up to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the speed of the CD-Recorder and what other work the computer is doing at the time. You can safely interrupt fast formatting by ejecting the CD. The CD is still readable in other devices that can read CD-RW discs, but you cannot write data to it until formatting is complete. When you reinsert the CD into a drive that supports fast format, the formatting continues from where it left off.

Full Format takes about 60 minutes for a 2x drive and about 15 minutes for an 8x drive. It verifies the integrity of the CD surface, prepares the CD for data, and writes the UDF file system to the CD.

If you are formatting a CD-RW disc that has been fully formatted before, you have two options:

(a) Quick Format - takes only a few minutes. It writes the DirectCD file system to the CD, but does not verify the physical condition of the CD. Any files that were on the CD will not be accessible, but they are still on the CD.

(a) Full Format—Same as described for the Full Format option above. Any data that was on the CD will be completely erased"
<<<

IF DirectCD isn't now running in the background, BUT the 2 good CD-RW disks were formatted using the FULL method, then the udf reader files are on the disks and might be helping the disks to be accessible, while the Quick Format ones don't have the reader on them.  Just a possibility here.

Do you remember if you formatted the batches of disks differently?

3. Did you change any of DirectCD's "User Options" between creating the 3 affected CD-RW's and the 2 good ones?

There is a specific option that can be set in the DirectCD Options, and this is to do with "closing" the disks.  The option is to "Always Close", and there are further options to:
      
Close to UDF version x.x
Select this option if you want DirectCD to automatically close the CD to the UDF version x.x  format when you click Eject. The CD can then be read on most CD-ROM drives after installing the UDF Reader.

Close to Read on Any Computer
Select this option if you want DirectCD to automatically close the CD to the ISO 9660 standard when you click Eject. The CD can then be read automatically in most standard CD-ROM drives under Windows.

There is a possibility that you closed the 2 good ones which can be read even if DirectCD isn't running in the background or the udf reader files are corrupt, whereas the 3 bad ones may not have been closed and are now an unrecognised format.

The udf reader files, and other necessary format readers, for Roxio Easy CD Creator are normally in either of the folders:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adaptec Shared\CreatorAPI
or
C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD

A CD-RW that is closed will normally have some files written to it that automatically make the CD autorun in a CD-Rom or CD-RW drive (on a computer without a compatible CD Burning program installed), and will check if that computer has udf reader files installed.  If not, then it would usually prompt the user to install the reader files.

Open My Computer and RIGHT-Click on the icon for your CD-RW drive.  Select "Properties" and see what the settings are under the various tabs.  Roxio products normally add a tab of their own when DirectCD is installed.

Not all CD-RW drives are set to autorun when an autorun-enabled CD is inserted.  Right-Click on "My Computer" and select "Properties". Open "Device manager" and then click on the + sign to the left of "CD-Rom Drives".  This should show the names of your CD-Rom and CD-RW Drives.  RIGHT-Click on the CD-RW Drive, and select "Properties".  Under the "Settings" tab, look to see if "Auto Insert Notification" is ticked.  If Not, then do so, click "Apply", and reboot after closing all open windows.  See if it now recognises the problem CD-RW disks.

I wonder whether reinstalling your Roxio application might allow the affected CD-RW disks to be seen again.

Give us some feedback about these things, and we can take it from there.
0
 
BillDLCommented:
One other thing you could do, if this is Easy CD Creator you have installed AND IF any of the suggestions above allow you to load the CD-RW without it freezing the system, is as follows.

Look in the folder C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD for a file named "Scandisc.exe".

This ISN'T the Windows 98 ScandisK.exe, so a file search for the Roxio version would find it.

This utility is able to scan CD-R, CD-RW, etc disks for problems, and also has a "repair" option if it reports any problems.

The dificulty here is that it obviously won't work if the disks keep freezing the system.

Have you tried holding down the SHIFT key while loading the CD-RW?

If the CD-RW is autorun-enabled (ie. a small file named autorun.inf created on it), WAS closed properly, and perhaps the file that it uses to check for the existence of a udf reader is corrupt, then holding the shift key would stop it from autorunning.

This might then allow you to scan and fix the problem.
0
Evaluating UTMs? Here's what you need to know!

Evaluating a UTM appliance and vendor can prove to be an overwhelming exercise.  How can you make sure that you're getting the security that your organization needs without breaking the bank? Check out our UTM Buyer's Guide for more information on what you should be looking for!

 
amirinamdarCommented:
Hmm.... I had that problem once after installing an update for roxio. I use XP Pro. The cd's only became readable again after I erased them completely using 'clonecd' software. Unfortunately, I had to reformat the computer, the problem wouldn't go after all troubleshooting.
Good luck!
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Yes, well my problem is worse. My PC freezes when I place the bad CD's in the drive. Maybe clonecd will allow me to get around this somehow--but at the moment i'm stymied.
0
 
BillDLCommented:
Have you tried disabling the Windows XP CD-Burning "Service" just in case this is interfering with things?

This page gives you a reasonable idea of how to disable a service:

http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm

Basically, and this is from memory,

1. Start Menu > Settings >Control Panel
2. Performance and Maintenance > Administrative Tools
3. Double click "Services"
4. Scroll down and highlight "ImapiService" (I'm sure that's what it's called)
5. Right-click the selected service and select Properties
6. Click STOP
7. Startup Type > Select Disable
8. Click OK
9. Reboot

Just verify from the description that it is the "ImapiService".

0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
BillDL I just disabled my CD Burning Service. I take it that this simply disables the Windows XP CD burning service and allows other programs (Roxio, Nero) to handle all CD burning???

Thanks to all for your terrific advice. Please remember what's happened here. I can still create data disks (drag and drop) and burn entire CD's. It's just that, suddenly, 3 of my RW CD's went "bad." Just loading them into the drive causes my PC to freeze. I'd hoped to at least be able to see what's on the disks (I neglected to label them), possibly transfer the data, then re-format. But I can't do that.

All three disks are Memorex "Ultra-Speed" (16x-24x) 700 MB. I have a 52 x 24 x 52 CD-RW drive. I've not changed hardware or software (Roxio--latest version) since using the disks. I'm not certain, but I'd say all are data (drag and drop) disks. I'd say it's been about 4 months since I last used them (successfully).

I'm wondering if there might be more "powerful" software to allow me to read these disks? Not sure if that'll work because, as mentioned, the PC locks up when I insert the disks in the drive.

Thanks to all,

Marylyn :)
0
 
nobusCommented:
you can try :

http://www.elpros.si/CDCheck/download.php                        CD recovery FREE
http://www.isobusterdownload.org/isobuster_all_lang.zip                  ISObuster
http://www.cddataguys.com/BadCopyPro.htm                        BadCopy Pro
0
 
BillDLCommented:
If you were using Win98, I would have suggested booting to a Win98 boot floppy with CD-Rom support, and seeing if you could access the data from DOS, but I am not as familiar with XP and don't know if this would work.  The boot floppies for XP are only intended as a means for automatically launching the setup from CD and comprise 5 floppies.

I know of a couple of CD-Burning utilities that work in DOS and MAY have allowed you to access data, but again I don't think they would work in XP.

Did it spin up and then lock the system when you tried to access them before?
 What happens if you hold down the SHIFT key as you close the CD's tray?
There is a slight chance that it might allow you to run the Roxio CD Scandisc utility to see if it can repair the CD's.

Check out the links supplied by nobus above.
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Thanks to all, once again. BillDL, I'll try holding down the SHIFT key, as you suggest. I'll report back (I don't want to inseret a disk at this time as the PC may freeze again.

Regarding Nobus's suggested links, I greatly appreciate the time and trouble you took. Unfortunately, at least so far I can't use the programs since merely inserting the CD causes a lock-up. So odd. I must need a DOS-based CD-repair utility, or something.

What a strange phenomenon. 3 CD-RW disk all inaccessible. Same brand (Memorex). Same size: 700MB. And a few others from the same "batch" function just fine.

Marylyn :)
0
 
f-kingCommented:
Have you tried these disks on another computer,if they don´t work on another machine than those disks are usless.
This error can usually occur when burning to the same cd using different burn speeds,eg changing from 24x to 12x and vice-versa.
0
 
nobusCommented:
CD-RW have a lesser life span than cd-R's; also they are much more subject to deteriotion during storage. That can be the cause. I always recommend NEVER using RW disks, as they give much more trouble than pleasure, over the years :
they're slower; loose earlier the data, and cost more. Only if you use them regularly (weekly), i see a use for them.
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
I see, Nobus. Interesting. I do a great deal of drag-and-drop (using Roxio 7.0) and thought CD-RW would be my best option. But I'm now terribly nervous about saving important info on them. I think maybe I should put everything on CD-R disks, as you suggest.

Big disappointment. Good thing I've used multiple disks for my back-ups.

Marylyn :)
0
 
BillDLCommented:
I agree with what nobus says about CD-RW disks.  They were the holy grail when they first came out, and were reckoned to make important data backups much easier.  Indeed they do, but I wouldn't trust any irreplaceable data on one.

I DO think that f-king's theory about different write speeds does have some foundation, and may well be a contributory factor.  Often using the maximum (re-)write speed can corrupt data even though the disks are supposedly rated up to that maximum.

My theory is that configuration settings were changed before or after burning those 3 affected disks, and you have now discovered that those settings don't work properly.  Pity there is know way of knowing what settings might have changed, because you could then avoid them in future. It's unlikely that 3 out of a batch would be bad, but it IS possible.
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
This has been an interesting lesson. I surely will no longer trust RW disks as I once had. I'm learning a good dealk from everyone's input. You're all so very helpful. :)
0
 
compfixer101Commented:
hmm   it seems that you are burning way to fast for the cd's try a lower burn speed
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Oh Great. I'd intended to add points and divide the proceeds amongst a few of you terrific experts. Let me try to reach the Experts staff. Damn.
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
BillDL--I'd intended to add points and share them between you and Nobus. Let me try to reach the staff here. Marylyn  
0
 
BillDLCommented:
marilyn.

If you post a new zero-point question in
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/
and there quote the web address to THIS question, you can ask administration staff to help you split points.
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
BillDL and Nobus,

I reached the staff and sent along the URL for this page, as they requested. I hope to hear back from them soon.

Thank you very much for your patience.

Marylyn :)
0
 
BillDLCommented:
Right, marylyn, here's your chance to split points.  Now don't mess up this time  :-)

Here, have a read at this page and the process will be explained:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi69

>>>
More than one Expert helped solve my problem. What do I do?
- Scroll down to the bottom of the question and click the "Split Points" link at the bottom of the page.
- Select the radio button of the comment who you want to Accept as the answer.
(Only one button can be selected).
- Set the point value (in text box above the comment) of how many of the total points you want this person to receive.
- Now set the point values for each of the other experts' comments to whom you want to allocate points (these will be considered as "Assisted Answers").
- Double check your information and then click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
**Note: the total points of the splits must equal the amount you asked the question for itself, and no person can receive fewer than 20 points.
<<<
 
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Sorry for the mix-up, guys. I think all is now in order. I hadn't seen the "Split Points" option.

You're both terrific. I'm in the fashion field but enjoy trying to fix things myself. You've been a great help, needless to say.

Thank you both, again :)

Marylyn :)
0
 
BillDLCommented:
Thank you, marylyn.  It's a pleasure helping out.

I'm at the age now where I look too old for the latest fashions, but too young for those "comfortable" clothes worn by "older" folks.  What a dilemma.  Maybe I'll be asking YOU for some help some time.  :-)

Bill
0
 
nobusCommented:
i do not understand this, ,either samassrl  or gonzalo are listed in this question? ?
0
 
compfixer101Commented:
ME either  can someone explain what is happening??




CF101
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Modulo,

I'm confused. I originally posted 175 points. I added 125 to total 300. I then asked to split this total between BillDL and nobus.

Marylyn
0
 
BillDLCommented:
There has been a mix up.

If you look at the question by samassrl
(http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_21221256.html)
there was a query about how to split points and I suggested to samassrl to look at THIS question here rather than me typing out instructions again.

samassrl has simply pasted the url for THIS question in Community Support while looking at both questions.
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Thank you, Bill, for all your help in resolving this...

Marylyn :)
0
 
BillDLCommented:
No problem at all, marylyn.  Next question please...  :-)
0
 
marylyn27Author Commented:
Thank you again, Bill. I don't have any more questions and am off on a fashion junket to Madrid, but if I need any technical follow-up I'll surely post another question when I return. You and nobus were extremely helpful. Thank you.  
0

Featured Post

Evaluating UTMs? Here's what you need to know!

Evaluating a UTM appliance and vendor can prove to be an overwhelming exercise.  How can you make sure that you're getting the security that your organization needs without breaking the bank? Check out our UTM Buyer's Guide for more information on what you should be looking for!

  • 12
  • 10
  • 4
  • +3
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now