It seems that my PC sometimes sees a DVD as a (empty) CD

By C.-Scrutinizer · 7 replies
May 4, 2008
  1. Dear All,
    I salute you.

    I’ve tried to find in the previous discussions some information I need, but I didn’t find. Please help me to solve a problem that bothers me.
    I have a PC (AMD Athlon 1.10GHz, 256 RAM, WinXP) and a DVD-RW drive NEC ND-3550A. Everything works normally but I cannot read so often the DVDs I wrote. It seems that my PC sometimes sees a DVD as a (empty) CD, but not all of them.
    After a DVD has been burned, I insert back the DVD and my computer may see it or not. The funny thing is that all these “bad” DVDs are fine on other computers and some times they may work on mine (rare cases). There are other “good” cases in which they have no problems and I can read theme without problems. Usually, a DVD is “bad” or “good” from the very beginning and remains so indefinitely.
    Should I throw this bloody PC away and buy a new one or could I do something to fix the problem? Otherwise, I can do all my work on it…

    Thank you very much for your attentions.

    All my best
    Central Scrutinizer
  2. THNDR143

    THNDR143 TS Member Posts: 43


    You can try running a cleaner first, to be sure there is nothing obstructing the lens.
    Another idea is to check the drive makers website for a Firmware update.

    my 0.02 cents
  3. C.-Scrutinizer

    C.-Scrutinizer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you very much.
    I’ll try.
    I forgot to say that DVD+R are working much much better than those –R, although the DVD-Drive supports both types. Yesterday, I neglected this small… aspect and the DVDs were –R. Anyway, it bothers me.
    Right now I am checking for a Firmware update.
    All my best wishes.
    Central Scrutinizer
  4. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Do you have Nero ?

    If so use it's Toolkit to test disks for being readable.
    Yes a Firmware fixed my disk reading problem.
    Don't mind the noise it makes.It's a Hardware update.
  5. C.-Scrutinizer

    C.-Scrutinizer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the DVD appears to be corrupted this time

    I’ve updated the Firmware from 1.05 to 1.06, which I found on the net.
    The results: the previous DVD written some times ago appears to be corrupted this time. (attachement 1)
    Then I wrote another one. The same. However, I was able to read it on my laptop.
    Then, I put it back on PC and run Nero Toolkit. The results are the followings: (attachement 2 & 3)
    Now... I should clean the lens, when I’ll find some cleaner. I have an old one… but is seems is outdated or something like this.

    Thank you very much

    All my best
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Detection problems are usually because of a misplaced jumper or a drive that has gone bad... sometimes a BIOS issue. Look at the drives listed in the BIOS first.
    Optical drives, whether CD or DVD, fail early and often. Some new ones arrive bad. All fail earlier if they are used a lot. You can expect to get at least one year of operation out of any except those used for high amounts of burning.
    Lasers burn out quickly. Drive belts burn out or get slick, depending on the humidity. Chips burn out. You can find decent DVD drives for as low as 24.99 online... by Samsung, Lite-On, LG, Sony, NEC, Acer, and Asus that will work fine for a year for under $30.
    It is usually a better investment of time and money to replace rather than attempt to fix.
  7. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Try what i did

    I have a dvd-rw and a dvd player.I use the player for reading and playing.
    They cost very little now and haveing 2 is handy for disk to disk copy.
    Don't blame your PC.

    C.-Scrutinizer,Thanks for the info
    I bought dvd+r's and havn't used many yet,i'll see if i can find out the difference.
    between - and +.There has to be something.
  8. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    This may or may not apply

    But i gather you are testing discs YOU have burned,then can't read.
    See my comment on useing a DVD Player.
    Also a disc from someone else may be unreadable if they set it wrong.
    So don't be concerned of these,tell your friend or who burned it.
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