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CD Burner diagnostic tool available?


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#1
JeffM

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Hi,

Is there a tool I can download to run which will tell me whether or not the reason CDs are not burning correctly is hardware related vs. software related?

I'm asking this for a friend who burns CDs, using three different types of software, but they won't play in either her PC or an old school CD player.

She only got burning to work ONCE - using Windows Media Player.

The discs seem to be burning, in that the disc is spinning around and when it's done, if you look at the bottom, you can see it was written to, but when you put it in the CD player it says "blank disc."

If you guys know of a way I can try to troubleshoot to figure out exactly what the problem is, I would appreciate the help very much.

She was Vista Home OS and maybe I can go into Device Manager and check that as well?

Thanks so much,

Jeff
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#2
123Runner

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To my knowledge there is no program to determine that.

It can, as you know be hardware, software, or the CD's themselves.

Try Burnaware Free. If that works then its software.

BurnAware Free is a free CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc burning software. It is ideal for users with basic disc burning needs as backup, creating data, audio, MP3 music, DVD-Video discs and burning disc images. Free, easy to set up, it enables you to save your files to disc quickly and provides clean, flexible interface to help you complete your burning tasks much faster.


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#3
JeffM

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Thanks for the link. I'll try it.

But I should mention we tried the following, to no avail:

- Sonic RecordNow
- Ashampoo Burning Studio
- Nero
- CD Burner XP

And none of them burned data that could be recognized by the CD-ROM drive or CD player.

As for her blanks, I took some and tried them on my machine, and they burned just fine, so we can rule out bad CD-R's.
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#4
123Runner

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But I should mention we tried the following, to no avail:

- Sonic RecordNow
- Ashampoo Burning Studio
- Nero
- CD Burner XP


As for her blanks, I took some and tried them on my machine, and they burned just fine, so we can rule out bad CD-R's.


Then the problem is definately the CD burner. You eliminated software and the discs. The only thing left is the CD drive itself.
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#5
JeffM

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But I should mention we tried the following, to no avail:

- Sonic RecordNow
- Ashampoo Burning Studio
- Nero
- CD Burner XP


As for her blanks, I took some and tried them on my machine, and they burned just fine, so we can rule out bad CD-R's.


Then the problem is definately the CD burner. You eliminated software and the discs. The only thing left is the CD drive itself.

That's what I thought too. Can you advise what I can try next? Do I just have her go to Best Buy with me, and then she can buy a new burner and I'll install it?

Or is there something else you could recommend before I ask her to open her purse?

Thanks a lot for the speedy replies.
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#6
phillpower2

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Have you got a different named brand of blank she can try?
Some drives are temperamental & will work with 1 brand but not another.
You can normally tell if a burn has been successful by a look
at the discs surface, it will have a slight change of colour.
Have you checked the drives properties?
Open My Computer, right click the burner icon, properties,
recording tab and see if the box "enable recording on this drive"
has a checkmark.
This is very often the case when burners can read but do not burn CDs.
If all else fails before purchasing a new drive try uninstalling
& then reinstalling the drive.
Hope this helps & good luck.
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#7
JeffM

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Thanks for the reply.

Yes, she tried another brand last night and (surprise!) it worked.

The CD she burned played on her PC, plus two other CD players she has in her apartment.

So now I'm thinking her drive is not liking certain brands of CD-R's. That's really bizarre because I never knew that could be an issue.

I also had her burn CDs with that freeware program you linked to.

Please keep the thread open for another 3-5 days, if you don't mind, in case I try everything you recommend, should the problem occur again, even though I've done all you've indicated.

But I have a feeling she will be ok.

Thanks again for the great work you guys do here and have a great weekend!
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#8
123Runner

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If those were blank CD's she has always used and now do not work it is a indication of a drive issue. Usually its dirty. Sometimes you can clean them.

And yes, some drives can be tempermental to the type and manufacturer of CD's.
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#9
JeffM

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OK, when I'm out there next, I'll try to clean it for her. She got this PC from a guy for free and she told me he sells them to his friends for $40. Not sure how that's possible, but I guess he supplies medical supply companies with PCs and I'm pretty sure he built all PCs by himself and used really cheap parts in them. It's amazing he gave her Vista because she got the PC back when Vista was pretty new and she still only has 1GB of memory in the computer.

She said when she took her TDK's and put them next to her Memorex CD-R's, the Memorex one's were noticeably thicker. So I don't know if that has any bearing on the problem or not. Last night, she got the TDK to burn fine so I just told her to keep using those. I also recommended going to Target or Best Buy and getting Imation (that's my favorite brand anyway).

But I wouldn't be surprised if the drive is dirty. I think the PC was thrown together haphazardly and, to be honest, I'm surprised it will even still turn on.

Continued thanks...
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