CD burner reads but doesn't burn

By Digi-T
Jul 1, 2006
  1. Hi guys, this is my first post so I will try to make it good.

    I am using a laptop. The HP Pavilion ZE5385. It is a 2.66 mhz with 1 gig of ram. The cd burner will read disks just fine but there is a problem recording disks. It goes through the whole burn process seemingly just fine and even tells me that the burn was successful but when I go to check the disk I can't see anything on it. On my second computer it will show the folders on the disk but then it crashes that computer so something gets burned but just not properly. My laptop has had problems where I have had to replace the hard drive twice already with no good answers from the technicians as to why. I have had this cd burner problem with each hard drive. After the drives were reinstalled the burner worked fine for several months and then started to have problems as did the rest of the system. I have come to the conclusion that my laptop has been overheating and eventually messing up the computer. This was starting to happen again recently and I finally took steps to fix it with a cooling pad and new ram. Everything seems great so far except for this cd burning problem. I think my next step in regards to the burner is to start uninstalling and reinstalling the burning software and see if that works. I have Music Match, Windows Media Player and NTI Cd maker Gold which is what I prefer to use. But this hasn't helped in the past so I am doubtful this time. I can't see how it can be a hardware issue because the burner has worked again after the hard drive installations and reformatting. Could this be an operating system issue? Could the overheating have messed up something in Windows XP that deals with recording? I am at a loss here and I am tired of wasting cd's in trying to fix this problem. I figure you guys should be smart enough to help me please. I hope I have supplied enough information. Thank you.

  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Check in device manager under IDE ATA|ATAPI Controllers, under the channel the drive is on look under the advanced tab and see if the drive is operating in DMA or pio mode. if it si in PIO mode uninstall the channel and reboot, windows will automatically reinstall the channel and the drive.

    what kind of disks are you burning? are they regular CDR or CDRW?
  3. Digi-T

    Digi-T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I looked and it appears that I have a primary and secondary IDE channel. In both of them it says that the transfer mode is DMA if available. I don't know what any of this means and I don't know how to uninstall the channel. Do you mean the driver? Would updating it help? Or should I uninstall it anyway and then reboot? I am using CD-R's. It has done this with all different brands of cd's but I am currently using Maxells.

    I appreciate you trying to help me.

  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    it appears the burner is operating in DMA mode which is correct. so then it sounds like bad burns, your using maxell's which are good quality media, but there is always the possibility of a badf batch. the other possibilities are 1. the burning program is at fault. or the burner itself is going bad. how old is the burner?

    to eliminate the burning program as a source of the problem download this freeware burning program and try a burn with it. this is a small program and does not even reqire installation just run it.
  5. Digi-T

    Digi-T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The MicroBurner didn't work, though I think it is a cool little program. I have tried many different brands of cd's so I know it isn't the cd's. As I stated this is a reoccurring problem probably associated with my previous hard drive failures. But on each occassion after having new hard drives installed and new operating systems installed the burner worked fine for quite awhile. Recently I discovered that I was, again, having problems with my computer which I discovered was due to overheating. This is now fixed but something has affected the burning process again. It could be a failing burner but based on my previous experiences and the fact that it still reads disks perfectly fine I am inclined to believe that it is a software issue somewhere. Would it help to try uninstalling a drive in hopes that it reinstalls correctly upon rebooting? Like I said I don't understand a lot about this stuff so it is pretty complicated. I think we can get it solved if we keep narrowing it down. I really appreciate your efforts.
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    I have a fairly low opinon of HP drives. they typically rebadge low quality burners. and I have an even lower opinon of NTI burning program. but since the Micro burner program wouldnt work at all. then it is either a windows problem or the burner is failing. if you are located in the US do yourself a favor and order a BenQ 1650 from neweeg. it's a top notch burner and is only about 35.00

    if it s a windows probem you can try running system file checker. put the XP cd in the drive and open a command prompt and type sfc /scannow file checker will replace any damaged or missing system files.

    Last but not least ditch NTI it is probably the source of your burning problems.
  7. Digi-T

    Digi-T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am using a laptop so that cd burner wont work. I tried the command action with the disk in and it performed some kind of check and then closed without telling me whether anything was wrong or not. Maybe that is a good thing? Maybe I will try it again. I was wondering if my problem is an underrun error even though I get no error messages stating so. I'll wait for your response and then I may try burning another disk without any programs running and see if that helps. I often have Photoshop or other fairly large program running when I have been trying to burn disks.
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    System File checker just checks system files and replaces any that are damaged or missing, it doesnt give you are report of what it did or didnt do.

    that right there is probably the source oof your trouble, you should not be doing anything else when you are burning that is CPU or ram intensive. especially with programs like NTI or Roxio
  9. Digi-T

    Digi-T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I ruined another disk. This is starting to get expensive. Whenever I burn it all seems to go fine and I get absolutely no error messages. Something gets onto the disks but they are unreadable. I'm going to give up for now and work on other work I have to get done. Replacing the burner is not an option right now as they seem to be pretty expensive for laptops. Fortunately I have another computer that burns perfectly so I can still use that. However it requires that I burn over my network connection which makes it fairly slow. I am open to any other suggestions. Thanks.

  10. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    At this point i would say your burner is probably going bad. the only option other than replacing the internal burner would be to buy a external usb 2.0 burner. it would be fairly quick as long as your laptop supports usb 2.0
  11. Digi-T

    Digi-T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I might have to do that and it does support 2.0. It still doesn't make sense as to why after each previous hard drive install that the cd burner worked perfectly fine for a long while. It still seems like a software issue somewhere. If I were to uninstall the drivers for the burner and primary and secondary IDE channels would they install correctly after rebooting? Could this help?
  12. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    it doesnt jurt to try uninstalling the IDe channel the drive is on. reboot and windows will reinstall the channel and the drive on boot up.
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