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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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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 memory with CL2 timing, or something similar, set things back to standard and try the burn again.

  • Check the manufacturer’s web site for your CD writer to see if it has posted a firmware update. If so, install it. In addition to fixing bugs, firmware updates may add new capabilities (such as the ability to write 80-minute blanks) and add support for burning schema required by new types of media.

  • Check the software manufacturer’s web site to see if there’s an update available. Most CD writer software makers update their software frequently, and patches often solve problems.

  • For an ATAPI (IDE) writer, check the DMA status ...

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