Looking for a good freeware app to test CD-ROM drives

By Vigilante ยท 8 replies
Nov 19, 2005
  1. Heya, I'm on the prowl for a good app to test CD-ROM drives. I've done some searching, but most programs seem to revolve around trying to recover data, or testing a disk for errors. Or some such.
    I need a program that attempts to test the actual drive itself. I need to know if the drive reads properly across a disk etc... I need a program that will say, "yup, your CD-RW drive is toast".
    I've come across so-called benchmarking tools, tools that check what features your drive has. But I've yet to come across a tool specificaly for finding problems with the drive.

    Anybody know any good ones, if any? thx

    Oh, and I'm just a fan of freeware. For pay is fine, if they have a trial that lets me test some drives fully. But I don't want to pay for such a specific app when I'll rarely use it.
  2. milky

    milky TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    I'm wondering what problems with a CD-Rom Drive you are trying to find that you're going to be able to do something about? Either it works or it doesn't! If a Firmware update doesn't fix it, it's probably not worth fixing. They cost next to nothing.

    But, try Performance Test!
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    For example, I've seen DVD/CD-RW drives that will seem to stop reading CDs, but keep reading DVDs, or vice-versa.

    Or another example, I've seen drives that seem to read all my disks right, but for some reason will NOT boot a CD on startup.

    Or for example if I have a newly burned CD but Windows seems to get stuck copying files off it at a certain point.

    So needing to rule out software issues, driver issues, etc... Maybe a program that runs from DOS so it has full hardware access to the drive.

    It's just that sometimes a drive acts "weird", but not enough to make a 100% decision that it is BAD.
  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    aside from freeware like Nero CDSpeed and a few other "benchmark programs I am not aware of any free software that does exactly what yuo are looking for. AMDiag is the only software I know of that MIGHT do some of what you are looking for but it is not free it costs around 259.00. what you are looking for is gererally the province of expensive PCI diagnostic cards which test hardware.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    I'll definitely keep those in my pile of resources. Thx

    The infinadyne is still just a data recovery program though. Which is a necessary app to keep in tools.
    But assume that I know my disks are just fine, cause I use them all the time, and just need to see if there is a Windows issue, or if the drive is going bad.

    Perhaps this goes deeper then a CD-ROM drive diagnostic, perhaps the "dream" program would literaly "look" into the whole driver subsystem, checking the drivers and dates and versions, checking for updates, reading any relevent info out of the registry, such as upperfilter/lowerfilter. And then perhaps give you ideas or clues where trouble may lie.
    Man I wish I was a better programmer!

    Seems to me that in order for a program to acurately test a CD-ROM, the program would have to "assume" a perfect disk is in the drive, with data filled front to back, and the program would have to know exactly what is on this disk, so it can determine if it's reading properly. For example the program also comes with an ISO to burn this test disk. Otherwise how would a testing app know the drive is bad, or if it just has a bad disk in it? And how would the app know if it's receiving the right data if it allows for ANY disk during the test process?
    It is an interresting concept.
    We use Micro2000 here and that does have a CD test, or rather an IDE test. But even so, it almost always fails the CD-ROMs anyway, so I can't really trust it.

    Okay now I'm just babbling.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    If you have problems then the best way to rule out the OS is to use another OS. Just boot some CD Linux and try reading the same CD. If the errors remain then it's pretty obvious your issues are with hardware.
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Given the low cost fo cd roms I dont think there is much incentive to develop a advanced cd rom devic testing\diagnostic suite.
  9. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Given the Apple Operating system, there wasn't much incentive for MS to develop Windows, but they did! Sorry, that probably doesn't relate at all. ha, but it sounded good :)

    One of the problems with a retail store like ours is the costs of the drives. No, customers don't get $20 burners off Newegg. When they need a drive, they pay high retail costs PLUS labor to install. We're talking closer to $95 just to replace a simple burner!
    And of course we don't want to make such decisions for the customer if all it is is a bum driver or a messed up cd burning app. Nor do we want to jump the gun on selling a new drive, waiting for it to get in, loading up and finding it has the same problem.

    Granted, there is not much reason for a testing program like this, but that doesn't mean it would be useless either.
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