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Optical drive won't recognize blank CD-Rs

Last response: in Storage
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January 23, 2009 4:58:48 AM

Okay. Here goes.

I have a Gateway M-6843 laptop (Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit for the operating system) with an Optiarc DVD RW AD-7563A optical drive. I purchased it in August 2008. The optical drive has had a LOT of use. Lately, I have been having some issues. The drive is listed under "My Computer" and also appears in the Device Manager. However, I am unable to burn playlists in iTunes 8.2 (latest version) to a blank CD-R and I get the message, "Please insert a blank disc" and the tray spits out the blank disc. I had the same issue with Roxio Easy Media Creator 9. I was also unsuccessful in burning a playlist to CD-R using Windows Media Player 11.

What I WAS able to do was burn a DVD data disc (music files) to DVD+R using my computer manufacturer's pre-installed CD/DVD burning software, which is Cyberlink Power2Go. The computer DOES recognize the newly created disc and I can view and open the files. I was able to also burn a DVD data disc using iTunes but in this case, I could NOT open or play any files because the computer thought it was a blank DVD disc and I was asked to format it.

I thought these programs were all conflicting with each other so I uninstalled Roxio and iTunes. Made no difference. Same problems.

I had the computer diagnosed last week by Geek Squad. They said the hardware passed and that the issue was with software. I should mention that I had two programs on my laptop that they said 1) weren't really made for Vista and 2) have been known to potentially contain malware. These programs are DVD43 and DVD Shrink. Whatever you do, DO NOT use or install these programs. Besides the reasons I mentioned, they're technically illegal since making back up copies of even copy-protected DVDs you own is illegal in the U.S. Everything was working fine until after using DVD43 and DVD Shrink for a few days. Then I began having issues with the drive. Geek Squad wanted an additional $200 to do an advanced diagnostic and repair. I declined.

By the way, after taking my laptop home from Best Buy, I reinstalled Windows Vista.

I have searched high and low for answers from Microsoft, Apple, and Roxio, as well as in online forums but to no avail. The blank media I am using is Sony. I have only used two brands of blank media: Maxel and Sony. The drivers are all up-to-date. Did my optical drive crap out, does Sony blank media just plain suck, or do I have a much bigger problem on my hands? I have been trying to resolve this issue for well over a week now.

Any advice much appreciated.

Jonathan in St. Paul, MN
jlhiatt76@yahoo.com

January 23, 2009 5:25:55 PM

Update, folks:

Turns out the only brand of disc that will not work is SONY. So the issue is a firmware issue. Problem is, I can't seem to find a firmware update for this model at either Gateway or Sony NEC Optiarc support websites. Any thoughts?

Jonathan
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January 23, 2009 7:03:03 PM

Congrats on finding the problem, buy another brand of Cd-R's that do work?

DVD burners don't cost much, you have already spent way more time with it than I would have. After about 1 hour I would have bought a new one, and tossed the old one in the recycle bin.

$200 for advanced troubleshooting? Holy cow you can buy 4 new burners for that.
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April 27, 2009 12:40:10 AM

jitpublisher said:
Congrats on finding the problem, buy another brand of Cd-R's that do work?

DVD burners don't cost much, you have already spent way more time with it than I would have. After about 1 hour I would have bought a new one, and tossed the old one in the recycle bin.

$200 for advanced troubleshooting? Holy cow you can buy 4 new burners for that.


Well my burner works fine for all my cds, dvds and programmes: WMP and WavePad sound editor BUT not Itunes - "please insert a blank cd". This is not a burner issue it is an Itunes problem with many PC uses asking the same question!
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April 28, 2009 6:04:20 AM

Laptops are infamous for having finicky DVD drives. I gave up years ago, I now carry an external Pioneer DVD USB2 burner when I know I'll need to burn on the go. No more headaches that way.
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