Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

My CD-ROM Is Gone. Help!

How To Get Windows To See Optical Drives Again

CDROM Q: Paul I need your help. Yesterday I put a CD in my computer nothing happened. It has been working fine, and usually it will just start playing the first song. I put in a different disk and again nothing. I opened My computer and there was no icon for the DVD. Just icons for the Floppy A:, Local disk and no CD player. It just vanished! I rebooted and that didn’t help. What happened? How do I get my CD player back?

A: The exact steps required will depend on the cause of the issue, so the following answers are ‘generic’, and may not apply to your particular situation.

1) In Windows XP and older have a reputation for “losing” optical drives (but I have seen it occur in Vista) after uninstalling disc burning software — such as Roxio or Nero. Sometimes.. after installing; but usually it is an uninstall failing to work properly, which leaves incorrect values in your Registry.
Sometimes, though less frequently, a Windows Update, or other software change can cause this as well.

Sometimes Microsoft gets it right:
If this is you — you have uninstalled Roxio, say — the solution is to visit Microsoft Help & Support and click the “Fix It” button. (I have written about using the built in troubleshooter before, see Microsoft “One-click” Fixes)

The appropriate Fix it page/button is found here. One click should do it!


2) If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you can next try restoring your system to a prior (working) state by using System Restore. Please read How To Use System Restore To Fix Windows for instructions.

3) If that doesn’t help, or isn’t appropriate..
Open your computer’s case and check to make sure the power wires, and the ribbon cable are firmly connected to the back of the drive and to the motherboard — they may have become loose or disconnected.

No? Then open your Device Manager. Right-click on “My Computer” and select “Properties”. In Vista, click on Device Manager in the left column; in XP, click on the “Hardware” tab, and then click the “Device Manager” button.

In Device Manager, find “Optical drives” on the list, and expand the category by clicking once on the “+” sign. You should now see the device and a yellow triangle – which is telling you there’s an error.

Right click on the device’s name, and click “Uninstall” from the menu which opens. Answer “Yes”, you want to do that. Then restart (aka “reboot”) your machine. Windows should “find” a “new” CD-ROM and install it for you, thus restoring functionality.

4) If these steps fail, there is something else going on (maybe malware) and I recommend you contact a knowledgeable repair tech.. such as myself (shameless plug).

Today’s free link: Along with ZooBah, something to consider when your child wants their own e-mail address.

Today’s free download: GOM Player is a free multimedia player with popular video and audio codecs built-in. GOM Player supports file formats such as AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, XviD, WMV, ASF. Users don’t have to install codecs separately. GOM Player is capable of playing incomplete or damaged AVI files by skipping the damaged frames. It can also play locked or partially downloaded files.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

Share this post :

May 4, 2009 Posted by | computers, device drivers, hardware, how to, tech, troubleshooting, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How To Solve Buffer Errors When Burning Discs

If you are having problems burning files to optical discs (CD’s and DVD’s) you may see an Error Message that says something like “Buffer overrun. Try writing at a slower speed”.
(And you might not.. you might just get jittery video or garbled music.)

Optical disc are “burned” with a laser, and due to highly complicated scientific something-or-others (probably something having to do with “Physics”) the burning device in your machine needs to have the ‘data’ fed to it at a constant rate.
This is accomplished by “compiling” the files into a memory area called a “buffer”.. which then ‘feeds’ the CD/DVD writer in a steady stream.

Problems can occur when the software creating the burn puts too much data into the buffer (an “overrun”) too quickly, or not enough data in quickly enough (an “underrun”).

Tip of the day: Cure your bad burns by telling your burning device to write at at a slower burn rate. (It will {should} tell the software.)

In Windows XP:
1) Open “My Computer” (Start >My Computer, or double-click the Desktop icon.)
2) Right-click on the CD/DVD drive icon and select (click) “Properties”.
3) At the top are a series of tabs, click on “Recording”
4) Use the the drop-down arrow labeled “Select a write speed” to progressively slow down your burn until the problem disappears.

In Vista:
In Vista you need to open Windows Media Player to set the burn rate. Start >Programs

1) Click on the little arrow underneath the “Burn” menu, and select “More Options…”
2) On the Burn tab you will see the Burn speed drop-down arrow– progressively slow down your burn until the problem disappears.

[Note: If you are using an authoring program, such as Nero or Roxio, you will find similar options in similar places (menus).]

Today’s free download: When you need to copy discs, or deal with “disc images”, you no longer talking about “burn files to disc”, and you’ve entered into the realm of the “dot iso” (file type= .iso) and you need a program that offers the “Copy” option. I use a light-weight program that integrates into your Context Menus.
ISO Recorder is a tool (power toy) for Windows XP, 2003 and now Windows Vista, that allows (depending on the Windows version) to burn CD and DVD images (DVD support is only available on Windows Vista), copy disks, make images of the existing data CDs and DVDs and create ISO images from a content of a disk folder.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

Share this post :


October 2, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, PC, performance, software, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments