Why Can't I burn a DVD?
December 12, 2008 6:24 PM   Subscribe

Why can't I burn a DVD using my DVD+-RW drive? [details within]

I am totally stumped trying to figure out why I can't burn a DVD on my laptop. This is a second-hand Dell Inspiron 9300 running WinXP, and has a DVD+-RW drive (as per msinfo32). I can read DVDs, and I can burn CDs. I have tried with 'Sonic RecordNow!', 'DeepBurner' (free edition), and 'CDBurnXP'. I have tried two different brands of DVD-R (HP and a house brand). I have tried burning different files (once, software program files which I later gave up and burnt to CD; then a collection of avi files). The fail messages are vague, but like to suggest my DVD is either bunk or the 'media is not supported'. Laptop is from Craigslist, so no warranty. But no other problems! It seems to be a sound machine.

What is going on?! I considered that maybe msinfo is lying and I need to only use DVD+R, but that seems weird, and expensive... and is that even possible? Suggestions of possible issue and/or troubleshooting much appreciated.
posted by tamarack to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you have a bunch of different burning software set up, your problem may be with the Windows "Upperfilters" in the registry.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:32 PM on December 12, 2008

Try this software its the most simple/reliable I have found to use

posted by tke248 at 7:39 PM on December 12, 2008

Are you burning from your hard drive? I'll get mysterious messages sometimes when I burn directly from an external hard drive or a USB drive. Try copying the files onto your computer's hard drive, then burning from there.
posted by suedehead at 7:51 PM on December 12, 2008

I've had a NEC DVD +/- RW on my computer since '04. I had always bought DVD+R's until recently. No particular reason... I just bought them in bulk and used them over a long period of time. Recently, I had to burn a DVD to a -R for compatibility on an older machine, and it wouldn't burn! I couldn't figure it out, until I came across an updated firmware. I flashed the drive and suddenly it burned -R's no problem.

Check Dell's site, and the manufacturer of that specific drive and see if firmware for the drive itself is available.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 8:03 PM on December 12, 2008

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Turns out it was a driver issue. DVD is now burning :) [I was so hung up on the idea it was a software issue that I didn't even consider this!]
posted by tamarack at 8:58 PM on December 12, 2008

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