Can't burn a CD anymore

It all started a few weeks ago. (hw/sw details are at the bottom, but basically dell sc400 server, Pentium 2.4, 768MB, win2k w latest updates, wmp 9 with latest updates, nero 6.016, Memorex maxx52 USB burner)

I bought some new cd-r’s, Memorex. Nero hung at one point while writing them. I’ve had this problem from time to time

Nero does not play well with others as a rule. When a program gets stuck, you should be able to cancel it and go on. But Nero locks itself and the disk drive is locked up as well. You can’t even reboot, but need to turn the machine off. The close option is grayed out, and task manager end task doesn’t work either until the drive is shut off and turned on again.

What I usually do is unplug the power from the Buslink CD-RW drive and then the drive frees up, and I get a very helpful message from Microsoft that if I want to unplug a device, I should use the little eject icon at the bottom. Of course, in this situation, that’s locked up too.

This time, the entire CPU hung up and I had to reboot. When it came up, I got a cryptic message about a power problem that quickly disappeared before I could read exactly what it said.

When it came up, all my USB ports were dead. I downloaded the Dell diagnostics, which said everything was fine. I unplugged all devices, they were all still dead.

I checked with Device Manager also, and all devices were fine from that angle.

I rebooted a number of times, tried one device at a time, etc. but nothing would bring back the USB ports. So I went downtown and bought a PCI USB card. The hard drive and the other devices were fine, but now every time I tried to burn a PC, it got worse. First there were verification errors, then write errors, and later the thing would just freeze at random write or verify points.

OK, I figured that I’ve burned into the four digits on backup CD’s so maybe the drive was shot. I only paid 35 for it last year, so I bought a new one, figuring that would clear the problem. The new one is a Memorex 52MAXX USB drive, and it doesn’t work either. It randomly freezes while burning.

I bought HP cd-r disks and they’re hanging also.

I upped Nero to 6.0.16 and that didn’t help any. Nero’s disk utilitities for checking the drive look fine, and older disks I created also look fine.

Any ideas or help would be invaluable.

The Nero log doesn’t show anything, nor does the event log. Here’s what Belarc says…

Computer Profile Summary
Computer Name: Ray2000 (in WORKGROUP)
Profile Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 8:12:53 PM
Advisor Version: 7.0t
Windows Logon: Administrator

Click here for Belarc’s System Management products, for large and small companies.

Operating System System Model
Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4 (build 2195) Dell Computer Corporation PowerEdge 400SC
System Service Tag: 229PT41 (support for this PC)
Chassis Serial Number: 229PT41
Enclosure Type: Mini-Tower
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
2.40 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
8 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache Board: Dell Computer Corp. 0T2408
Serial Number: …CN4811143K01WE.
Bus Clock: 800 megahertz
BIOS: Dell Computer Corporation A05 01/15/2004
Drives Memory Modules c,d
200.03 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
106.41 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

Memorex 52MAXX 3252AJ USB Device [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

ST340014A [Hard drive] (40.00 GB) – drive 0, s/n 3JX7K8KK, rev 3.16, SMART Status: Healthy
WDC WD16 00BB-22GUC0 USB Device [Hard drive] (160.04 GB) – drive 1 768 Megabytes Installed Memory

Slot ‘CHANNEL A DIMM 0’ has 256 MB
Slot ‘CHANNEL B DIMM 0’ has 256 MB
Slot ‘CHANNEL A DIMM 1’ has 128 MB
Slot ‘CHANNEL B DIMM 1’ has 128 MB
Local Drive Volumes

c: (NTFS on drive 0) 6.49 GB 520 MB free
e: (NTFS on drive 0) 4.29 GB 370 MB free
f: (NTFS on drive 0) 14.68 GB 11.04 GB free
h: (NTFS on drive 0) 14.53 GB 910 MB free
i: (NTFS on drive 1) 160.04 GB 93.58 GB free
Network Drives
None detected
Users (mouse over user name for details) Printers
local user accounts last logon
Administrator 10/19/2005 7:27:45 PM (admin)
local system accounts

DISABLED Marks a disabled account; LOCKED OUT Marks a locked account

Adobe PDF Converter on My Documents*.pdf
Microsoft Office Document Image Writer Driver on Microsoft Document Imaging Writer Port:
Windows NT Fax Driver on MSFAX:
Controllers Display
Standard floppy disk controller
Intel® 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers (2x)
Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
Secondary IDE Channel [Controller] ATI Technologies Inc. RAGE XL PCI [Display adapter]
SHP LL-172C-B [Monitor] (17.1"vis, s/n 4T09772X, November 2004)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
Adaptec AIC-7850 PCI SCSI Controller
Intel® 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2
Intel® 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D4
Intel® 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D7
Intel® 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24DE
NEC PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller
NEC PCI to USB Open Host Controller (2x)
Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller
USB 2.0 Root Hub Device SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
Communications Other Devices

Intel® PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
primary Auto IP Address: / 24
Dhcp Server:
Physical Address: 00:0C:F1:DE:44:AE

Networking Dns Servers:
Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
PS/2 Compatible Mouse
USB 2.0 Root Hub
USB Mass Storage Device (2x)
USB Root Hub (6x)
Virus Protection [Back to Top]
No details available
Missing Microsoft Security Hotfixes [Back to Top]
These required security hotfixes (using the 10/11/2005 Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary) were not found installed. Note: CIS benchmarks require that Critical and Important severity security hotfixes must be installed.
Q318202 - Critical (details…)
Installed Microsoft Hotfixes [Back to Top]
no verification data S867460 on 9/16/2004 (details…)
no verification data M886903 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
no verification data Q832483 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
no verification data KB870669 (details…)
Internet Explorer 6
passed verification KB834707-IE6SP1-20040929.091901 on 10/13/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB867282-IE6SP1-20050127.163319 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB883939-IE6SP1-20050428.125228 on 6/15/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB889293-IE6SP1-20041111.235619 on 12/3/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB890923-IE6SP1-20050225.103456 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB896688-IE6SP1-20051004.130236 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB896727-IE6SP1-20050719.165959 on 8/10/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB905495-IE6SP1-20050805.184113 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
Internet Explorer
no verification data SP1 (SP1)
no verification data Q823353 (details…)
no verification data Q831167 (details…)
no verification data Q832894 (details…)
no verification data Q833989 (details…)
no verification data Q837009 (details…)
no verification data Q867801 (details…)
no verification data Q903235 (details…)
Outlook Express 6
passed verification KB897715-OE6SP1-20050503.210336 on 6/15/2005 (details…)
Windows 2000
no verification data Q327194[SP] on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification UPDATE ROLLUP 1 on 7/5/2005 (Update Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 SP4)
passed verification Q818043 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB820888 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB822831 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB823182 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB823559 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB824105 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB825119 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB826232 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB828035 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB828741 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB828749 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB833407 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB835732 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB837001 on 5/12/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB839645 on 7/14/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB840315 on 7/14/2004 (details…)

Windows 2000
SP5 (continued)
passed verification KB840987 on 10/13/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB841356 on 10/13/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB841533 on 10/13/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB841872 on 7/14/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB841873 on 7/14/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB842526 on 7/14/2004 (details…)
passed verification KB842773 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB871250 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB873333 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB873339 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB885250 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB885835 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB885836 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB888113 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB890046 on 6/15/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB890047 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB890175 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB890859 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB891711 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB891781 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB893066 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB893086 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB893756 on 8/10/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB893803 on 4/13/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB893803V2 on 5/19/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB894320 on 5/11/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB896358 on 6/15/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB896422 on 6/15/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB896423 on 8/10/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB899587 on 8/10/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB899588 on 8/10/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB899589 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB900725 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB901017 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB901214 on 7/14/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB902400 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB905414 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
passed verification KB905749 on 10/12/2005 (details…)
Windows Media Player 9
passed verification KB885492 on 2/25/2005 (details…)
Windows Media Player
passed verification Q828026 (details…)
passed verification KB837272 (details…)
passed verification Q828026 on 5/12/2004 (details…)

Click here to see all available Microsoft security hotfixes for this computer.

[installed security hotfix] Marks a security hotfix (using the 10/11/2005 Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary)
verifies OK Marks a hotfix that verifies correctly
fails verification Marks a hotfix that fails verification (note that failing hotfixes need to be reinstalled)
Unmarked hotfixes lack the data to allow verification

Update… I was able to get a little farther. I finally got a log from Nero and it mentioned the drivers. The ASPI.sys driver was very old, 4.57 and I updated it from the Adaptec site to 4.71 and it’s getting a little farther, but still stopping. Also got the latest driver for the USB card. But I still can’t get through a write-and-verify cycle with 2 different brands of CD’s, Memorex and HP. They’re both made by CMC, but I’ve burned a few hundred HP disks from CMC previously withouth a problem.

Did some experimentation yesterday. It looks like the PCI-to-USB card I bought is having some sort of bandwidth or device timing or locking conflicts. I was getting cd burner hangs sometimes and read errors other times when I tried to burn files from the USB disk. Also sometimes I was seeing disk errors in the system event log at the point I was trying to create disks…

Since I was writing at only 7m/second though, and no files seemed to be cached since disk utilizations did not increase during the copy, and memory did not seem to be increasing either, I don’t know why this happens. I thought there was supposed to be 480M/sec capacity through USB 2.0. I can’t see that these operations could be using more than 10 percent of this.

When I copied the same files to an internal hard drive, ithe burning ran and verified OK.

Off to buy an additional USB card for the hard disk… Guess that USB 2.0 480M throughput is a joke.