Why can't I burn a Knoppix DVD ISO on a WinXP laptop?
July 1, 2005 4:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to burn the Knoppix 4.0 DVD ISO on my wife's second-hand Averatec Windows XP laptop. I have tried almost a dozen DVD burning programs without success. Most of them can't see there's a blank DVD in the drive. What's up?

It seems to be at least partly an ASPI thing, but I went to Adaptec, got the drivers, installed them, and now their utility says the laptop is up to date. (ASPI was completely missing before.) I've tried both DVD+R and DVD-R with identical results. Even Microsoft's own dvdburn.exe command-line utility can't see the drive. FWIW, we have burned CDs with no problem, and DVD burning software came with the machine, so it's capable in theory.

I'm really lost here. I hate Windows. I'd burn the DVD on my latest Linux box, except that the DVD drive is currently occupied by a Knoppix CD, which can't be removed while the computer is running. The plan is to burn the Knoppix DVD somewhere else, so I can boot from that instead of the CD, and install it forevermore. Your assistance in this enterprise would be appreciated.
posted by rwhe to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I'm assuming since you burned CDs that the drive is recognized in Windows Device Manager with no problems? If so, check the manufacturer and model and head over to Videohelp.com to see which blank media is listed as compatible with your burner. You might also try updating the drive's firmware.
posted by Otis at 5:22 AM on July 1, 2005

Are you 100% positive that the drive can burn DVD's? Having the software installed isn't that great of an indication. You can double check by getting the model number of the drive from the BIOS start up or from the Windows Control Panel (System Devices or some such).

If the drive supports DVD burning it could be bad physically. When one of my older DVD drives was in it's death throws it would burn CD's fine but balked at any attempt to burn a DVD.
posted by srburns at 5:25 AM on July 1, 2005

Best answer: one thing you could try with your linux box is boot the current livecd with the "tohd" option (e.g. tohd=/dev/hda4) which will copy the necessary parts of the livecd to an existing partition (without destroying anything on that filesystem). then you can reboot the knoppix cd with the "fromhd" option (e.g. fromhd=/dev/hda4) which will use the image that it put on the drive instead of the cd -- i.e. it will free up the optical drive for use for burning etc.
posted by dorian at 7:25 AM on July 1, 2005

"...we have burned CDs with no problem, and DVD burning software came with the machine, so it's capable in theory."

You do realized CDs and DVDs are completely different media, right? The ability to burn a CD doesn't mean your hardware is capable of burning a DVD. I second the notion of being sure the drive is a DVD writer. The fact that software was bundled with the machine tells you nothing about what the hardware is actually capable of.

If it *is* a DVD writer, but none of your Windows software is working regardless of the media you use -- have you tried Nero? It's considered among the best products for Windows -- then it's possible that the drive is just plain old broken.
posted by majick at 7:26 AM on July 1, 2005

I've seen issues with XP's built-in services preventing DVD burning. This page:

recommends the following procedure:

Go to "administrative tools" in the control panel, and in the "services" list, disable the IMAPI CD-Burning COM service. (Note: manual setting is not enough it must be disabled) It is the built-in CD-burning capability for windowsXP.
posted by bitmage at 8:07 AM on July 1, 2005

Best answer: My second hand laptop is an Averatec 3150. It has a CD-burner/DVD reader drive.. So I can burn CDs, watch movies, install software off a DVD but I cannot burn a DVD.
posted by 6550 at 1:08 PM on July 1, 2005

Best answer: Also, molded into the door of the drive it says: compact disc, recordable, rewritable and next to it it says DVD ROM. So if your drive looks like that you don't have DVD burner.

If you know the drive is a DVD burner disregard what I've said.
posted by 6550 at 1:15 PM on July 1, 2005

What is the model of the drive?
posted by Jairus at 3:52 PM on July 1, 2005

Response by poster: 6550, you are correct; it does say "DVD-ROM", so I guess this model of Averatec laptop can only read DVDs.

dorian, thanks for pulling me out of my tunnel-vision. I couldn't get the tohd/fromhd options to work, probably because my hard drive has suffered crib death (verified by fsck, which informs me it has bad blocks and I should replace it ASAP). However, I have over a gig of RAM, so I was able to use the 'toram' option and boot an earlier version of Knoppix from a RAM disk, then use that to burn my Knoppix 4.0 DVD.

Thanks again to all.
posted by rwhe at 11:43 AM on July 11, 2005

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