Having trouble writing CD's

About 1/4 of the CD’s that I write generate errors such as (in Nero): ‘Focus or tracking error’, ‘cannot recover from calibration are’ and sometimes a buffer underrun. This is a brand new drive and I’m using the best media (by TY) and i’ve tried speeds from 16x to 40x. What is causing all of these errors? And also, why does the data verification process in Nero always fail? Can someone please help me?

Athlon 750 MHz
Windows XP Professional
ATI All-In-Wonder RAGE 128 Pro 32MB
VIA Audio AC97 (with Aux-in and CD-in)
VIA KX133A chipset on motherboard
IBM 80GXP 7200RPM hard drive
Phillips CD-RW 40x12x48 (model PHILIPS 4012P)

This error mostly occurs when your lens isn’t functioning like it should. It could either be dust, a badly calibrated lens, or damage that’s causing this error.

If it’s dust, the problem can be solved with cleaning your lens (with distilled water!). When damaged, there is nothig more you can do.
In the past, Philips writers had a build-in option to calibrate the lens yourself. By trying our search, I guess you’ll find it, as Mr. Belvedere posted this method several times.

Do a CD reading test using Nero CD speed on a good clean & unscratched CD to get a performance test. If you got a straight line, then your CD lens and spindle should be fine, but the write laser is acting up. If this is the case, I’d recommend bringing/sending it back for repair or a replacement. :wink:

Generally CD writers shouldn’t act up unless you’ve gone through hundreds of CDs or the drive has got some abuse.


don’t spend to much time with it…return it to where you bought it

I did a CD Speed Test as you said and ALMOST got a straight line as you can see in the picture below:

What does that mean? Should the line be perfectly straight for my drive to be good?

It appears that your CD-writer’s perfect appart from the write laser. As the write errors your getting are related to the CD-Writer; not the software, I’d recommend bringing it back if it’s still under warrenty. A new CD writer shouldn’t be failing CDs at all, especially on good media as all CD writers in the last year or two come with buffer underrun protection.

The read line doesn’t need to be straight for a good CD-ROM or writer drive. It’s just as long as you don’t get the line jumping steeply up and down frequently. My old CD-ROM drive does that.

Alright. Thanks for the help, i’ll take it back as it’s still under warranty.

I got this same problem when I re-installed windows 98 or XP and didn’t reinstall the the NERO and/or Clonecd.

Maybe uninstall the current version of software and re-install.

The other thing I noticed was that it happened most often when the computer was under heavy CPU load.

Try not using the computer for awhile.

Make sure that DMA is on for every device except the burner and that the source is on a different IDE chain to the destination.

If the dma is already off for the burner, try turning it on! It will reduce CPU load by up to 24x.

The CD writer that I have was actually not bad since I returned it for another one of the same type and got the same bad results. This would be the third consecutive bad cd burner so I believe that It has something else to do with my computer. I know it isn’t a software problem because the same thing happens with all burning software. Does anyone have any more suggestions?


Enable DMA on both HDD & CD WRITER.

Also try another burner software - just incase…

I sometimes get burn process failed errors…

I still dont know how do I solve it.


On both the hard drive and the CD-RW drive, the DMA is turned on. (For some reason, though, I had to put my CD-RW on secondart slave in order for WinXP to set it on DMA, this was the case for all three of the CD-RW’s that I’ve tried. Even now, WinXp only sets it to UDMA mode 1 instead of 2, which it should since i’m using a cable that supports it. Also, I know my motherboard supports UDMA over 1 because my Hard drive is set to UDMA 3. I tried putting the CD-RW on the same cable as my HD (Ultra ATA 66 cable) on the part named “slave” as well as the correct jumper settings and I get a DISK BOOT FAILURE message).

I’ve also noticed that when I copy files to my hard drive from my CD-RW and compare them, some of the files fail the test! This is very odd because I don’t know how I was able to install Windows XP and everything else on my computer without a single problem since the files didn’t copy perfectly! Everything SEEMS to work fine, though, except for my CD-RW.

RE-install the drivers for you IDE controller.

I’ve already tried to reinstall the Secondary IDE Device drivers by deleting the entry ‘Secondary IDE Channel’ in the device manager and using the ‘scan for hardware changes’ method in the applet but no luck. I still get exactly the same results and my CD-RW still won’t work on UDMA 2 (and it is still stuck in PIO mode on the Secondary Master).

Not just the driver for the secondary chain.

The primary and secondary chain drivers are only an extension of the main IDE device driver.

You need to re-install a new version of the MAIN IDE device driver, then remove all IDE drivers in windows. That will force windows to re-install the IDE device drivers.

Please make sure you install a new set of device drivers BEFORE you remove the IDE drivers, otherwise it will just install stock standard drivers for your IDE which are well below par for performance, if you are lucky. If you’re not, it may just not install any drivers at all, and you will spend ages trying to get windows to re-detect your IDE controller.
(usually re-install Windows)

How can I reinstall a new set of the IDE drivers? The drivers that I use are the ones that come with Windows XP, and there’s no setup program to setup only those drivers aside from the other ones.

Download the latest drivers from your motherboard manufacturer, IE gigabyte,Abit,Aopen,etc.

In windows XP in safe mode,
Install the latest drivers for you IDE from the motherboard manufacturer.
In device manager, uninstall the Main ide device, IE depending on chipset, may be something like “Via IDE bus master driver”, etc.

Then remove the IDE driver for the chain that your Boot HD is NOT on, then the last.

Reboot the machine, and windows will re-install the appropriate drivers.

Okay, I did everything that you said and Windows XP installed the drivers that I downloaded in place of the WinXP drivers, but the Primary and Secondary chains still say “Provider: Microsoft” in the driver dialog, but in the VIA Bus Mastering Driver, the provider is VIA. I still have trouble writing CD’s and the DMA is still stuck on 1. I believe this is because the Primary and Secondary chains still say “Driver Provider: Microsoft” in the driver dialog, which means that my system is using the correct VIA-Provided drivers for the Bus Mastering Driver, but still the Microsoft drivers for the Primary and Secondary chains. Is there a way to fix this? I also tried to use the “update driver” method and only the microsoft-provided drivers show up in the Primary and Secondary chains (as opposed to the VIA-Provided drivers that show up when I go to the “update driver” in the Bus Mastering Controller). Why did my drivers only include the Bus Mastering section?

Do yuou have any packet writing software installed?

If yes, uninstall it.

Then try disabling any internet or win-modem related programms which are running, and disable any non-necessary services which are taking up any CPU time.

First, What is packet writing software? I don’t think I have any such software installed because I’ve never set anything up other than Easy CD Creator 5 and Nero. Would CloneCD be an example of packet-writing software?

Second, the only internet programs that I have running are Windows Messenger, Norton Personal Firewall, and Norton Antivirus, which I have heard are pretty stable. Do you think these would interfere with the cd-writing process?

Third, I’ve noticed that no matter what speed I write at, I have the same error (data verification) at a random spot which does not correspond with the speed that I set. (For example, sometimes when I write at 4x, the error would sometimes be near the end while when writing at 24x, the error would sometimes be at the beginning, which means that it couldn’t possibly be anything with my hardware because that would mean that the amount of errors (estimated) would change for each write speed that I set, or at least the position of it. If I wrote at different speeds, shouldn’t the amount of errors that I get change with the speed that I set, since the data gets sent through the hardware a greater length of time when writing at slower speeds?

NOTE: I’ve already tried disabling the IMAPI feature of Windows XP and it has no effect.

Try disabling Norton Antivirus before burning, it should help.