#1  
08-18-2011, 12:48 PM
moxiecat moxiecat is offline
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Hey everyone,

I have a Windows 7, Asus P6 Deluxe V2 computer (self-built) that works great most of the time. But on occasion, it refuses to read DVD-RWs created by my Toshiba RD-XS35 DVD recorder. This never happened on my previous XP PC, so I'm hoping to find out what's wrong.

The computer has four DVD drives in it. Two are Pioneer DVR-115 and DVR-116 (IDEs). One is a Pioneer DVR-215 (SATA). The last is a Sony Optiarc SATA, purchased a few months ago from New Egg.

The discs I'm using are Verbatim DVD-RW (orange packaging) and Sony DVD-RW (yellow packaging), but the problem mostly occurs with the Verbatims.

Today, for example, the following occurred, all with Verbatim discs that were formatted, recorded, and finalized by the same Toshiba RD-XS35, on the same morning.
Disc 1 - Would not read in any of the Pioneer drives, nor the Optiarc.
Disc 2 - Read in the Pioneers and the Optiarc.
Disc 3 - Wouldn't read in the Pioneers, but read in the Optiarc.

When I say "won't read," I mean that Windows will not show that the drive has a disc loaded. And DVD Decrypter reads: "Device not ready (incompatible medium installed)." All of these discs loaded and played fine in my Macs, laptop PC, and set-top DVD player.

I am fairly certain that the drives themselves are not to blame--especially when both the Pioneer and Sony drives won't read the same disc (although until today, the Optiarc usually read the discs that the Pioneers rejected). My guess is that there is some technical issue with the motherboard or Windows--or some setting that is screwed up. But I can't figure out why this problem does not occur with every disc (although it is happening with greater frequency). It's like some discs have a digital signature that tells the Win 7 computer: "don't load me!"

Has anyone heard of anything like this before? Are there some drive settings I should check in Windows? Any help is appreciated--this issue is driving me nuts. Thanks!
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Someday, 12:01 PM
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  #2  
08-18-2011, 01:15 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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This is a common problem, yes.

But it's not confined to just Windows 7, or even just Windows. The resources (or resource interface) is not be released by the OS for that hardware, and thus the "drive" loaded by that hardware. This commonly happens in Windows XP, where you'll burn a disc, and then the drive shows no media or blank media -- even though it's burned, and the disc and CD/DVD drive are both fine.

A common fix is to simply reboot. No, not for each disc (that would be insane), but just once. The computer may be confused, and stuck in a loop of confusion.

You may have other software on the system that's trying to "own" the drive when a disc is inserted. Various protection programs are notorious for this, such as malware detectors or anti-virus software. Be very sure that the system has all auto-plays disabled -- either manually corrected*, or by way of the $30 Tweak 7 software (Win7 version of XP's famous TweakUI).

* Manual method: Go to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\AutoPlay. Uncheck Use Autoplay for all devices and Click Save.

I doubt it's the discs, drives, motherboard, etc -- I think your Windows 7 operating system is getting confused by conflicting requests. One of the downsides to optical media is the "safety" mechanism that allows software to lock the drive, preventing other programs from having any access to it while it's in use. I fully believe you're running into a bad scenario caused by this mechanism of the technology.

Extra: Since I'm volunteering tips for Windows 7, I highly suggest the freeware Classic Shell, which restores most Windows functionality removed removed from Win7, but previously available in Windows 95-XP and Vista. For example, the up arrow in Explorer, which lets you quickly jump back up one folder without having to navigate the limited hierarchy dropdowns. Without Class Shell installed, I consider Windows 7 unusable as a working person's OS.

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  #3  
08-19-2011, 04:56 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I have an English subbed bootleg anime pressed DVD9 here that refuses to be read by any Sony or Samsung DVD burner. It will read in an LG, which cries with this disc. Literally, the drive makes this squealing noise that would drive a person insane. Like a screaming child or Japanese ghost, though turned down many notches on the volume meter.

Obviously, this is the disc's fault. But it's a great example of how media errors can create "invisible" discs, even in good drives. (Note: This particular LG is from the 4x era, long before LG turned into a mass-made piece of junk reused by OEM computer makers.)

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