More advice on troubleshooting the BTC 1004IM

If you don’t mind spending time on making your BTC 1004IM work, here’s some more advice which you may find useful. It’s true that several of the things I’ve listed below are standard computer wisdom, but when you’re in a hurry, you tend to be forgetful. Therefore, they still bear repeating. Here goes:

  1. Have a close look at the First Aid Kit for DRW1004 here: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=79667 You’ll find some excellent advice there.

  2. In his First Aid Kit, Marco advised to remove all drivers or programs which are related to burning CD/DVD media. Indeed, sound advice, this - except that I strongly recommend taking things one step farther. IMHO, you should deinstall/remove ALL of your chipset (i. e. mainboard) drivers and be careful to clear any related entries from the registry. (But back it up first, just in case!) The purpose of this is to make certain that you can start with a clean slate and have got rid of any demons that may have been lurking somewhere in the background. Before you reinstall any mainboard drivers, be sure that the ones you have are current. If they aren’t, download current ones from the website of your mainboard manufacturer.

  3. If you are running a VIA chipset, your drivers will come in one package (“4in1”). After calling up the installer, be sure to uncheck the option “Express install”. Instead, select “Normal install” and proceed. This will enable you to install each of the drivers manually. Install one driver, then reboot, install the second driver, reboot… and so on until you’re through. I know all those reboots are a pain in the ass. But so is a fault-ridden system. It’s your choice - do you prefer the devil or the deep blue sea? Also, the sequence in which you install the drivers does make a difference. More information about this you can find in the VIA Arena forums at http://www.viaarena.com/. Sorry not to be able to provide you with a direct link.

  4. If your system is the least bit non-standard (e. g., using an additional IDE/RAID/whatever else controller like mine, using exotic components - and worse, a combination of such! - not normally found in a Windows system, and so on), I’d recommend having a close look at the off-standard part and/or thinking about how the exotic components might influence the operation of your standard components. Proceed from there.

  5. If you have an extra IDE/RAID controller card installed in your system, try moving it to another PCI slot where it will be allocated a different PCI interrupt. This may solve your problem. I will not go into details here why, and I’m sure that you don’t really want to know. Suffice it to say that interrupt sharing may pose a problem with some mainboards - both you and I know that it ought not to make a difference, but believe me, it could.

  6. If for some reason you have to deinstall a version, any version, of Nero, get the appropriate cleantool from the download section of Ahead’s website. Run it before doing a new install. This should be a must. You have no idea how much junk the Nero deinstaller will leave behind on your system apart from the folders it couldn’t delete. If I have this right, when it is finished it will still have left well over a dozen keys in the registry, and you don’t want to have any dead bodies lying around there rotting, right?

  7. Don’t take anything about your system for granted. Look for driver and software inconsistencies in unexpected places - especially in unexpected places. If one attempt at making things work has failed, don’t give up. Find another way of getting what you want. There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.

  8. Take small steps one after the other, and stick to the ancient computer wisdom: If you have to change important settings, change one thing at a time only. This is even more true for critical settings which really can wreak havoc to your system. Take the time to reboot if necessary, so that you will know exactly which one of your actions has resulted in a certain system behavior. If you have to guess here, you’re in deep shit.

  9. Back up your registry regularly while troubleshooting. It sure pays. Always put a clean, working copy aside in a separate folder where you can’t mess it up by accident.

  10. Have a look at the logfiles, if there are any, and try to understand what they are telling you about things happening in the background which you can’t see.

  11. Be sure of what you’re doing. Don’t click on any buttons unless you’re one hundred per cent sure that this is really what you want to do, and that you’re at least reasonably sure about what will happen.

  12. In particular, look for inconsistencies between the actual behavior of the system and the behavior you had expected. If these two don’t coincide, you’ve either made a mistake or you don’t have enough background. If you made a mistake, correct it before you move on to the next item on your action list. Because if you don’t, the mistake will turn around and bite your ass in no time flat. If you lack knowledge - well, there’s no excuse for not learning, is there?

Regards, Martin A