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Q: CD Writing Problems ( No Answer,   8 Comments )
Subject: CD Writing Problems
Category: Computers
Asked by: vodguy-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Nov 2006 10:50 PST
Expires: 07 Dec 2006 10:50 PST
Question ID: 780830
I have had this problem for 3+ years on 5 or 6 different computers
(and using maybe 5-6 different brands of CDs) - so it is not the
hardware nor the media.   Always on Win-XP Home edition.

This happens about 50% of the time for me and it is getting
frustrating and expensive:

1. I put a blank CD in the drive.
2. WinXP recgonizes the CD and pops up the explorer window (blank of course)
(if I go to my computer, and right click on the CD-drive E: and look
at properties, I see the the disk has 0 bytes used, 702 MB free )
3.  I drag the files (say 600Mb worth) into the CD Drive (E:) window
4. I click the option (on the left side of the explorer window) that
says "Write these files to CD" ...
5. It prompts me for the CD name and I click next
6. The status bar says it is writing to CD ...
7. then after 10-15 mins I get the message "Cannot Complete the CD
Writing Wizard" .. There was an error in the writing process, the disc
may nolonger be usable"
8. When I check the disk properties - there are now 0 bytes free ...
or sometimes 0 bytes used and 0 bytes free.

Nothing I can do will write the the disk and I need to toss it.

AGAIN - this happens on many different computers with many different
brands of disks  (so it cannot be a hardware problem, or bad luck with

The Windows CD wizard works about 50% of the time.  (so therefor I am
wasting half the disk and hours of time).

*** this is not just with the CD wizard - I have tried 4 different CD
writing programs aside from just the Winxp CD wizard  (Nero, Roxio,
DirectCD and a freeware one) .. again, on 6 different computers and
many different brands of CDs.    Half the CDs are now expensive
coasters as a result.

What am I doing wrong?  How can I correct this.  (ie I am looking for
settings etc, not for someone to sell me new software).


Request for Question Clarification by denco-ga on 07 Nov 2006 13:10 PST
Howdy vodguy-ga,

Greatly appreciate your patience with this troubleshooting process.

Chances are you have a background process that is interfering with you burning
your CDs.  Please review the following O'Reilly article for some general tips.

Here are some XP specific tips that you should examine.

Please examine the above, try the tips, especially shutting down program that
are running in the background, and report back here your results.  Thanks!

I strongly suspect a program (antivirus, etc.) running in the background
because people tend to have a favorite program that they install on their

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

Request for Question Clarification by denco-ga on 14 Nov 2006 16:11 PST
Howdy vodguy-ga,

If you don't mind, we can resume the troubleshooting process.

If I am correct, you have tried disabling some background processes, that is,
programs that might be running at the same time you try burning CDs.

If you could detail those steps and programs for me, and detail what programs
you might still have running in the background when you then tried to burn the
CDs, that would go a long way to figuring out your problem.

It is common for people to install/use the same programs (QuickTime, Nortons,
Office, etc.) on all of their machines, and thusly lend, unknowingly, to a
common problem.

As well, do you have equally bad performance if you lower the burn speed?

Much thanks for your patience with all of this.

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by vodguy-ga on 21 Nov 2006 07:02 PST
It's hard to reply to the GA researcher through all the noise of
commenters that haven't read my question, or my subsequent details of
all the troubleshooting that I have gone through thus far   (again -
this happens on more than one computer - and now with FOUR different
CD writers ...).

I just bought a new pack of memorex CD-R  *52x, 700Mb).   And tried
everything again - and created another 'coaster'.
When I insert the CD, WinXp says "CD Drive E:" and offers me choices,
and i choose "open writable folder using Windows Explorer"....   I
then check to see that I have 702Mb free.

Right now i am using CDBurnerXP Pro 3  (please, no more comments and
suggestions about the burner - I have used them all and the burner s/w
is not the problem!).

after about 20 seconds I get "Writing error [3- Error ocurred writing
data to disc.] Unknown writing error" .. and I now have another
coaster.  (the CD now hs 0 bytes free).   Each one of the burner
software I use has this kind of nonspecific error.

Again - this happens on more than 1 computer.

I have no background s/w running (I even went into MSconfig and
started disabling just about everything that ever was installed).

Yes, the player works  (again this is a problem on both my laptop and
desktop - and I have had this problem for years, on different
computers).   I am able to read other disks, and write abotu 40% of
the time  (it's like a slot machine).

Does this info clarify and help?

Request for Question Clarification by denco-ga on 21 Nov 2006 15:11 PST
Thanks much for the feedback, vodguy-ga.  It is greatly appreciated.

Please try the following.

- Insert a blank CD in your burner
- When prompted. choose Take no action, OK
- Run CDBurner XP
- Select "Create a new DATA CD ..."
- Select a few files, and click on Add
- Select Let me choose settings from the Burn menu
- Set the writing speed to 4x, make sure Buffer Correction is activated
- Click on Write Disc

Please report back here if you have a good CD or a coaster.  Thanks!

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by vodguy-ga on 22 Nov 2006 06:28 PST
OK - more info
1. I have been slowing down the speen throughout this whole process
(from 48 to 16 to 8 to 4)... there really does nto seem to be a big
difference in the write reliability.  I am still at about 75% of the
disks being ruined.
2. I have shed just about every process (now via windows task manager)
3. ***  As per some of the links originally given, I noticed something
interesting (though not sure if it has a correlation)
    a. start->run->services.msc /sz
    b. IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service
    c. it is set as automatic, but much of the time its status is at "stopped"
    d. if I press "start" manually, it seems to make a difference,
sometimes but after every single "cannot write to disc" event, I check
back and the IMAPI status goes back to stopped.

So - the speed is not exactly the solution ... (have about 20 ruined
CDs now).   But maybe the above is relevant?

Please not again, that this is not specific to one computer!  Nor does
it seem to be specific to any one CD writing program.

Thanks for the help!

Request for Question Clarification by denco-ga on 22 Nov 2006 16:55 PST
Howdy vodguy-ga,

With the procedure that I provided I am just trying to create a predictable
environment to work within.  As you are currently using CDBurner XP, it was
just something with which you are familiar.

There seems to be problems with the "Open writable folder" process for other
people, so that is why I eliminated that as part of my directions.

With the computers in question, are these "off the shelf" computers, or by
any chance do they they have CD burners that you have added?  Thanks!

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by vodguy-ga on 23 Nov 2006 08:12 PST
re: off-the-shelf vs ...

All of the computers that have exhibited this behavior are off the
shelf.  (the general issue again is one where *whatever* CD writing
program I have 40-50% of the time just says 'cannot write to CD'
somewhere in the middle of the process')

Desktop is an Emachines T3302  2GHz, 1.45MbRam, AMD 3300 processor. 
Win XP Home Edition, SP2.

Notebook:  Gateway MX7118   (2G of ram) (not in front of it right now
for the rest of the info) ... so let's deal with the desktop right

Both have combo CD-RW/DVD drives ... pretty standard/  And during this
process, I am unloading just about everything (that it will let me)! 
(from MSconfig, AND from the taskmanager)

Again - I am certain that this is not machine-specific ... as I have
had this problem on different machines, for years  (it has just gotten
more critical, or worse).  Also, from doing a lot of research on the
web, it seems this is quite a common problem for a whole lot of

CD burning software - the problem is consistent with the latest
versions of Windows CD wizard, Roxio, Nero, And CD BurnerXP Pro.  
Oddly, if memory serves, I don't seem to get the problem when I write
to the SONY DVD Architect Studio (burning CD-Rs, not dvds).  But I may
be wrong on that one.

I hope this additional info helps.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: jaybf-ga on 07 Nov 2006 22:55 PST
What version of Roxio you have installed on these computers?  The cd
burning wizard that is built into windows xp was based on Roxio v5.x. 
Having a copy of roxio on the computer caused conflicts where neither
roxio nor the cd burning wizard would work properly.  You may need to
update roxio.

Nero shouldn't have this problem.  From the sounds of it you are using
the packet burning function which is different than opening the
program and creating a cd project.  I would suggest downloading a copy
of the latest version of nero v7.5x and use that; use nero burning rom
not nero incd which allows you to drag and drop files onto the cd and
have it transparently write the files.  I would also suggest you get a
rewritable disc to experiment with which would allow you to reformat
the cd if there is a problem and start over. You should be able to get
fairly low cost discs in bulk for any where from 15 to 50 cents each
from fry's electronics, office depot, best buy, etc.
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: napster3000-ga on 08 Nov 2006 04:14 PST
try to download a software's "nero"!it's perfect
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: vodguy-ga on 12 Nov 2006 07:30 PST
re: Nero ... 
read my original question/post ... the problem happens with Nero, too.
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: tinkutharasing-ga on 15 Nov 2006 02:30 PST
You can't write to a CD that failed in the middle writing. I will not
show the actual content size.

You can try Setting CD writing speed to a fixed and Safe one. I
recomend Below 24X SPEED. It can be Set in its Properties. You can
also Try Changing The Drive Cache. Usually it is C Drive and you can
change it to D: Drive or other(HAVING MORE FREESPACE).

If you experience Problem again Check for any Virus or HARDWARE Problems.
The Low cost CD -Roms are not reliable with High quality Writers. Some
CD Writers have Restrictions in their firmware in writing Disk. They
will write only in minimal Speed when you use non standard CDs. But XP
CD burner will try at amximum speed. This may cause CD writing
Problems and even it can Damage writers.
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: ironclaw-ga on 16 Nov 2006 10:57 PST
go on to windows media player and click on rip.choose titles to rip.
then click rip and the tracks goin the library.go on to burn and click
edit playlist.find your songs and select them.then put in blank cd and
click on
"start burn" and within minutes you have your always seems to work for me
anyway!try it!!!
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: frenchy2k1-ga on 17 Nov 2006 17:33 PST
It is also possible that you have a weak power supply or just that
your CD writer is plugged on the same power cable as another device,
creating power fluctuations.

Try to isolate the CD burner.
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: mostof-ga on 18 Nov 2006 21:26 PST
Make sure your processor is not being occupied by some other
process/application.  This is a known issue.  CD writing needs a
processor dedicated to it.
Subject: Re: CD Writing Problems
From: busyanuj-ga on 29 Nov 2006 21:56 PST
firstly the IMAPI service should be "manual" so that whenever a
cd-writing software wants to use it, it can start it.

secondly, you'll be able to alleviate the problem by installing this
Microsoft Update:

This update should be able to fix the problem.

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