CD not being read

I have a 4 years' old Compaq PC with OEM CD-Rom, and have recently got a DVD/CD-RW combo drive. So far, no problem.

I have been burning Sony CD-Rs through Nero (mostly data back-ups, and some music), and can access the files either from the old CD-Rom or from the new combo drive. Even other CDs (e.g., third party music, or from books) open in either drive.

I have just bought Sprint CD-Rs, and after burning data files find the CD is opening in the combo drive, but not in the old CD-Rom. In fact, the old CD-Rom is not recognising this CD.

What can be wrong please?

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There are a number of settings that can affect how CD-R's are burned.
I don't have Nero currently installed on this computer, but most software titles have similar options that are explained in the context-sensitive help when you get to the point just before you click the "Burn" button (or when you click "Burn" but just before you say OK to start burning).

I can only relate you to the Roxio Easy CD Creator details, so perhaps other experts might be able to supply the Nero options if Roxio's are slightly different.

There are 3 main "formats" that you can burn a CD-R as:
1. ISO 9660 (only creates the CD with short file and folder names so it can be read in most operating systems)
2. Joliet (the most widely used - extended version of ISO9660 that supports longer names up to 64 characters)
4. UDF (universal disc format - use with recordable optical disc technologies such as DVD. Useful when burning very large files eg. greater than 1 GB).

I DON'T think that this is your problem, but I suggest you choose "Joliet" as a general rule.

You may see options to burn as "CDROM" or "CDROM-XA".  Stick to "CDROM", because the CDROM-XA" is not really used any more and had a limited life for things like Photo CD's.

Where I THINK the problem might be, and it MIGHT help to explain why the CD-R is readable in the CD-RW Drive but NOT the CD-Rom Drive, is because of the methods that are available just before you commit to burning the CD.  Look out for the following options.  If necessary, click the necessary buttons to "Show All Options" or an "Advanced" button:

Track-at-Once Method (use this for Audio CD's):
Select this option to record a single track at a time.
Tracks recorded in Track-at-Once mode are separated by gaps.
If a data track is followed by a music track, the gap is two or three seconds.
The gap between two music tracks is usually two seconds.

Don't Finalize Session: (**** Keeping this option creates a "Multi-Session CD ****)
With this method, you keep adding tracks (audio) or files (data cd) to the disc as long as it is during the same session.
You cannot play the CD on home stereo equipment until the session is finalized (see down page for this option).
This option MAY ONLY be available when making a music CD project.

Finalize Session - Don't Finalize CD:
Select this option to finalize the session.
The CD itself is not finalized so additional sessions can be added later.
If you are making a music CD project, this option finalizes the session so that the CD can be played on home stereo equipment or on other computers' CD-Rom Drives.
If additional sessions are added later, usually only the first session on the CD can be played on most stereo equipment.

Finalize CD: <---------------- ***
Select this option to finalize both the session and CD.
Once the CD is finalized, you cannot add additional tracks or files to the CD, and it SHOULD be able to play on most stereo equipment and in the CD-Rom Drives of other computers.

Select this option to finalize both the session and CD at the end of the recording process.
You cannot add additional tracks or files to the CD once the CD is finalized.
If you are making a music CD project, this option eliminates the two-second gap between tracks and write-protects the CD.
The CD can be played on home stereo equipment and in the CD-Rom Drive of most computers.

Allow Another Recording:
Select this option to make a special CD containing multiple Disc-at-Once sessions.
This is also known as Session-at-Once.

Most of the multi-session methods above can be reloaded into YOUR CD-RW drive, and then reloaded for a further session.  This is because the CD-RW Drive is the one that has the ability to WRITE the CD, whereas the CD-Rom Drive does not have that ability and Nero can't do anything with it.

If you have created a CD-R using any of the "Multi-Session" type of options, then it will not be readable in YOUR OWN CD-R drive or in the CD-Rom Drives of other computers (or domestic CD Players).  IF you put it into the CD-RW Drive of someone else's computer AND IF they had the same CD-Burning Software installed, then it should be accessible.

This is because the CD hasn't been "finalized".  What it does is first creates a "lead-in" track at the start of the CD, and creates a "lead-out" track at the end of the CD when you close it.

Have a look through these options when you are about to burn the CD and set it so that it closes the CD to make it readable in any computer.


I realise now, after re-reading the question, that you were previously able to access the CD-R's in your CD-Rom Drive.

It COULD be to do with the maximum write speed chosen for the burning.  Perhaps the actual CD-R Discs don't support the maximum burn speed set in Nero.  It could also be that you are slightly "overburning" the CD-R's.  Most burning software allows you to exceed the limits of the CD-R Disc slightly, but that doesn't guarantee that it will be accessible as a valid medium in all drives.

It could be that the new "combo" drive is much more sensitive at reading burned CD-R's than the older CD-Rom Drive, and perhaps is able to read CD-R's burned as above.
it can simply be that the old drive does not recognise those newly written cd's (because of the higher speed.) you can try them on another cd drive, or pc.
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The first thing I would do is buy a spool of CD's by a different manufacturer and test the results in both drives.  This would eliminate the possibility of changed settings as described in my first reply.

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Wooky JackCommented:

Did you find a solution here or do you need further assistance?  We're here to help you out so please let us know how it is going :)

Good suggestions here try them out and get back to us!
abanerjiAuthor Commented:
Yes, I have seen the posts.  Unfortunately, I am too busy on my professional work (out-of-station), and would be back only next week.  Shall try the suggestions and revert thereafter.

Thanks again.
abanerjiAuthor Commented:
Your suggestion makes sense, thanks. Will try.
Thank you, abanerji.  I hope that is the only problem, and that a different brand/speed will resolve the issue.
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