Can't burn anything

By Byron Trantham
Aug 22, 2008
  1. I have two Gateway computers with CD/DVD RW drives. I using Xp Media Center SP2. I am using a trial version of Cyberlink DVD2Go. They both play cds and dvds. Neither will burn CDs or DVDs. I have applied that registry hack removing the upper/lower filters, no luck. I ordered and installed a new Sony cd/dvd unit and got the same results. I also installed the companion Nero software provided with the Sony drive and still no luck. I put the old one back in. I just recently found out about forceaspi and applied that, no luck. Gateway said I have to re-install ("restore") my system. I'd rather eat dirt. The BIOS recognizes the drive correctly, Device Manger reconizes it as the correct drive. "My Computer" reports it as a DVD R/W drive. If I put a CD RW in the drive and right click the drive it asks me if I want to erase the RW disk. I click it and it starts, gets maybe 3-4 bars and then hangs. Comes back and says erase has failed. Also, the drive is no longer recognized by "My Computer" or Device Manger. I have to reboot to "get it back." If I highlight a folder and right click it and select send to cd, it takes off 3-4 bars and times out saying the copy didn't work, BUT unlike erasing a disk, I don't loose the drive. Please tell me I don't have to re-install the OS!!
  2. Byron Trantham

    Byron Trantham TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I have more information that I hope will be helpful. I noticed that the Device Manager idntifies the CD/DVD drive as a SCSI device! I took the time to replace it with the new Sony and the same thing is reported. Here are the Device manger descriptors for both drives:
    Sony DVD RW DRU-804A SCSI CdRom Device
    Original drive
    HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GSA-H11N SCSI CdRom Device
    Device Manger reports a SCSI controller (Marvel...). Though i haven't yet, I might be able to "disable" it and see what happens. I couldn't delete it because during reboot, it would find and install it again.
    Thanks for reading.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I assume you have no yellow or red flags in the Device Manager?
    The problem should be obvious due to the fact that it occurs on both machines, and you are using DVD2Go on both of them... or other stuff that is installed on both machines.
    Can you get access to another hard drive for a quick install, and test? That will tell you if the problem is on your exisiting hard drive. It is a good investment anyway, as you will need one someday. Hard drives are astonishing cheap nowadays.
  4. Byron Trantham

    Byron Trantham TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yep, no flags in Device Manger. Also, ignore DVD2Go. When I right click the drive in "My Computer" it offers the chance to erase the cd rw disk. Won't do it. I have been able to write some files to one though. It does seem to be an OS problem since it sees the drive as a SCSI device. I would like to disable the SCSI driver but I am not sure what it will do to SATA drives if anything. What do you think? And thanks for your input.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The SCSI drivers are some of the most reliable ever used in a computer, and seldom cause troubles... In my federal government security days, I dealt with every possible kind of a SCSI problem, and just don't see them as the issue here.
    You can disable or remove them in the device manager and reinstall them later, but I suspect they are not contributing to the problem if there are no flags in the device manager.
    Is your XP Media Center a Gateway Restore Version, or a full version, because I suspect all your problems would go away with a Repair Install which the Gateway version will not do...
    But if you have a friend with a WXP Professional disk, it will often run a repair install on Media Center.
    Since you have two machines with the same problem, this is something introduced in your shop, and some judicious removals of installs should help make the problem go away. Can you think pack to a time when everything worked? Then when problems began cropping up?
    Do you have any old system restore points you can go back to, taking you back to happier days? Going back to an earlier install will not remove your files and folders.
  6. Byron Trantham

    Byron Trantham TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think we are getting somewhere now. Both machines took a electrical surge (we think) . My wife's lost one memory module and her's wouldn't boot. Mine seemed OK but I had just installed SP3 (on four of our computers) and our networking went wonkie and I uninstalled it making more problems. Sooo, "restored both" [full format, i have backups] computers. Now during this exercise, I couldn't get the computer to recognize my drives (SATA). I got into the BIOS and found out that SCSI was the default interface. Got onto the Net and they told me make it IDE. I did and it worked. [There's that SCSI again] Anyway, both machines came up and we spent days restoring all of our aps, etc. That was about two months ago. Just recently we discovered that neither would burn. They read CDs and DVDs no problem so we didn't think/know we had a problem. Right now I am moving about 56 gigs of my backup stuff over to my wife's computer. Once that is done, I will unplug my primary drive, re-pin the slave to master and bring it up with Gateway's restore disk. Now I also have XP Pro and SP2. I could try both. What would you do? I am a very curious person, so I may do both just to see what happens. I intent is took at the drives after install and see if the SCSI reference is still there. And the hits just keep coming...:)

    Oh BTW, your comment about Gatway's restore disk may, in fact, be the problem. It has really got me thinking (yea it hurts!). Maybe I will try to use my XP disk and see if it will repair the media center edition.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    By the way, you realize, of course, that SCSI on those drives probably merely means that they are SATA drives that should not need drivers or installs in either case. Serial ATA has distinct key advantages over its predecessor. Those very thin cables with small 7-pin connectors can be up to 3 feet (1 meter) in length, and are easily routed to stay out of the way allowing maximum airflow inside the case.

    SATA also has a far lower power requirement of just 250 mV compared to PATA's 5-volt requirement, and with chip core voltages declining, this speaks well of SATA's future. Serial ATA does away with Master/Slave configurations and drive jumpers. Setup is greatly simplified, and the technology even allows hot-swapping, meaning drives can be removed or added while the computer is running.

    The most promising feature of Serial ATA is that it eliminates the transfer limit hit by PATA. First generation has a maximum transfer rate of 150 MBps, and SATA II delivers 300 MBps. A version set for 2008 will deliver 600 MBps.

    With introductory transfer speed so close to existing Ultra ATA/133 speeds, the increase in real-world performance is negligible for first generation SATA, though prices of the drives are comparable to PATA drives, making the switch to the new technology a good choice when upgrading, building, or buying a new system. Motherboards with integrated SATA and PATA interfaces are widely available to accommodate both types of drives, and I assume you have one in those Gateways. There are no restrictions to using both types in the same system. Serial ATA is also a good choice for RAID and is quickly replacing PATA optical drives.

    There is nothing better, overall, than XP Professional, with SP2 upgraded to SP3 in my opinion. You can do whatever installs you need to make XP Professional have those few extra components of the Media Center Edition.

    I am not convinced that you have found the core of the problem yet, however. At minimum, you had a strange electrical strike.

    You could accept on drive's laser being knocked off kelter, so perhaps both lasters were burned by the lightning. But you have replaced the drives, right?

    I think the only choice is a trial install from scratch with the full new partition and reformat... despite the extra work. We know you have expended a great deal of work and mental energy already... but a full understanding of the problem is necessary, or it will drive you nuts.
  8. Byron Trantham

    Byron Trantham TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a 360 and a 500 gig, 300mps drive (actually we both do). I think I may try the XP repair first but I can't until the data is moved over to my wife's drive. I have been working my my computer only but before I started this journey, she had the same fundamental problems. There is something else I haven't mentioned. I used DriverDetective to update all my drivers. THAT may be part of the problem too. Anyway, until I can reboot my computer, I'm stuck. As you said, I want to fix the problem but I want to know why its hosed even more.

    On a personal level, I'm retired from the Feds after 36 years. My last job was connecting the Department of Education's 11 cities, creating a WAN. The Department head gave me 4.2 million dollars and said "do it." It took 2 1/2 years. I lived out of a suit case. I did everything, designing, purchasing, delivery, installation, and training. I had three contractors helping - and they were a bunch of help. My wife was a LAN administrator (for the Bureau of Prisons) as well. We're both pretty geeked up. :)
  9. Byron Trantham

    Byron Trantham TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's fixed!

    Turns out that somewhere along the line when I restored my PC, a SCSI driver got installed. As I pointed out earlier my CD/DVD had SCSI in its discriptor. Once I intalled a fresh os on another drive that discrptor went away and everything works as expected. I now have to rebuild my PC! Yuk!!!! Atleast I know it will work when I am done.
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