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AH! Please help...problem burning cd's

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August 16, 2007 1:30:50 AM

I am so frustrated. :fou: 

I stumbled on this site from a yahoo search, so I hope someone here can help me!

I have an inspiron 5100. (piece of crap...) I'm trying to burn some cd's, and I keep getting an error that says I need to either clean the disk, or try a different brand. I've tried using Window's media player AND itunes, and they both say the same thing.

I have tried Maxell CD-R's, Sony CD-R's, and Memorex CD-R's.

It reads/rips discs just fine. I can rip music to the computer and watch dvd's with no problems.

I don't know anything about the disk drive...it says "compact disc rewritable ultraspeed" on the outside, so do I need CD-RW's? I THINK these discs have worked before, altho I think I've always had problems with them.

If anybody has any ideas, PLEASE help me! Just dumb everything down for me, and I'll be fine.

Thanks SO much!

More about : problem burning

August 16, 2007 2:15:33 PM

Unfortunately CD/DVD drives have become super cheap commodities (in the 20-30 dollar range) and generally when you start getting those errors it means the drive is failing. May not be the answer you wanted, sorry. Check Newegg.com for the best prices on a new drive. :hello: 
August 16, 2007 10:48:50 PM

2nd utaka95, just a DVD burner for $30, Samsung, Lite-On, LG are all good. If you're in the US, get it at newegg, local stores sell them for $10 or more, and most of the time more, than newegg. If you never installed one, it's basically taking out the old one and screwing in the new one and reconnecting 2 wires
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August 17, 2007 3:45:51 AM

Thanks for your replies! I sorta figured I'd end up replacing it, but I didn't realize they were as cheap as they are. Yay, happy dance.

I bought some CD-RW's, and those work. I don't know if it's just a fluke, or what. I think my computer builds an immunity to cd's, after that brand's been used in it. My computer has demons.

I'm not real sure how to GET to my cd burner to take it out...Did I mention this thing's a piece of crap? :) 

Thanks again!!!
August 17, 2007 4:22:24 AM

Wait ! lol
something else to try is heading over on too www.support.dell.com
click on drivers and downloads
then put in your service tag
check to see if there is any firmware updates for your drive
also handy to check for BIOS updates and other upgrades :) 

probably will not fix your issue but its possible and will only cost you some time to try !

Edit:I checked out the web site for your model there are all kinds of firmware updates. The reason the firmware updates are important is CD manufacturers sometimes change dyes and things in the disks so when your drive reads the information from the disk it looks in its firmware for how to record to the disk. (im sure I botched that information some how lol)

but you would need to look in device manager to see exactly wich drive your 5100 has.
August 17, 2007 11:37:53 AM

sxydrumbabe said:
Thanks for your replies! I sorta figured I'd end up replacing it, but I didn't realize they were as cheap as they are. Yay, happy dance.

I bought some CD-RW's, and those work. I don't know if it's just a fluke, or what. I think my computer builds an immunity to cd's, after that brand's been used in it. My computer has demons.

I'm not real sure how to GET to my cd burner to take it out...Did I mention this thing's a piece of crap? :) 

Thanks again!!!


The manual that came with the computer will have instructions for removing and replacing the drive. If you don't have the manual, it will be on line at Dell. Even if you get a new drive I agree with JonathanDe that it is a good idea to upgrade your drivers and BIOS. When ever you update firmware make absolutely sure the firmware is for the specific mfg/model of the device you're updating, e.g., if you replace the drive, do not use the Dell firmware, use the firmware from the mfg. I recently got a Smsung 18x DVD burner and Samsung has on line auto firmware updates, go on line and it will read which drive you have and install the correct firmware, nice feature. Given the price I think it makes sense to get a new DVD burner even if you update the drivers and BIOS. One of the reasons Dell, HP, and other companies can sell computers at such a low price is that they often use really cheap parts.
August 17, 2007 1:31:28 PM

try some real cd burning software like nero
August 18, 2007 12:38:40 AM

Ok, I went on dell's support site. The closest one I found was for a HLDS GCC-4241N Slim 24/24/24X Combo Drive. In my device manager, it says it's a HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4241N.

I'm not sure if that's something I need to download or not.

I'm sorry I sound like such an idiot about this stuff. If you want me to do something ON the computer, I can do it. But doing something TO it is a whole different thing to me.

Thanks again!

August 18, 2007 1:58:44 PM

sxydrumbabe said:
Ok, I went on dell's support site. The closest one I found was for a HLDS GCC-4241N Slim 24/24/24X Combo Drive. In my device manager, it says it's a HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4241N.

I'm not sure if that's something I need to download or not.

I'm sorry I sound like such an idiot about this stuff. If you want me to do something ON the computer, I can do it. But doing something TO it is a whole different thing to me.

Thanks again!


I wouldn't mess with the firmware if there is any question re if it's for the correct drive and it looks like there is. I'd just get a DVD burner, Samsung or Lite On, for $30. It will just screw in where the old one is and there are 2 cables, data and power. Just plug the cables in where they fit, you don't have to remove the cables from the motherboard. Get the same kind of DVD drive, most likely an ATA rather than SATA. The ATA plug will be a molex, white plastic plug, and the data cable will be wide and flat. If you have a SATA drive, the data cable will be real thin, usually red or orange, and the power cable will have a small plug. Look at the manual of how to uninstall. It will likely either be removing both sides of the case or just pulling it out the front.
August 20, 2007 4:19:40 AM

sorry if this is off topic but I am new here and don't know how to do this.My computer keeps shutting off when I try to burn a dvd.I can surf all day and play hardcore 3d games all day but put a blank dvd in my liteon soh-1213s and bang, after about 30 seconds, the pc powers off and it won't restart until you kill all power , repower, then restart.My friend tinkers with pcs for a hobby so I gave my pc to him to look at ,and he's baffled too.I use nero 7 ultra enhanced which I purchased from their website.He thought maybe it was nero or windows , checked everything , can't find any problems.Thought it was my dvd burner, because he burned a 350mb program with my msi cd burner without issue.Then tried the same process with my dvd burner, and the pc shut down.So I went and bought a brand new lg 20x dual layer burner today.Watched movies now problem, played games.Tried to burn a movie, after ripping to hdd, inserted blank media , burned 4% and pc shut down , just like before!!!!!!!!!!!!I am stumped and throwing away tons of blank dvds, can anyone help me??????!!!!!!
August 20, 2007 6:53:38 AM

g-paw said:
I wouldn't mess with the firmware if there is any question re if it's for the correct drive and it looks like there is. I'd just get a DVD burner, Samsung or Lite On, for $30. It will just screw in where the old one is and there are 2 cables, data and power. Just plug the cables in where they fit, you don't have to remove the cables from the motherboard. Get the same kind of DVD drive, most likely an ATA rather than SATA. The ATA plug will be a molex, white plastic plug, and the data cable will be wide and flat. If you have a SATA drive, the data cable will be real thin, usually red or orange, and the power cable will have a small plug. Look at the manual of how to uninstall. It will likely either be removing both sides of the case or just pulling it out the front.


You should realize that Inspiron = Laptop in this scenerio. There is no DVD burner for a laptop for only $30, and sometimes it isn't as easy to remove the drive from the housing.
August 20, 2007 8:45:09 AM

I'm with joefriday. Inspiron 5100 is a laptop. I have a 5150 myself, and I know that about a year ago the CD/DVD drive was about $80 from Ebay. I don't even remember how much Dell wanted, it I remember it was alot more.

I would try using a real CD burning software and then try the firmware upgrade. With the error message you are getting, I don't think you can fix it, but it doesn't hurt to try. The firmware you mentioned above and the device manager do match, so you were looking at the right firmware. Laptop CD drives just don't last as long as their desktop version. It's disappointing, but I've seen quite a few drives in laptops not last a year, yet I've never seen a desktop drive not last at least 2.

As another possible option, you could buy an external CD drive. Those can sometimes be purchased for cheap, and you can use it on your laptop or any other computer. Obviously you wouldn't like this option if you travel alot, but it's just an idea.
August 20, 2007 11:27:28 AM

joefriday said:
You should realize that Inspiron = Laptop in this scenerio. There is no DVD burner for a laptop for only $30, and sometimes it isn't as easy to remove the drive from the housing.


Forgot discussion was about laptops, stand corrected on price. :??: 
August 21, 2007 7:03:13 AM

the problem I can see with what you were looking at, is that it is just the external enclosure...you'd still need a DVD burner to go inside it.

A new slimline DVD burner will run you around $60 from newegg. Unfortunately, so will a 5.25" external DVD burner, whether you decide to buy a turn key unit or build one yourself.

Your cheapest and best route to take it to purchase a slimline CD burner/DVD combo drive off ebay. These are cheap and plentiful, due to everyone wanting a DVD burner. I take it a combo drive is what you originally have in your laptop, and so a replacement combo drive should suite you just fine. A new slimline combo drive will run you $45 off Newegg, but on Ebay, you can find one in excellent condition for as little as $25. I recommend buying this one, as it is a good buy from a reputable seller:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-CDRW-DVD-Combo-Drive-for-the-I...
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