Sony meddling when writing a DVD with a VAIO?
October 6, 2005 4:33 AM   Subscribe

DVD writing on a VAIO Filter: I have a Sony Vaio A417M and I can't seem to figure out how to write a DVD using any software apart from the one Sony provide. I had a vaio before and it was only possible to write a DVD using Sony supplied software "DVD drag and drop" Is it really Sony meddling?

I have tried two versions of Nero 6.x, Roxio 7.5, Alcohol (to burn a DVD image) and ULEAD dvd movie studio (v3 i think) All encounter a non-descript error when they begin to write to the disc.

I suspect Sony are not allowing other software to use the DVD writer to prevent piracy a la ATRAC, but I'm no pirate!

Did anyone come across anything like this and how did you get around it?

My specs -
XP SP2 - installed by VAIO link
Current Firmware of DVD
posted by jwhittlestone to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I know that Nero, at least, actually provides decent error messages. None that I have seen are "Non-descript error." What does it actually say?
posted by majick at 7:08 AM on October 6, 2005

  • What is the exact error message for each application?
  • When exactly does the error message occur?
  • Does it occur at the same point in the process for each app?
  • Does the Sony-provided software (sounds like you're talking about Click to DVD) successfully write working DVDs?
  • Does the third-party software recognize the DVD drive?
  • In Device Manager (IIRC, right-click My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager), is there an exclamation point next to the DVD drive?
There's this solution for a general "I can't write to DVD" problem; according to the specs, the A417M comes with a DVD +/-RW drive, so you can skip the first question. Remember to back up your data before performing a recovery: a full recovery will wipe out your hard drive and reinstall the original software.
posted by skoosh at 9:01 AM on October 6, 2005

Oh yeah, and there's the solution I was never allowed to give customers when I was in tech support: try uninstalling Click to DVD, and any other Sony software that writes to the DVD drive.
posted by skoosh at 9:10 AM on October 6, 2005

For someone who works in IT support, im not very good at logging my own call!

This is the msg in nero

I stupidly uninstalled click to dvd without testing, but it still gets the above error - unspecified target error

My third party software recognises the DVD-RW U56 with the correct name

A curiousity - in device manager it says the drive is a DVD-ROM/CD-ROM SCSI AVX drive - which isn't true - but I have upgraded to current firmware

I saw this article, that says turning off the high compatibility mode in nero works, im going to give that a go when i get home..

Any ideas greatly appreciated!
posted by jwhittlestone at 1:47 AM on October 7, 2005

A question I forgot to ask before: can you burn CDs?

A curiousity - in device manager it says the drive is a DVD-ROM/CD-ROM SCSI AVX drive - which isn't true - but I have upgraded to current firmware

Aha! A driver issue! If Device Manager thinks you only have a DVD-ROM drive (i.e. not a DVD burner), then that could very well be why it won't write to that drive. Try uninstalling/reinstalling the driver (very simple in XP - just right-click the driver in Device Manager and choose "Uninstall" from the context menu, then restart) and see if it comes up with the right name. (Drivers are not the same as firmware.)

If that doesn't work, see if there's a driver update for the DVD drive on your computer. (You can click on the link below "Drivers and Patches". You'll need a product code and serial code - they're on a bar-code sticker on the underside of the notebook; the product code starts with 28.)

You could also try:
  1. uninstalling all the third-party DVD-writing software, reinstalling Click to DVD, and seeing if you can write to the DVD drive;
  2. performing a system restore back to before you installed all the other DVD-burning software, and again checking if Click to DVD works;
  3. then uninstalling/reinstalling the driver again. (That also uninstalls any other software you installed since that point, but it shouldn't affect your data files, unlike a recovery, which wipes out everything.)
  4. By the way (and this is a little off-topic), but if your notebook didn't come with recovery discs, did you make a set of recovery discs? It's... kind of important, in case you have to go through a system recovery, and something goes terribly, terribly wrong in a way that Sony tech support can't fix over the phone. They'll make you pay to send out a set of recovery discs, and you'll be out about £30. This is all post-last resort, though. Please keep us posted; I'm eager to read what happens next.

posted by skoosh at 8:24 AM on October 8, 2005

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