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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, Second Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Writable CD Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting writable CD problems is challenging. There are so many things that can go wrong, and so many variables you can change to try to fix the problem that it may seem the only choice is to strip everything down to bare metal and start over. Such extreme measures are not usually called for, however. In the course of working with dozens of CD writers on many different systems, we’ve encountered an amazing variety of problems. The following sections describe how to cure those problems. If you’re having a problem with your CD writer, chances are one of these fixes will cure it.

General Troubleshooting

Before you do anything else, take the following steps, which solve most writable CD problems:

  • Read the manual. Sometimes the problem isn’t really a problem at all. It’s supposed to work that way.

  • If you’re writing to a new type (or even batch) of CD-R discs, try a different type of disc. Many problems are disc-related, particularly if you’re using cheap discs. When we think the problem may be media-related, we generally try burning a Taiyo Yuden blank. If that fails, we look elsewhere for the problem.

  • If the system is overclocked (or even just tweaked for maximum performance), try setting things back to standard values. Burning CDs is one of the most demanding things you can do with a system, and even minor stability problems are likely to manifest during the burn. If you’re overclocking your processor, running PC100 memory at 133 MHz, running CL3 ...

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