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SUMMARY

This article describes how you can troubleshoot CD-ROM or DVD-ROM optical disc read issues. The steps in this article generally apply to compact disc recordable (CD-R) and compact disc re-writable (CD-RW) drives. Often a drive can read most but not all discs, but this alone does not indicate that a disc is bad. The drive could be having a marginal problem.

You may experience various disc read errors when you attempt to setup or start a program, when you switch discs while using programs with multiple discs, or when a program attempts to read data from another area on the disc. You may receive a variety of errors indicating problems reading the disc or copying specific files. You may receive messages similar to the following:
<program> is not a valid win32 application.
-or-
A device attached to the system is not functioning.
-or-
A required file kernl32.dll was not found.
-or-
Not enough memory to run this application.
-or-
Cannot find the file(s) needed to start this application.
-or-
Error Reading From File [Installer Error 1305]
-or-
Unable to find Setup.exe
-or-
CDR-101
-or-
Unable to read drive D:
-or-
Insufficient Memory
A Disc read problem may also trigger Illegal Operations, including General Protection Faults, Invalid Page Faults or "encountered a problem" messages (Watson errors). You may receive messages from one of the following cause descriptions:
  • Disc label does not appear in My Computer or the contents of the disc will not display.
  • Inserting or reading a disc causes the computer to stop responding.
  • The disc will not eject.
  • Takes an exceptionally long time to install or initialize the disc.

MORE INFORMATION

To troubleshoot disc read errors, use the following methods in the order in which they are presented.

Inspect the disc

Inspect the disc for visible deformation or substantial scratches. If the disc is damaged, see the section "Obtaining a Replacement Disc" below.

If you experience problems with a DVD disc, make sure that you insert the DVD into a DVD drive instead of a CD-ROM drive.

If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Clean the disc

Clean the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. To do this, use a disc cleaning kit, or gently wipe the silver side of the disc with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Do not use paper cloth which can scratch the plastic and leave streaks. When you clean the disc, wipe from the center of the disc outward. Do not use a circular motion.

If the issue continues to occur, clean the disc with a damp cloth or a commercial CD or DVD cleaning solution. Dry the disc thoroughly before you insert it into the drive. If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Test the disk in another drive

Try the CD-ROM or DVD disk in another drive. For DVDs, ensure the drive has a DVD logo on the front of the drive. If the disc works in this test, then the problem may be with the original drive not properly reading the disc. Please seek help from your computer or disc drive manufacturer. If your computer has multiple CD-ROM, CD-R, CD/RW or DVD drives, test the disc in the other drive.

If after cleaning the disc, it does not work on another computer then it is likely bad and needs replacing. See the section "Obtaining a Replacement Disc" below. If you see the same issues with a replacement disc as with the original disc, proceed to the next method.

If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Clean the drive

If cleaning the CD-ROM or DVD does not resolve the issue, clean the disc drive using a CD-ROM or DVD drive cleaning disc if you have one. If you do not have one, obtain one after all other steps in this article have failed to resolve the issue. Drive cleaning discs are available in most computer or home electronics stores.

If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Quit unnecessary software

Other programs may interfere with the reading of the disc, for example, anti-virus, firewall or anti-crash software.
  1. Quit all visible programs.
  2. Right-click each icon in the Taskbar area (near the Windows clock), then click Exit, Quit, Close, Disable, etc if available.
  3. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to display the Close Program window. If any program other than Explorer is listed, click it, then click Remove. Repeat this step until all programs except Explorer have been removed. Explorer is the Windows user interface.
If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Look for known issues with the drive or recording software

Search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for your brand and model of CD-ROM or DVD drive. Known issues with specific drives may be found in the Knowledge Base.

If your computer includes CD-R or CD/RW recording (burning) software or packet-writing software, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for known issues with the software. Occasionally there are conflicts depending on the version of the software or with specific drives. The Microsoft Knowledge Base is available at the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com

Check for drive firmware updates

Check with the manufacturer of your computer or disc drive to see if software updates for your drive are available. Often these are called "firmware" updates. Occasionally updates are issued that can resolve problems where the drive can read most but not all discs.

Make sure that you are using protected mode drivers

If you have Windows 95 or Windows 98, make sure that you are using protected mode (32-bit) drivers for your CD-ROM or DVD drive. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. On the Performance tab, confirm that the File System entry is 32-bit. If the File System entry is Some drives are using MS-DOS compatibility you are using MS-DOS disc drivers (real mode or 16-bit drivers). If this is the case, you may not be able to read certain files on the CD-ROM as some programs only work correctly with protected-mode drivers. To obtain protected-mode drivers for CD or DVD drives, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    151634 Protected-mode CD-ROM drive support in Windows
  4. Click OK, and then close Control Panel.
If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Enable/disable UDF support

If you are using Windows 98 or Windows Me, change the UDF setting. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Click the Disable UDF File System option, and then click OK.
  4. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click OK, and then click Yes.
When your computer restarts, UDF support has changed. If this makes no difference, change the setting back.

Note Generally, UDF should be enabled. However, some drives do not support UDF. For these drives, UDF should be left disabled. These drives will not be able to be read discs that only use the UDF file system.

Note DVD-ROMs require the UDF file system, unless they are a UDF Bridge disc (mastered for both ISO 9660 and UDF).

Disable DMA for the drive

To disable DMA for the CD-ROM or DVD drive, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. On the Device Manager tab, click View Devices By Type.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) next to CDROM to expand the branch.
  5. Click the CD-ROM or DVD drive that you want to change, and then click Properties.
  6. Click the Settings tab.
  7. Click to clear the DMA check box, and then click Close.
  8. Close Control Panel, and then restart the computer.
If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Reduce drive caching

To reduce CD-ROM or DVD drive caching, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. On the Performance tab, click File System.
  4. On the CD-ROM or DVD tab, move the Supplemental Cache Size slider to the Small position.
  5. In the Optimize Access Pattern For box, click NoRead-Ahead.
  6. Click OK, and then click Close.
  7. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.
If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next method.

Disable Auto-Insert Notification

Note If you disable Auto-Insert Notification, your programs can no longer start automatically.

To disable Auto-Insert Notification:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  3. On the Device Manager tab, click the PLUS SIGN (+) next to CDROM to expand the branch.
  4. Click your CD-ROM or DVD drive, and then click Properties.
  5. On the Settings tab, click to clear the Auto Insert Notification check box.
  6. Click OK, and then click OK again.
  7. Close Control Panel, and then restart the computer.

Remove Duplicate Drives

Remove any duplicate CD-ROM or DVD drives being loaded by Windows. To do this:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. On the Device Manager tab, click View Devices By Type.
  4. Double-click the CDROM or DVD branch to expand it.
  5. Note the properties for each device listed in the branch. To do this:
    1. Click a device, and then click Properties.
    2. Click each tab in the device properties dialog box, and then record the device information and settings.
    3. Click OK.
  6. Click OK, and then close Control Panel.
  7. Restart Windows in Safe mode. To do this, use the appropriate method for your version of Microsoft Windows.

    Windows 95

    Restart the computer. When you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, press the F8 key, and then select Safe Mode on the Startup menu.

    Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition

    Restart your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key when your computer completes the Power On Self Test (POST), and then select Safe Mode on the Startup menu.
  8. When Windows starts in Safe mode, click OK.
  9. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  10. Double-click System.
  11. On the Device Manager tab, click View Devices By Type.
  12. Double-click the CDROM branch to expand it.
  13. Verify that there are no changes in the list of devices in the branch. If you see a device that is not in the list of devices you noted in step 5, click the new device, and then click Remove. Repeat this step for each device in the branch that is not in the list of devices you noted in step 5.

    Note If you see new copies of a device that is in the list of devices you noted in step 5, check the properties of each copy of the device. If the properties for the device match the properties you recorded, keep the device. If the properties for the device do not match the properties you recorded, remove the device.
  14. Click OK.
  15. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click OK.

Obtaining a replacement disc

If you bought the program in the last 30 days, you may be able to return it to the store where you bought it to obtain a replacement under the Microsoft 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Check the packaging for information on the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Alternatively, to obtain a replacement disc call the Microsoft Order Desk at (800) 360-7561 and request a replacement for your damaged disc. If you are outside the United States, contact the Microsoft subsidiary for your area. To locate your subsidiary, see the Microsoft World Wide Offices Web page at:
http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/


For help with CD or DVD drive problems in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft web page:
Fix problems in which your CD or DVD drive cannot read or write media in Windows

REFERENCES

For more information about how to troubleshoot CD ROM issues in Windows 2000, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
126380 Troubleshooting CD-ROM problems in Windows 2000 and Windows NT
For more information about how to troubleshoot CD ROM issues in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314096 Advanced troubleshooting for issues that occur when you are installing a new CD or DVD drive on Windows XP

Properties

Article ID: 218617 - Last Review: November 16, 2007 - Revision: 3.8
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbenv kbhardware kbhowto KB218617
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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