CDs and DVDs

7 Ways to Solve CD and DVD Burning Difficulties

SUMMARY: Having difficulty burning CDs and DVDs with your operating system or stand-alone burning software? These tips may help.

This annoying scenario may have happened to you. You burn a couple of CDs and DVDs of photos, music, software, documents, or other files, and the burning process seems to run fine. Later, you re-insert the media into your machine or into another computer and it either cannot read the media or several files fail to open. Frustrated, you return to the previous machine and burn another CD or DVD and the same problem ensues.

CD and DVD burning errors can cost huge amounts of time and money. Not only does it take time to re-burn CDs and DVDs, there is also lost time when you find read errors on the media and have to go through the entire burning process again. Plus, if you use CDs and DVDs as your sole backup media option (not a good idea!), if your "backups" turn out to be full of errors, you have just lost all of your files!

Here are 7 things you can try to help prevent and solve CD and DVD burning troubles:

1. Turn off all unnecessary software on your computer when burning CDs or DVDs. It is true that modern computers can easily multitask, burning media while performing non-processing intensive tasks such as browsing simple websites, checking mail, etc. However, browsing multimedia-rich websites or playing games may require a lot of CPU usage and conflict with the CD/DVD burning.

As a last resort, disable your Internet connectivity while burning CDs and DVDs as long as you don't require accessing CDDB or another media information website to get audio track information. Turn off your firewall to reduce CPU usage, and as long as you are sure it is safe, disable your antivirus, anti-spyware, and other malware-protection software. These programs often require a fair amount of CPU usage, so turning them off while burning CDs and DVDs may solve buffer underrun or other problems. Just make sure to turn such software back on BEFORE you reconnect to the Internet!

2. Check to see if your CD/DVD burning hardware drivers or the burning software have updates available on the manufacturers' websites. Windows users may be able to use Windows/Microsoft Update and check for optional hardware updates to see if new hardware drivers have been released. As a last resort, you may want to try reinstalling your hardware drivers if burning problems persist.

If you use Windows and have problems burning CDs and DVDs at full speed, one option is to access Device Manager and delete the IDE secondary controller. When Windows reboots it should re-find the CD/DVD burner and reinstall the correct drivers. BE CAREFUL before attempting this technique as "things happen" and Windows may never correctly reinstall the drivers, rendering your burning hardware useless!

3. Try using different software to burn your CDs and DVDs. If you are using your operating system to burn media, try using other software to burn your CDs and DVDs.

Windows users have many choices to burn CDs and DVDs. Besides several freeware/shareware programs available on the Internet, here are other options (listed for informational purposes only):

* Acoustica -
* Nero -
* NTI Software -
* Roxio -

4. Make sure your burning software is configured to burn at a speed less than or equal to the maximum possible speed of the particular CD or DVD. Most CDs and DVDs have the maximum burning speed listed on the media itself; otherwise you will need to look at its original packaging. If all else fails, try configuring your software to burn the media slower than the maximum speed; perhaps your computer cannot keep up with the fast burning.

5. Make sure buffer underrun protection is enabled in your burning software. This helps prevent the problem where the CD or DVD is being burned but the operating system cannot send information to the burner hardware fast enough. These can cause errors when writing files to the CD or DVD, or can result in completely corrupted media.

6. Most CD/DVD burning software packages contain an option to verify the data after burning. This option, though adding time to the CD/DVD burning process, can help guarantee your CDs and DVDs are free of errors. However, nothing can 100% guarantee the viability of a burned CD or DVD over time, so you should ALWAYS make multiple backups of important files and use alternate backup media such as external hard drives!

7. Consider purchasing brand-name CDs and DVDs rather than the bargains offered by many big-box retailers to drag you into their stores. Not only can cheaper CDs and DVDs be rated at slower speeds than what your burning hardware can handle, their reliability can sometimes be called into question.

While these 7 tips may not solve all of your CD and DVD burning issues, they do handle a wide range of problems suffered by many computer users. Turn off unnecessary computing tasks, install or re-install drivers and updates, try different burning software, slow down the burning, ensure your software is configured correctly, verify burned media, and try higher-priced yet (hopefully) more reliable media.

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About MalekTips and the Author

The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.