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Determine if my drive can burn DVD-R discs

I have a Dell Dimension 3100 and it appears to have a TDK DVDRW0404N drive.  I get that info by right-clicking on the drive in Windows Explorer and it also shows this under System Device Manager.

When no disc is in the drive, Windows Explorer shows "DVD-RW Drive (E:)".  However, when I insert a DVD-R blank into the drive, Windows Explorer then displays "CD Drive "(E:)"

What's up with that?

Is this drive model supposed to be able to write to DVD?  If so, why does the above happen?  Also, I've tried using using AVS DVD Authoring to burn a DVD and I get an Error.
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tjeffryes
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tjeffryes
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5 Solutions
 
skywalker39Commented:
Yes your drive can burn DVD-R discs.
Write Formats: DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-R/RW
Read: CD 32X; DVD 12X
Write: CD-R 16X; CD-RW 10X; DVD-R/+R 4X; DVD-RW/+RW 2X
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WikkardCommented:
Because the disk is blank windows cant read it so just displays  "CD Drive "(E:)". It would do this regardless of the type of blank media you have in the drive I think.

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theras2000Commented:
This seems so common these days.  DVDRWs perform so many different functions that Windows just never seems to get it right.  This should not affect your functionality though.
Try different burnign programs (heres 2 free ones http://cdburnerxp.se/ and http://www.softpedia.com/get/CD-DVD-Tools/Data-CD-DVD-Burning/HT-Fireman.shtml) and see if you can get it going.  Also, try very basic jobs with just a few files with short filenames, and choose a slow burnign speed.
Obviously if it works with all basic-type of settigis, then experiemnt with more advanced settings and more advanced programs.  And of course buy some DVD-Rs and +Rs, to compare.
That's what I do when I get a new one.  These days burners should be able to do both.
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RartemassAuthor, martial arts coach, IT ConsultantCommented:
The above comments are spot on.
To check exactly what your drive can read and write, use Nero Info Tool:

http://www.nero.com/enu/support-nero8-tools-utilities.html

The download link is halfway down the page.
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garycaseCommented:
I presume you're aware that XP does not support burning DVDs natively -- it can only burn CDs with its built-in burning software.   Nevertheless, the AVS Authoring software should recognize the disc, so something's not quite right in your configuration.

Two things to try:

First, remove the Upper & Lower filters and reboot.

=> Run Regedit and go to this key:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

=>  Right-click on the UpperFilters in the right pane and select Delete (confirm the deletion)
=>  Repeat for LowerFilters
=>  Exit the registry editor and reboot

If that doesn't resolve it, go to Device Manager; right-click on your DVD drive; and select Uninstall (confirm it).   Then exit Device Manager and reboot (the drive will be re-detected on the reboot).

If that still doesn't resolve it, you likely have either a failed drive; or you need to update the drive's firmware.   As inexpensive as DVD-R/W drives are these days, you may want to simply replace the drive (~ $30).
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theras2000Commented:
Dude, Nero Info Tool is amazing!!
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skywalker39Commented:
I second that, Nero info Tool is great.
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tjeffryesAuthor Commented:
My thanks to all of you who responded to far.  I'm overwhelmed by all the response!  Thank you so much!  Now if I only had some time to try everything.

so far I've tried deleting the regsitry entries,
rebooted,
simplified the DVD I was trying to create
Still got the error (which I failed to write down).  

I will now try uninstalling the drivers.

Thanks again.  This may take awhile.

Tim
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tjeffryesAuthor Commented:
"Error Write Buffer Sectors" in AVS Burner, after deleting registry entries and uninstalling drivers.

Same error as previously.  

I had also changed the setting from something like "High quality" to "normal".  

I'll try to find more recent drivers now.

Tim
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garycaseCommented:
I'd try the following at this point:

(1) Different blank media (You may be using poor quality blanks that aren't compatible with your drive).   Use a premium quality blank ... Taiyo Yuden premium is excellent.

(2)  A different burning application, just to be sure it's not an issue with the AVS DVD program.   I prefer Nero or Roxio, but if you need a free program, this works fine:  http://www.cdburnerxp.se/

(3)  If neither of those resolve this, just replace the drive.   Very simple to do; and very inexpensive.
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tjeffryesAuthor Commented:
I'll give those a shot.  

I suppose it's stating the obvious, but it's terribly annoying that one must buy "premium" of anything in order for it to work right.  I bought cheapy Sony discs from Staples - 50 for $13.00.  Maybe that was $13.00 too much.....

thanks again.  I'll keep you posted.  I have a huge programming gig going on, so it's difficult for me to find the time to test these things.  I probably should have posted the question during a quieter lull.
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garycaseCommented:
Cheapie media may very well be the problem => I've thrown away several "bargain" spindles of media over the years.   This is the only thing I buy these days:  http://www.meritline.com/taiyo-yuden-8x-dvd-r-silver-thermal---p-18321.aspx
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tjeffryesAuthor Commented:
Comparable price.  Not bad.
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tjeffryesAuthor Commented:
Okay, just an update for everyone.

Sorry I've taken so long, but I've been overwhelmed at work.

I can't say that I have resolved everything, but everyone's help is appreciated.  Since no one gave me the "wrong" or unhelpful answer, I'm giving everyone a little something.  However, I'm giving the lion's share to garycase.

So here's the update:

I actually have 3 machines.  So installed the AVS software on every machine and none of them could burn a DVD.  So now it could be the software or the media, but probably not the drive.  Logical, right?  

I ordered the discs that garycase recommended.  I was surprised at the recommendation because I've never heard of the brand and the price was very good.  Since we had been on the subject of "cheapy" discs, this brand seemed to fit the description all too well.  However, I took the leap.

AMAZINGLY, the discs arrived via FedEx (FREE SHIPPING!) within less than 18 hours!  It was almost liked they jumped out of my computer screen!

Before I get the discs, another update:

I installed CD Burner XP on my laptop, which was NOT the original problem machine, but it had failed using AVS.  I was able to burn a DVD using that new software, so thanks to theras2000.

And now for the amazing news:  the packaging for the new discs was a bit pathetic.  It had broken open and the Styrofoam peanuts were all over the discs.  however, I stuck one in my desktop (the one I originally reported), put in the AVS software and successfully burned a DVD.

AMAZING.  

PS:  the DVD that successfully burned on the laptop was the old Sony style blank DVD.

Soooooooooooooo... maybe it's a little of both.  maybe AVS just can't handle those discs?  Who knows?

Thanks so much to everyone.

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garycaseCommented:
Glad it's essentially resolved.   Using top quality DVD media can make a big difference -- and Taiyo-Yuden is about as good as it gets.   It's amazing how inexpensive you can buy the media -- the price has come down a LOT in the past couple years => they used to cost about double what other media did (but I still used them).   Note they also make a "value" line ... but I only use the "premium" discs.

My last batch from Meritline was also poorly packaged => I think I'm going to try SuperMedia Store for my next order (they're even $1 cheaper for 100):  http://www.supermediastore.com/taiyo-yuden-silver-thermal-8x-dvd-r-media-100-pack.html   [In fact, I just ordered 200 since I was on their site :-) ]
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theras2000Commented:
What a cliffhanger that little story was ;>
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tjeffryesAuthor Commented:
Well, I aim to entertain.  :)

Thanks for the additional tip.  I don't really see how I'm going to use up the 130 DVDs I have, but I guess you never know.

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